L.A. Times Editorial Board: Vote No on Prop 60

L.A. Times Editorial Board: Vote No on Prop 60

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Times’ editorial board today said that it rejects Proposition 60 and urges voters to do so as well.

Calling the AIDS Healthcare Foundation-sponsored initiative “extreme” and “demonstrably counterproductive,” the Times said the proposition would, in effect, make every Californian a “potential condom cop.”

The proposal, if passed would not only mandate condom use but create “a private right of action so that any resident who spots a violation in a pornographic film shot in the state could sue and collect cash from the producers and purveyors if they prevail in court,” the Times said.

“[I]f Prop 60 passes, it seems reasonable to expect the industry to go further underground or leave the state and become further fragmented,” the Times said. “Perversely, this would threaten the integrity of the voluntary — and effective — twice-a-month testing protocol which is credited with keeping HIV transmissions in check."

The Times also called foul on the possible extension of financial liability to, potentially, individual performers who produce and distribute their own content.

The paper noted that “Prop 60 is not the right way to address the safety of a small group of workers,” particularly because there hasn’t been a documented on-set transmission of HIV in more than a decade.”

“There’s also the possibility that some people might use the new law to harass adult-film performers,” the Times said.

The Times also noted that the lawsuit provision is one of the reasons a number of organizations outside the porn industry, including the Los Angeles County Commission on HIV, Equality California and AIDS Project Los Angeles, have signed on to oppose this measure.

“It’s also telling that the California Medical Association, which backed a state bill requiring condom use in the adult industry in 2014, decided to stay neutral on Prop 60,” the Times said. “Both the state Democratic and Republican parties are on record as opposed to Prop 60 as well.

“What unites them — and us — is the belief that Proposition 60 is not the right way to address the safety of this small group of workers. Not when the California Division of Occupational Health and Safety is working to develop safety standards specifically to protect adult-film performers from exposure to bloodborne pathogens through bodily fluids.”

The Times, in rejecting Prop 60, emphasized its support for rules that make performers in adult films as safe as possible.

“That’s why we reject Prop 60 and urge voters to do so as well,” the Times said.

Over the past month, numerous papers, including the Los Angeles Times have advocated against Prop 60.

The San Diego Union-Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Fresno Bee, the Sacramento Bee, the Mercury News, the East Bay Times and the Orange County Register all have urged a “no” vote on the proposition. XBIZ's executive editorial director, in an opinion-editorial last week, also urged a “no” vote on Prop 60.