FSC: Prop 60 Editorial Decries 'Offering Bounties'

FSC: Prop 60 Editorial Decries 'Offering Bounties'

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Free Speech Coalition today lauded the McClatchy Co.’s editorial today in the Sacramento Bee and Fresno Bee that offered a “strong and pointed” stance against Proposition 60.

The Sacramento Bee and Fresno Bee’s editorial board joins those of the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News and other California papers in opposing the controversial ballot initiative.

In the editorial, the papers call the Prop 60 proposal “a legal overreach … offering bounties and inviting frivolous lawsuits” on the industry and says the proponents solutions are “too hardcore” for California, saying the prop would lead to “[a]n all-out war, in the courts and by the state, on an industry that already operates at the fringe could just drive performers further underground and make them less safe.”

Eric Paul Leue, executive director of the FSC, said that the Sacramento Bee and Fresno Bee’s editorial echoes concerns raised by the Chronicle that “the proposition invites legal bounty hunting on a population of performers who already face stalkers and who are tested every 14 days for a full slate of STIs including HIV.”

“The Bee editorial echoes what performers have been saying since this noxious measure was introduced,” Leue said. “That it endangers adult industry workers by placing a cash bounty on their heads. Under Prop 60, any resident of the state could file a suit against an adult performer if a condom is not immediately visible, and receive a cash payout. Michael Weinstein is exploiting adult industry workers for his noxious and dangerous moral crusade.”

Leue noted that the papers also condemned a provision that would install Michael Weinstein, the controversial proponent of the measure, as a state employee with legal standing to defend the measure if the state declined — a position which the Mercury News and Orange County Register have previously decried as a state-subsidized “porn czar.”

Leue also said that the Bee pointed out that Weinstein’s legal fees would be paid “by taxpayers.”

Prop 60 is opposed by both the California Democratic Party and the California Republican Party. It also has been opposed by major HIV/AIDS and civil rights organizations including Equality California, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, San Francisco Medical Society, AIDS Project LA, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Transgender Law Center and APAC, the Adult Performer Advocacy Committee.