LOS ANGELES — Tonight on KGO Radio AM 810, the Pat Thorsten Show explored the complicated and contentious issue of California’s Prop 60, which would mandate condom-only productions while opening the door to frivolous lawsuits and performer harassment.
The segment featured Free Speech Coalition attorney Karen Tynan and FSC policy director Siouxsie Q on the “no side” of ‘60 participating in a debate with Dr. Adam Cohen along with former performer Derrick Burts, representing the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the sole backer of Prop 60.
It is the latest discussion over the issues surrounding Prop 60 and follows numerous protests, including earlier this week when more than 200 adult industry supporters marched on AHF’s Los Angeles office, as well as banner campaigns and the coordinated blocking of visitors to adult sites coming from California IP addresses.
Burts told listeners how in a fairly short period of time working in the industry, he contracted numerous STDs, including herpes, which he says his L.A.-based modeling agency told him not to worry about — because it wasn’t something they tested for — critics however suggest Burts’ work as a gay male escort, rather than a performer, led to his infections.
“No one cares more about our health and safety than we do,” Siouxsie Q says, noting that under Prop 60 Derrick would not have been protected from infection and would have exposed his personal information to anyone interested in being a vigilante.
“It is a Trojan horse initiative,” Siouxsie Q adds, describing the 25 percent bounty on levied fines that California residents could earn by identifying and suing individual performers — real people whose real names and addresses will be available to anyone.
Thorsten, who supports condoms in porn, but expressed concern and confusion over some of Prop 60’s nuances, strived to fairly drill down into the details of the issue, which she (like many other observers) find convoluted.
Cohen claimed that the rates of STD infection within the industry are “astronomical,” and says that porn performers are 64 times more likely to contract gonorrhea than are members of the public at large — and leaned on the notion that performer behavior poses a risk to the public.
“Safer sex sounds great,” Siouxsie Q says, “but all [Prop 60] does is hurt people like me.”
“The idea that you can report a video to Cal/OSHA and then sue the performers, whether Cal/OSHA finds wrongdoing or not,” Tynan adds. “[Makes Prop 60] about personally attacking performers.”
The engaging discussion covered everything from the role of AHF President Michael Weinstein, his $5 million investment in the cause and his special status under the proposed law, to the effect it could have on even married couples filming themselves having sex, for a comprehensive hour-long look at the issue.