LOS ANGELES — With Election Day now only five days away, the adult entertainment industry appears confident that Measure B, the so-called “Safer Sex” ballot initiative that would require mandatory condom enforcement for adult films, will be defeated, according to the preliminary results of a new industry poll conducted by media organization XBIZ.
XBIZ asked industry members, “Do you expect L.A. County's Measure B to pass?” As of 4 p.m. Thursday, 59% had responded “Yes,” and 41% said “No.” The results are based on responses from members of XBIZ.net, the adult entertainment industry’s leading social network.
Known officially as the “County of Los Angeles Safer Sex In The Adult Film Industry Act,” Measure B would also require producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the L.A. County Department of Public Health and pay a permit fee sufficient for necessary enforcement.
The major proponent of the Measure is the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), whose outspoken president, Michael Weinstein, maintains that the Measure would mandate porn producers to “comply with existing health and safety laws including condom use in the films they produce — and there will be no cost to taxpayers, as enforcement will be covered by permit fees paid by the producers.”
The debate about Measure B has been intense for the past two-plus months as the adult industry trade group Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and the No on Government Waste Committee have waged a passionate “No on B” campaign to counter the AHF ahead of the Nov. 6 vote.
The No on Government Waste Committee, which has received major funding from Manwin, is a coalition of business groups, entertainment industry firms, performers, healthcare professionals and community activists. It has garnered widespread support from several L.A. County business groups as well as major daily newspapers, saying that groups are opposed because of the already stringent testing program in place to protect adult film performers and what it calls a "blow to the region’s economy.”
“We think the XBIZ poll mirrors what we have been finding during this campaign which is once voters focus on Measure B they soon discover it’s an egregious example of government overreach, a job killer and saddles county taxpayers with a huge cost and no sure way of digging out should it pass,” said James Lee, communications director for the No on Government Waste Committee.
“It will export 10,000 jobs and over $1 billion in local tax revenue and economic activity to neighboring states all in pursuit of solving a problem that doesn’t exist. We feel confident voters will reject Measure B and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s misguided attempt of robbing people of personal choice.”
AHF’s Weinstein also was not surprised by the poll results.
“If 40 percent of Measure B supporters thought we were going to lose, I would be very worried,” Weinstein told XBIZ Thursday.
Weinstein and AHF say that Measure B is modeled on L.A. County’s health permit process for businesses such as nail salons, barbershops, tattoo and massage parlors and bathhouses.
According to AHF, currently there are 134 other categories of businesses or services that require a permit or license from L.A. County, and advocates from AHF and its affiliated For Adult Industry Responsibility (FAIR) group say that “it is not burdensome to require the adult film industry to get similar health permits.”
But the No on Government Waste Committee says that if Measure B passes it would require hiring of government employees to observe adult film sets as well as attempt to identify any commercial adult filmed activity in the county. According to the Committee, the L.A. County Department of Public Health estimates the initial startup costs for the program would be $300,000, with no idea of how effective permit fee collection would be if the program grew and expanded.