Wednesday, July 17, 2024

STDs For Everyone? Why Porn’s Prop 60 Failed In Cali

California has had an eventful week to say the least. Many voters debated on issues of federal importance like taxes on tobacco, the legalization of marijuana (yay!), gun control, the death penalty and… condoms in porn?

That’s right. Prop 60 would have required porn performers to use condoms while filming movies. Proponents of the law argued for the safety of the stars, backed up by substantial evidence that claims that they’re in a much larger risk of contracting STDs than the general population. Duh.

The road for this proposition had been paved for a long time, with rulings in 2013 that forced the industry to be more strict with their testing due to complaints filed by several people regarding the industry’s lax guidelines and poor treatment. Presented as a healthcare and workplace safety measure, Proposition 60 appeared to be necessary and beneficial, even going as far as to make the studios pay for all the STD-related tests, vaccinations and countermeasures. Who wouldn’t want protection from STDs right? Wrong, or that’s what porn stars like Ela Darling and Jesse Jackman argue.

Proposition 60 would have given any resident of California watching the porn the ability to sue the producers or studios if they suspected the actors weren’t using condoms. The government would reward these national heroes with 25 percent of the collected fines if the lawsuit was successful. This whole process would leave the performer’s name on public record, exposing their address and personal information. Obviously, some porn stars were not too keep on this, claiming that in their line of work anonymity is a treasured privilege that protects them from stalkers or from extreme conservatives who’d want to harm them due to the way in which they make a living.

Ela Darling, a producer and performer, believes that the industry’s current STD testing system is a good enough protective measure and that the proposition would do more harm than good, punishing workers instead of protecting them. She insists that the industry wants to protect their workers on their own terms and that the government shouldn’t get involved with the way in which they handle their work.

Proposition 60 was defeated on November 8th with 53 percent of votes in their favor.


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