SACRAMENTO — Free Speech Coalition CEO Diane Duke has issued a statement (below) in response to the Appropriation Committee’s passage of California State Assembly Bill AB1576 earlier today.
The statement reads:
Today, Isadore Hall and Michael Weinstein forced a bill on adult performers despite the vociferous opposition of the performers themselves. AB1576 denies performers control of their own body, their own sexuality, and their own privacy. Over five hundred performers have bravely come out in public opposition to this bill, despite Hall’s endless shaming. For the past few month, Hall has portrayed performers as a public health hazard, using discredited studies that read like Victorian pulp novels. This isn’t about protecting performers, this is a morality crusade aimed at driving a legal, regulated business out of the state and underground.
Hall never approached performers to find out what they wanted — he gave them what he wanted. That’s why the Harvey Milk Democratic Club, the Transgender Law Center, the Erotic Service Providers Union, the Center for Sex and Culture and the Adult Performers Advocacy Committee and others joined the Free Speech Coalition in its opposition to a bill that strips performers of vital protections.
This bill will now go to the State Assembly. Make no mistake — we will fight it, and we will win. Hall’s attacks have unified the producers and performers in a way we haven’t seen since the culture wars of the ‘80s. We cannot allow politicians to treat adult performers as disposable, to disregard very real concerns in favor of a paternalistic bill that criminalizes adult film. Hall has never been on an adult film set, he does not know how the industry works, he does not understand the concerns of adult performers — and he does not care. He has what he thinks is a political winner on his hands, and he’ll continue with it until he destroys what he claims he will protect.
It’s worth noting, of course, that AHF and Hall have spent millions of dollars and several years fighting HIV in adult film, despite the fact that there has not been onset transmission of HIV on a regulated adult set in over ten years. Meanwhile, Hall’s own district has one of the highest rates of HIV mortality in the country, and does not contain one of his sponsor’s clinics. Crusading against porn stars may make for good headlines, but it makes for lousy policy. We didn’t ask for it, but we look forward to this fight.
The Free Speech Coalition is the national trade organization to the adult entertainment industry. Its mission is to lead, protect and support the growth and well-being of the adult entertainment community.