Hearing Will Extend Dialogue of Dead Porn Bill

Rhett Pardon
SACRAMENTO – Assemblyman Tim Leslie’s bill to regulate the porn business may be dead, but political dialogue on what to do with the industry lives on.

Assemblyman Paul Koretz on Tuesday called for a hearing on June 4 to extend discussion of Assembly Bill 2798, which would have mandated testing of all performers before production on an adult film can begin.

Leslie, R-Roseville, argued that his bill would protect the public health by cutting the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

But last week the Assembly Health Committee voted to move the bill to an interim hearing, which effectively mousetraps legislation.

“The assemblyman is a believer in the self-regulating AIM clinic system,” Teresa Stark, press secretary of Koretz, D-West Hollywood, told XBiz. “And he believes that there needs to be more discussion on this very complicated issue.”

Spokesman Brian O’Neel told XBiz that while Leslie won’t attend the meeting, the assemblyman is hoping that other legislators might try to “gut and amend” another bill for a senate vote in the current legislative session.

Otherwise, O’Neel said, there won’t be any time for a bill covering the porn industry to reach the senate until next year.

At last week’s hearing, several groups besides the Free Speech Coalition opposed the bill.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation said it was opposed to any provision of law that seeks to make HIV testing mandatory and the American Civil Liberties Union was opposed to mandatory testing of individuals for HIV status based on privacy rights.

And the Motion Picture Association of America said the bill was so broad that it could create liability for non-porn films.

The Free Speech Coalition advocated the current practice of the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation, which tests working porn actors every 30 days and works on the honor system.

Until last month, no cases of HIV had been detected among performers for the last five years.

With the exception of a few production companies, condoms are never used.

On June 4, a public hearing on STD regulation in the porn industry will be held at the Van Nuys State Office Building at 6150 Van Nuys Blvd., in the San Fernando Valley. It will start at 10 a.m.