Thursday, December 24, 2009

"Condomgate" Update: Common Sense 2, Anti-Porn League 0

Well, Michael Weinstein's attempt to forum-shop his way to imposing mandatory condom usage on the LA porn industry didn't work out as well as he planned. Smacked down in Alameda, he tried to get revenge in the LA court system..and got whupped on even worse.

The story from XBIZ.com:

L.A. Judge Rejects Mandatory Condoms on Porn Sets

 
LOS ANGELES — A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Tuesday rejected the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s request calling for mandatory use of condoms on porn sets.

In his decision, Judge David Yaffe said the county has broad discretion in how it oversees public health and dismissed a petition seeking a court order to compel health officials to require condom use on porn sets or take other reasonable steps to stem the spread of disease.

AHF filed suit in July, just weeks after a performer known as Patient Zero tested positive for HIV and county health officials released data that showed 18 HIV cases and more than 3,700 cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis had been reported since 2004 by the AIM Healthcare Foundation.

Last week, AHF delivered a petition to the state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, asking for a change in regulations over bloodborne pathogens. The petition seeks to require condom use on the porn set.

But in a "preemptive move," the adult film industry's Free Speech Coalition published a draft of its own bloodborne pathogen plan. The FSC’s plan covers worker safety and addresses numerous practices over everything from controlling waste to housekeeping to the cleaning of sex toys. It also addresses training, as well as pre- and post-scene evaluation, and makes examination recommendations for new-to-the-industry performers.

Brian Chase, the AHF’s attorney, told XBIZ while the organization is disappointed with Yaffe’s ruling, the group plans on appealing his decision.

“At the end of the day, this is a new issue for the courts,” Chase said. “The court in the ruling said that Public Health has the discretion to do something about the possible spread of bloodborne pathogens or they could do nothing at all.

“Our contention is that Public Health does have an obligation and that they can’t just sit on their hand for 10 years and do nothing about it.”

Chase noted that AHF will file its appeal 60 days after the final ruling is handed down by Yaffe.

 Now, this isn't going to deter Weinstein one bit, since in addition to the appeal, AHF is also appealing to Cal-OSHA to attempt to strong-arm the condom-only rules through through the regulatory process...but with these court rulings, I'm guessing that that will probably come up short, too.

But...how about the FSC actually getting aggressive and proactive for a change and promoting their own policies for protecting performers?? Better late than never, I suppose..but welcome.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

California Anti-Porn Cabal Gathers to Plot Counter-Attack

After receiving a well-deserved ass-kicking from Alameda Superior Court Judge Winifred Smith for their ill-starred attempt to bully AIM into giving up its confidential client records by subpoena, Cal-OSHA's anti-porn warriors gathered with their small but noisy claque of supporters, including such drearily usual suspects from AHF and L.A. County Health in semi-seclusion at UCLA on Friday to strategize their next moves in the ongoing attempt to regulate the porn industry out of existence in this state. Though they denied admission to anyone from AIM, FSC, industry journalists and/or any actively working performers, they did duck their heads out long enough to fire off a few shots at those who they see as obstructing their noble mission to save us from ourselves.

I'll have something to say about this ... you can bet on it ... but first please give a read to Mark Kearnes excellent account from AVN Onlline:

http://business.avn.com/articles/36918.html

Love that part about "raising money to keep performers unsafe." Nice try, but until all of you crusaders can explain what you were doing to help during the past ten years when we were, in fact, keeping performers safe, maybe you should STFU.

While farm workers in The Central Valley continue to die in the fields of pesticide exposure and Los Angeles struggles to come up with the funds neeeded to re-open its largest public hospital, and prove itself competent to the federal courts to do so, these self-appointed monitors of civic morality persist in wasting the taxpayers' money and endangering existing safeguards that have protected performers far more effectively than workers in numerous other industries their agencies supervise in pursuit of an increasingly transparent personal vendetta.

Clearly, the lives and health of porn performers mean far less to these people than demonstrating the ability to impose their will on anyone who dares oppose them. Noble posturing aside, this is about the exercise of raw political power toward personal objectives. It's despicable in its entirety and it will ultimately fail, though at what cost to the welfare of performers and the rights of this community remains to be seen.

When government officials meet in secret to decide the fate of others, the results rarely serve the common good.