Porn industry, rejoice: California kills controversial "condom bill"

AB 1576, the heavily contested bill to mandate condoms on porn sets statewide, has died in committee

Published August 15, 2014 1:50PM (EDT)

  (<a href=''>discpicture</a> via <a href=''>Shutterstock</a>)
(discpicture via Shutterstock)

Great news for California porn performers: On Thursday, the state Assembly effectively killed a controversial bill to criminalize the production of porn without condoms anywhere in the state. AB 1576, which would have required the use of condoms on all permitted porn sets, was put "in suspense" last week before the California state Senate Appropriations Committee decided not to advance the bill for a Senate vote. As a result, the bill has been permanently shelved.

State Assemblyman Isidore Hall introduced the proposed legislation with sponsorship from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has argued that mandatory condom use would protect porn performers from contracting sexually transmitted infections or blood-borne diseases. The adult industry, however, has vehemently protested AB 1576 for several months, just as it protested a similar local measure that was enacted in Los Angeles in 2012.

Porn industry activists claim that mandatory condom laws encroach on the individual rights of performers by forcing them to disclose STI test results and medical records to employers; according to members of the industry, STI testing standards that are already in place have successfully prevented the transmission of HIV on set since 2004. Additionally, opponents claim, bills like AB 1576 effectively force the adult industry to flee locales where such measures have been enacted.

In light of the bill being shelved, porn industry activists have taken to social media in celebration. But, according to AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein, their fight isn't over yet.

"We will reintroduce the bill next year and are proud of the fact that we moved this legislation farther along in this session than any previous year," Weinstein said. "By way of comparison, it took over a decade to get a needle exchange bill passed on a statewide level, so we are prepared for a long haul, if that’s what it takes.”


By Jenny Kutner

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