The blog SmartVoter.org just posted at their site the full voter guide to the proposed Measure B ordinance up to vote in Los Angeles County, including all of the arguments and rebuttals by proponents and opponents. I've posted some of the statements previously, but here are, just for recording's sake, the statement in opposition to Measure B, as well as their rebuttal to the pro-B arguments.
First, their original argument (with signatories attached):
Measure B is a ridiculous waste of tax dollars.Of course, you will recognize Diane Duke of the Free Speech Coalition and Dr. Peter Miao of Cutting Edge Testing as part of the signatories.
It would throw hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars, every year, at an imaginary threat.
It would send government inspectors, at full salary and benefits, to adult film sets to ensure actors are not only wearing condoms but rubber gloves, goggles and lab coats. This is money we need for real public health threats.
Measure B's backers falsely claim a health threat in the adult film industry. Every single actor is tested at least monthly. In 8 years, not one has contracted HIV on a set anywhere in the U.S. In fact, by driving film productions underground where there is no testing and no industry regulations, actors would be less safe, not more. Moreover, the Department of Public Health warns that Measure B would expose the County to expensive lawsuits + wasting money needed for real public health risks.
While we are wasting tax dollars for no reason, we are also driving a vital source of jobs out of state. The adult film industry employs thousands of people out of L.A. County: not just actors, but lighting and sound engineers, caterers, craftspeople, etc. This is exactly what we do NOT need during this recession.
Measure B is a ridiculous waste of tax dollars, kills thousands of jobs, is unnecessary, and does nothing to protect public health.
Vote NO on Measure B.
President of VICA (Valley Industry and Commerce Assoc.)
DR. PETER MIAO
Infectious Disease Specialist
CEO Free Speech Coalition
PAMELA J. BROWN, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
RANDALL WEISSBUCH, MD
And here's their rebuttal to pro-Measure B arguments:
Safe sex practices are a good idea. However, they shouldn't be forced on adult film actors. Our individual rights have been fading fast since the Patriot Act.Note the reference there to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban the sale of large servings of soda pop, on the notion that such sales lead to obesity. Never mind that all that would do is allow wealthier people to buy their soda in bulk to bypass the law, and that the enforcement would be selectively limited to poorer people, or that such a law would probably not reduce obesity nearly as much as, say, taxing soft drinks higher accross the board or even making healthier products more accessible to poorer folk.
Do-gooders such as New York Mayor Bloomberg seek to create a nanny state where our behavior is increasingly regulated for our own good. Bloomberg decreed that people must buy soft drinks in small cups, because they could become obese if they bought larger sizes. Measure B declares that adult film actors would have to wear condoms during filming. This isn't much different than regulating the size of soda a person can buy. Do you like the idea of busybodies forcing people to do what is healthful for them? If not, vote NO.
Measure B would destroy the adult film industry in Los Angeles County, and it's quite a big industry here. Film producers tried using condoms during the HIV scare of the 1990s, and people refused to watch the movies. So will the producers just stop making these films? No. They will likely move to areas where they have the freedom to make the kinds of films they want to make, most likely to other counties or other states.
Measure B also creates an expensive government bureaucracy at the same time as budgets and services are being cut. Do we really want our tax dollars paying for government agents to go to movie sets and look at how sex acts are being performed? And would the film producers who get permits for their shoots now even bother in the future, if they are being faced with all these new regulations?
Whether you agree with the supporters of Measure B or not, it's a bad idea to impose their standards through force of law. They may regulate your business or your sex life the next time around. Vote NO on Measure B.
NANCY C. ZARDENETA
Chair, Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County
PAMELA J. BROWN, Ph.D.
Professor of Economics
RANDALL WEISSBUCH, M.D.
Civil Liberties Attorney
Small Business Owner
Now, I may not personally agree with the libertarian slant of that argument, and would argue much more about how the proposed mandate would affect the right of the performer to choose for his/herself how to protect themselves. But, I'm not an LA County citizen, nor am I getting paid for promoting the opposition.
But, that is a mere trivial beef of mine. The response of the Measure B proponents, on the other hand, just isn't. Exhale and fine tune your BS sensory apparatuses before you go to the next paragraph.
Comparing drinking soda pop to the immediate risk of infection with a sexually transmitted disease on the job trivializes the threat facing porn performers. The current outbreak of syphilis in the porn industry is living proof that having sex in adult films without a condom is a clear and immediate threat to the health of these performers and our community.Let us break this bit of hyperbolic bullshittery down, shall we??
It is widely accepted that when you are on the job you are afforded protection that you may or may not choose to exercise in your own home. If you wish to make home repairs without gloves or a hard hat that is your own business. When you get paid to perform a task, workplace health and safety rules apply. Porn is a legal industry. Performers are paid to perform and they are entitled to the same on the job protection that every other person enjoys.
Measure B makes clear that no public dollars will be spent to enforce condoms in porn. All of the costs will be carried by porn producers. Sex acts in your bedroom are a strictly private matter. When filming is done for money it is a public matter. Why should people or even animals that appear in Hollywood movies be protected and the young people who appear in porn be abused?
The fact that many porn producers break the law and film without permits is not a good reason to do nothing to protect any performers or our community from disease.
Vote Yes on B!
JEFFREY R. KLAUSNER, MD. MPH
Professor of Medicine, UCLA
RICHARD G. POLANCO
Senator Richard Polanco (Ret.)
PAULA TAVROW, Ph.D.
Director, UCLA Bixby Program on Population and Reproductive Health
President, AIDS Healthcare Foundation
MARK ROY MCGRATH, MPH
Public Health Analyst, UCLA
1) "Comparing drinking soda pop to the immediate risk of infection with a sexually transmitted disease on the job trivializes the threat facing porn performers."
Wait...you mean that only porn performers transmit sexually transmitted diseases and then spread them to the general population?? Just like only poor people gulping down Coke and Pepsi spread diabetes to the population at large?? Of course, Weinstein has no problem with the pandemic of obesity or diabetes (and the high content of soft drinks with high fructose corn syrup which does tend to lead to more sugar addiction than usual)...but why even go there in the first place??
And also....most studies show that the threat of STI's in porn is actually a bit less than the threat in the general population, mostly because the industry actually does test for most STI's, and because in general performers are actually more conscious of their private behavior and are willing to make proper safety procedures to protect themselves...and to properly treat themselves on the chance they do get infected. There are actually greater threats of STI transmissions from "down low" public street park encounters by closeted fundamentalists than there are from shooting porn...so why isn't the pro-B crowd going for mandating condoms in public parks or even churches??
2) The current outbreak of syphilis in the porn industry is living proof that having sex in adult films without a condom is a clear and immediate threat to the health of these performers and our community.
Actually, it's more like living proof that AHF and the condom mandate proponents are completely full of shit.
The original syphilis outbreak took place in Budapest, Hungary, last June/July, and at its peak claimed approximately 100 performers in Europe; but really didn't kick in so much in the US until Mr. Marcus revealed his story of contracting the infection in May, and attempting to cloak it away and alter his tests until he was revealed in September. Most of the infected performers have undergone the required treatment and are now back performing, and there have been no reports of infection since last month. Also, when it did cross over to the US, the most that could be found was that the LA County Department of Public Health had confirmed that they had 9 cases of performers whom had contracted syphilis and were being treated. Stangely enough, the Free Speech Coalition had confirmed only TWO infected performers (Mr. Marcus included), and they reported that the other confirmed case was from a condom-only gay performer.
There was a sizeable blowup within the industry about whether or not those who were not infected with syphilis would be forced to endure the penicillin antibiotic treatment, which does indeed pose some minor threats, or whether they would have to face a 60-90 day waiting period before testing using the popular RPR test. However, the FSC and their partners APHSS did discover an alternative test that required only a 14-day waiting period, and offered that as an alternative for those not wanting the antibiotic treatment.
But even with all that, surely Weinstein (or whomever penned that sentence out of their ass) probably are smart enough to Google that syphilis can be spread just as likely through sores in the mouth or face, and that condoms alone would not prevent the spread of that infection. In fact, how does he know that many of the infections in Europe weren't in shoots requiring condoms??
Oh. and there is also this inconvenient fact that syphilis has been able to thrive in the larger population of LA County without the need for porn performers...whether wrapped or not. To quote Michael Whiteacre in a comment to a post at AdultBizLaw.com:
Syphilis cases in California rose 18% from 2010 to 2011, according to new data released by the state Department of Public Health — the adult industry is not the cause of this rise, it is a victim of his massive failure of California’s public health institutions.Of course, mandating condoms for everyone engaging in sex in real life, rather than just those performing in porn, wouldn't quite do the trick, wouldn't it??
3) It is widely accepted that when you are on the job you are afforded protection that you may or may not choose to exercise in your own home. If you wish to make home repairs without gloves or a hard hat that is your own business. When you get paid to perform a task, workplace health and safety rules apply. Porn is a legal industry. Performers are paid to perform and they are entitled to the same on the job protection that every other person enjoys.
That is one of the few unabashed truths in their "rebuttal"...and even that is twisted around beyond recognition. Of course, plumbers and home repair professionals do have strong workplace protections to deal with occupational hazards, and some of them have detailed procedures for especially hazardous work, such as asbestos-tainted material removal or other forms of hazardous waste. But, the regulations are closely related to and adjusted to the particular hazard they face, and they are crafted with the full input of the workers in mind.
Engaging in sex on screen is indeed performing, and while it is similar to the way that people engage in sex in their bedrooms in private, it is plenty different. When you engage in sex in private, you probably don't have a set of hot lights and a camera/film crew all up in your bra and panties, and a director yelling and screaming to change positions every 5 minutes so that they can get "the perfect shot"; or, if you happen to be the male talent, a director up your jock telling you to stay hard and keep your edge until HE says you can cut loose with your "money shot". No one is saying that there shouldn't be some sembulance of standards of safety when shooting a sex scene, or that there is no justification for health and safety standards.
The problem is, though, that porn, like any other form of creative art form, relies on putting out an enhancement fantasy of real sex...and most porn consumers/watchers have spoken loud and clear that they will NOT buy condomized sex. (Notice I said "most", not "all"; there may be a market for "safer sex" out there, but it is generally restricted.) Merely asserting an audience is out there or can be invented through government fiat simply doesn't make it so.
Besides that. Measure B gives no leeway to even homegrown cam sites or even private owners of home websites the option of not using condoms; it simply MANDATES that they be used: and if you want to even tape a sex scene in LA County, you have to buy a permit which requires you to wear "protection", or face invasive raids from the Condom Police, stiff fines, and even jail time. Plus, those permits won't be cheap, because....well, we'll get to that soon.
4) Measure B makes clear that no public dollars will be spent to enforce condoms in porn. All of the costs will be carried by porn producers. Sex acts in your bedroom are a strictly private matter. When filming is done for money it is a public matter. Why should people or even animals that appear in Hollywood movies be protected and the young people who appear in porn be abused?
No public dollars?? You mean, the money exercised by the County of Los Angeles from forcing producers of porn to pay for permits, insurance, and the salaries of government officials to inspect them for condoms is not "public dollars"??? Riiiiight..and the excise tax on cigarettes and tobacco isn't public, either?? Well...at least Weinstein didn't call porn producers "pornographers" here...or was that just a slip up??
"When filming is done for money, it is a public matter." But if it is done for free and no condom is used -- or if a condom is used and summarily breaks -- and HIV or some other STI is spread, it's none of our business, right?? Only the "pornographers" and the porn performers should be coerced to become guniea pigs for "safer sex" as a means of "role modeling" the rest of the impressionable public, I guess.
And..."young people who appear in porn be abused.."?? Yeah, because we all know all dem stoopid sluts can't be trusted to think and decide to enter porn for themselves...they must be "sex trafficked" in by those cigar-chomping, trenchcoat-wearing dirty old men with the 70's mustaches who trick them with candy and dreams of Hollywood success if only they'd just lie on that casting couch!!
Paging Shelley Lubben, me thinks??
5) The fact that many porn producers break the law and film without permits is not a good reason to do nothing to protect any performers or our community from disease.
Remember that before the City of Los Angeles passed their version of the condom mandate earlier this year, the only requirement for a permit was that you pay a fee to FilmLA, the board that supervises movie filming in the city. There actually was no requirement for condoms or any other form of protection....until AHF invented them for both the LA city law and Measure B. Also, the LA city law is still subject to legal challenges, pending the outcome of the county ordinance.
And, as for Weinstein and the pro-Measure B's concern for "our community"?? Well that is shown quite starkly in their current billboard campaign, as you can plainly see:
Never mind that they have used and exploited the experiences of "pornographers" like Darren James, Derrick Burts, and Shelley Lubben to promote their ordinance.
Never mind that they actually have gained some support from actual "pornographers" such as Brittany Andrews and Katja Kassin, as well as luminaries in the porn world who have been outspoken critics of both AIM and the FSC (such as Mike South and Gene Ross).
(And oh, by the way...you probably don't want someone like Monica Foster on your side, either.)
And...never mind that everyone from Republicans and Libertarians to even staunch Democrats and liberals have spoken out against this proposal, and that medical experts of all -- and no -- political persuasion(s) have seen the hypocrisy and counterproductiveness of Measure B.
Nope..in their mind, either you are with them, or you're with "the pornographers".
I'll simply let Dr. Chauntelle Tibalis of Porn Valley Vantage get the final word on this, because she says it so well:
Really? The “pornographers” say? That’s the game you’re gonna play, AHF? Reeeeally?In. FUCKING. Deed.
Thank you, AIDS Healthcare Foundation for shaming “pornographers” in this way.
Thank you, AIDS Healthcare Foundation for using donor funds – monies that I’m sure were given to your “own self-created social enterprises” under the auspices of working to “rid the world of AIDS” (quotes from AHF mission statement here) – to shame “pornographers” in this way.
Because I know that’s what you’re doing!! I know what you’re really saying with this ad is “Eww look at these evil nasty people who say ‘No on B’ – pornographers!! Ewwwwwww!! They’re too gross and awful to know anything about what they know, and you don’t want to be associated with Them, do you?”
How dare you?
How dare you, an organization that claims to want to help so many oft-shamed-throughout-history and continuously marginalized communities, how dare you behave in this manner?
How dare you rely on stereotype, myth, and urban-legend horrors born from decades of speculation and misinformation about “pornographers”? How dare you engage those cultural fictions in such a manipulative manner? How dare you pass judgement on working, tax-paying members of LA County (and the human community as a whole)? How dare you dole out shame-by-proxy to everyone even obliquely associated with porn? How dare you?!!
You know what they say: you can talk shit when you’re perfect (or something like that)… and I’m far from perfect… so guess what I’m doing right now, AHF? Shaming you!! But I’m not gonna pull out stereotypes and slurs to do it. I’m just gonna call attention to the fact that I know what you’re up to.
Shame on you.
Please, citizens of LA County....don't fall for this bullshit. VOTE NO ON MEASURE B.