LOS ANGELES — The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee, officially known as APAC, today criticized the condom ballot initiative slated for the November ballot.
The condom measure would allow private citizens to sue performers who work without condoms, APAC said. It has joined with Californians Against Worker Harassment to oppose the measure.
In a letter to Secretary of State Alex Padilla opposing the measure, APAC President Chanel Preston “attacked the initiative as dangerous and asks Californians to vote against the measure,” the group said.
“Legalizing harassment,” she said, “is not a California value.”
Eric Paul Leue, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition and campaign manager for Californians Against Worker Harassment, the committee formed to oppose the measure, applauded APAC for its letter.
“We’re proud to stand with APAC, AIDS Project LA, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, the San Francisco Democrats, the California Republicans and so many of the other advocates and organizations who have spoken out against this initiative,” Leue said.
“California is a leader in workers’ rights, protections for women and respect for LGBTQ communities. We once again call on Michael Weinstein to respect the performer community’s safety, and pull the initiative before anyone is hurt.”
The full text of APAC’s letter is below:
Dear Secretary Padilla,
The Adult Performer Advocacy Committee (APAC) urges California voters to OPPOSE the pending ballot initiative ‘Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act’.
APAC is the only group in the adult film industry led by, and comprised solely of, adult performers. We advocate on behalf of performers, and work to maintain and improve safe working conditions in the adult film industry by giving performers organized representation in matters that affect our health, safety, and community.
This proposed initiative will not make adult film performers or workers in our industry safer. Instead it will threaten our safety and violate our privacy by enabling anyone in California to file dangerous and costly lawsuits against performers who exercise choice, and, most disturbingly, expose our home addresses and legal names.
Over the past few years, performers have widely opposed this and similar measures, which seek to take choice away from performers over their own bodies. Performers are not opposed to regulation, or to the use of condoms, in addition to our current testing protocols. But these decisions are highly personal, and cannot be imposed upon us without our consent.
While the proponent of the initiative claims to be interested in our protection, he has repeatedly dismissed our very real concerns about how this initiative would impact our bodies and well-being. When performers have disagreed with him, the proponent has tried to bully and threaten us, to silence our voices, and to trample our rights. He has spent millions of dollars to collect signatures for this initiative, yet has never once come to the table to discuss our needs as workers in this industry with us.
The adult industry is one of the most inclusive and protective work environments for LGBTQ people. This measure would expose performers and other vulnerable workers in the industry to lawsuits, leaving us open to stalkers, extortion and other forms of harassment.
No other worker in California can be sued by the general public or be subjected to such a public form of harassment.
Legalizing harassment is not a California value.
For these reasons, we strongly urge California voters and legislators to oppose this initiative.