LA Times Is Not About Michael Weinstein’s California Condom Measure


At first it might seem like a good idea, right? Provide porn workers with workplace protections that would prevent them from getting sick, like how food workers have to wear gloves. But the more you hear about California’s Proposition 60, the fishier it smells. Yuck.

Now the LA Times has come out against the measure, which would require all adult film workers to wear condoms — and beyond that, would entitle any porn viewer to sue if they see a naked penis. This is insane.

But consider the source: the Proposition is backed by AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Michael Weinstein, last seen denigrating PrEP. Though his organization undoubtedly does a lot of good, Michael Weinstein himself is hardly a trustworthy source when it comes to advocating for safer sex initiatives backed by actual science.

Effective measures to combat HIV and other STIs require an industry-wide approach. When Los Angeles tightened its rules, production simply moved away. The same is likely to happen if California adopts similar rules. The net impact of Weinstein’s scheme will probably just be forcing the porn industry out of the state, possibly to areas that have even fewer protections.

The measure also has unclear legal ramifications. It’s possible that cable companies and other middle-men might be on the hook for damages if they distribute porn in California with an unsheathed member. It’s really hard to say just who is exposed to liability, since it’s such a hastily written law.

Meanwhile, California’s division of OSHA is working on its own measures to protect performers. Maybe it might be a good idea to defer to the experts, rather than letting some random guy with a nonprofit make up the rules for everyone else.