Sunday, June 30, 2013

Is the Left Trafficking in Neo-Puritanism?

This is the text of my speech at the 2013 Left Forum, delivered Saturday, June 8 at Pace University in New York City.  It was part of a panel discussion moderated by Counterpunch contributor David Rosen
I want  to focus on a major concern I have had for years, one that involves me as a lifelong democratic socialist, a veteran film critic for Adult Video News and someone who spends quality time as an advocate for sex workers.  The concern is that parts of the Left have adopted a misguided view of sex work and the sex industry that lead them to get into bed with the forces of sexual and economic austerity.  As an adult film critic and hobbyist, I am quite familiar with how those forces have preyed upon the ignorance of others by misrepresenting, exaggerating and outright lying about porn’s contents and effects.
The Sex Workers Outreach Project – SWOP -  in whose NYC chapter I participate, is a volunteer-based, grassroots organization and part of a national network dedicated to improving the lives of current and former sex workers, on and off  the job. We join the fight to end trafficking in persons within the sex trade, valuing the distinction between uncoerced, migrant sex workers and those that have experienced trafficking and acknowledge overlapping experiences; all the while rallying in defense of the Village Voice for hosting, a site that had been falsely accused of enabling trafficking. We are committed to addressing the legal issues of sex work with the intent to empower workers, educate about the alternative of decriminalization with examples from around the world and lobbying, with some success, elected officials to stop using condoms carried by women as evidence of criminal intent.  We stand in solidarity with the labor movement in general, and in particular with groups that are fighting a whole host of oppressions, including, but not limited to, homophobia, racism, sexism, transphobia, classism, and xenophobia.  A SWOP goal is to establish by-and-for-sex-worker health clinics, education centers, and safe spaces for workers and allies alike.
And because of who we are, we find ourselves, also, in the trenches of the Sex Wars.
Historically, most of us have heard of the Sex Wars within the modern feminist movement over pornography and prostitution, but what is less well-known is that on the Left itself, divisions existed over these issues.  One can go back as far as the Paris Commune of 1871, for instance, where prostitution was banned and the legal state brothels were closed. The reason for these actions was stated not in terms of ‘feminism’, ‘objectification’, ‘degradation’ or for that matter, ‘trafficking’, but rather, morality. Additional demands were made by some of the Commune’s leaders to haul all the prostitutes off to jail (along with the drunks on the street), but this was resisted by the anarchist Louise Michel, who, together with a prostitute named Amanda, organized a prostitutes-only armed brigade to fight alongside the rest of the workers against the Prussian onslaught that would eventually destroy the Commune.
            Toward the end of the last century, as parts of the Left co-existed with the sex industry in a quiet d├ętente, there arose WAP (Women Against Pornography), the anti-porn movement of Andrea Dworkin and Catherine MacKinnon.  In Chapter 2 of his book Empire of Illusion, Chris Hedges quotes Dworkin thus: “The new pornography is left-wing; and the new pornography is a vast graveyard where the Left has gone to die.” And for her part, MacKinnon hectored the liberal National Organization for Women for coming out against Clarence Thomas’ Supreme Court nomination, arguing in Tikkun magazine in early 1991 that conservative men like him are more understanding and supportive of her objections to pornography and therefore should be given the benefit of the doubt; perhaps he might be won over to the larger women’s rights agenda. That Thomas was later revealed to be a porn consumer did not deter WAP from staying on its overtly anti-leftist course.
            After Dworkin’s death in 2005, her torch was passed to academics Gail Dines and Robert Jensen.  Both call themselves leftist – Dines will even occasionally use the M word – but they have not disavowed anything written by WAP’s leaders, including, and especially, that poison pill cited by Hedges. Hedges quoted Dworkin approvingly to headline his own opposition to pornography, which makes his buoyant, well-received presence at last year’s Left Forum a contribution to an ongoing state of confusion as to where the Left stands on such matters.  
            When I first presented at the Socialist Scholars Conferences in the 1990s, I shared with the audience my knowledge of the progressive sphere of the adult video and film industry, both in the content of its product, which then-Nation columnist Alexander Cockburn called “those jizz-flecked wankfests” as well as the politics of its best-known and most prolific female performer, the socialist-feminist Nina Hartley. But this new anti-porn Left, these left abolitionists, anchored by Dines’ group Stop Porn Culture, profess either to be ignorant of this recent past, or dismiss it as irrelevant since with the advent of so-called ‘gonzo’ porn, the Misogynist Apocalypse is upon us!  To see whether these reports of doomsday are true, and also, as a member of SWOP, to get a sense of the actual state of sex workers in the most highly-publicized part of the sex industry, I traveled last April to Toronto to the first-ever Feminist Porn Conference and the eighth annual Feminist Porn Awards.
First, the Awards.  Originally called the “Emma Awards” after anarchist and one-time sex worker Emma Goldman, the ceremony played host to over 500 attendees, its largest crowd ever according to Carly Jansen, the proprietor of the Good for Her sex shop that has produced the award show from the start.  The attendees were overwhelmingly from Toronto’s LGBTQ community.  The awards were founded in part out of disappointment that porn considered straight male-oriented was squeezing new, experimental and woman-oriented porn out of the spotlight at the Adult Video News award show, where the mainstream media would focus its attention.
Well, what is ‘feminist porn”? According to the award committee, nominated examples must meet 2 of these 3 criteria:
·         Women and/or traditionally marginalized people were involved in the direction, production and/or conception of the work.
·         The work depicts genuine pleasure, agency and desire for all performers, especially women and traditionally marginalized people.
·         The work expands the boundaries of sexual representation on film, challenges stereotypes and presents a vision that sets the content apart from most mainstream pornography.  This may include depicting a diversity of desires, types of people, bodies, sexual practices and/or an anti-racist or anti-oppression framework throughout the production.
      And “of course, it must be hot!”
The top vote-getters were screened the night before the award show, and as an adult film critic, I found two films, “BioDildo” and “Krutch” a cut above the rest. “Biodildo”, starring independent porn superstar Jiz Lee, features her and her lover, a male-to-female transsexual, bored and longing for variety.  They find this when the eponymous biodildo suddenly jumps out of their TV screen and onto the crotch of Jiz’s lover, where sweaty raunch ensues. In “Krutch”, disabled performer Mia Gimp walks, sometimes falling and then getting back up, through midtown Manhattan, fully-clothed.  Later, at home, she undresses and proceeds to use her crutches as sex toys, finding routes to orgasm most abled folks have not imagined Like her city walking, there is struggle, resolve – and redemption.  To the Canadians present, she was a great ambassador for New York City. From crotches to crutches, this show had it all!
The next day was the Feminist Porn Conference. Billed in part as a response to the resurgence of anti-porn feminism spearheaded by Dines and Jensen, this was a gathering of over 200 scholars, porn creators and sex workers. In the session “Labor, Politics and Power in the Adult Industry”, Mireille Miller-Young of UC Santa Barbara directly addressed the intersection of gender and race, pointing to concrete examples of how African-American women porn producers not only exist, but push on, playing with the stereotype of the hypersexual black woman, and then make lemonade out of lemons by creating scenarios in which they depict themselves as empowered subjects. Jennifer Moorman of UCLA talked with a wide spectrum of female pornographers.  She found that some really like the nastiness of much mainstream porn while others do it to make an impression on their male mentors. Some of the directors are proudly feminist while others are uneasy with the label even as they do things that qualify as empowered. Kelly Aronowitz of CUNY (no relation to Stanley Aronowitz) analyzed the power dynamics of the Ultimate Surrender website produced by, where women wrestle each other and the loser must submit sexually to the winner. Women overseas taking control of their sexual visions was the focus of the panel “Ladyporn: Porn for Women” The Dutch internet entrepreneur Liesbet Zikkenheimer and her colleagues developed a survey to see what sexual scenarios women liked and created DuskTV, a 24-hr cable network that caters to this audience. They have even coined a new word, porna (pornography for women).
Sex workers took center stage in the discussion about condoms and safer sex. Last November, the passage of Measure B in Los Angeles fueled a national debate over mandatory condom use in porn productions.  80% of gay male porn feature condom use as opposed to less that 10% for straight porn, according to Lisa Kadey of the University of Toronto.  She summarized both sides of the argument, and while concluding that Measure B was bad because it gives the state the authority to trump a woman’s right to use her body as she sees fit, she advocates pursuing a Performers’ Bill of Rights, including their right to have condoms available on the set.  While opposed to Measure B, veteran performer Courtney Trouble criticized the porn lobby group the Free Speech Coalition for ridiculing dental dams and other barriers when it caricatured Measure B's supporters as wanting all sex performers to wear Hazmat suits.  She claimed that big-name porn stars have the privilege of choosing barriers for themselves or their partners, but lesser-known performers must make do working for bareback (non-barrier) studios.  Arabelle Raphael, featured on the Ultimate Surrender wrestling site, claimed that some companies play a sneaky game, where they give performers the option to use condoms, but if the performers choose condoms, they will not be hired again.
In summary, the Conference and the Award show painted a convincing picture of an industry that, while problematic in some areas, is quite flexible in accommodating previously marginalized groups.  The overall presentation in Toronto was effective in refuting the extreme charges made against it by the Left abolitionists that I refer to as neo-Puritans.  And indeed, they are: Dines joined with social conservatives to attack President Obama for not enforcing federal obscenity statutes; Jensen opposes any explicit depiction of sex acts for the purposes of adult entertainment, stating that sex should not be “mediated” (depicted explicitly in any form of media).  But what was not done in Toronto was a coming to grips with what its own conference literature billed as a ‘resurgent’ threat; instead, it was exclusively a celebration of personal identity and the empowerment gained for themselves by engaging with the porn industry.  An opportunity was missed to discuss how this all relates to the larger struggles affecting women globally, such as the fights for equal rights, abortion rights and against violence against women.  It was microfeminism par excellence, with no room for macrofeminism.
The mood was festive, but not feisty. There was no scheduled discussion of the history of censorship, particularly the Canadian experience of cracking down on lesbian and gay bookstores back in the 1990s for carrying items deemed obscene. And no scheduled discussion on how to challenge the neo-Puritans, despite their growing power abroad.  Carly Jansen told me that the awards were no longer called the “Emmas” because she and her colleagues are intent on rebranding “feminism” to be a natural fit for porn, and the way to do that is through constant repetition of the F-word.  The same day as the conference, the Toronto Star newspaper reported that the New Democratic Party, Canada’s political Left, was so intent on appearing more appealing to the voters that it was moving to delete from its party platform and official documents all mention of the word ‘socialism’ and perhaps ‘social democracy’ as well. So, no more “Emma”, no more “socialism.” And this, in the country that gave us a viable model of single-payer health insurance, and…William Shatner!  Who knew that fear was so pervasive among Canada’s best?
While some of us here may mock Dines and Jensen for their over-the-top indictment of porn, their message is received much more seriously in Iceland, continental Western Europe and Israel. When Dines tours these places, she finds no organized feminist opposition to her.  And the Left there, pandering to the women’s vote, just nods its head in agreement. And not just on pornography: Dines today, and Dworkin and MacKinnon earlier, were a sizeable influence in getting Scandinavian Social Democrats to campaign and legislate against sex trafficking with the so-called Swedish model (now called the ‘Nordic’ model), which says it’s not illegal for a sex worker to sell a sexual service, but it is illegal for a customer to buy a sexual service from that seller.
The last political success for these neo-Puritans came in 2009 with the election of Johanna Siggurdardottir of Iceland of the Social Democrat/Green coalition.  Initially, there was widespread celebration on the Left – she was the first openly lesbian prime minister, and she had campaigned on a platform of getting Iceland to recover from the economic crisis brought upon it by the bankers and the conservative factions.  When campaigning, she did not talk about going after the sex industry.  But, shortly after she was elected, the Left parties banned prostitution along the lines of the Swedish model, then banned strip clubs and just a year ago, proposed banning all porn on the Internet.  It turned out that Dines had met with Iceland government officials to help craft some of these measures, as if Siggurdardottir had her on speed-dial.  This program of sexual austerity was soon accompanied by her government’s announcement that it was going to comply with the economic austerity program of the European Union so as to maintain its EU membership.  This year, the Icelandic electorate had had enough and threw the Left out of office, reinstalling the same politicians who brought Iceland to the brink in the first place.
Are we seeing a pattern of neo-Puritan sexual austerity foreshadowing leftist parties' caving in to pressure for economic austerity? It’s just one example, so time will tell.  But what is clear right now is that if the Left cowers and cringes before the neo-Puritans, it will be making the same mistakes it has made before, going back all the way to Le Commune. 
Comrades, don’t we want to win?
Sheldon Ranz is a software consultant, free-lance writer and activist with the Sex Workers Outreach Project - NYC. His writings for Jewish Currents, Shmate and New Politics and his WBAI radio programs have explored the connections between the sex industry and prophetic Jewish dissent. He was a film critic for Adult Video News (1990-1997) and sponsored porn star Nina Hartley's appearances at the Socialist Scholars Conference (1991,1994).

Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Great Blogger Adult Blog Deletion Poop Storm, And How It MIGHT Affect BPPA

Well, if most you haven't heard of have been under a rock this past week, you now know that Blogger is making a serious change to their policy regarding blogs with adult sexual content. If you have gotten this email, please raise your hand:

Important Update to Adult Content Policy on Blogger
You are receiving this message because you are the admin of a blog hosted on Blogger which is identified to have Adult content.
Please be advised that on June 30th 2013, we will be updating our Content Policy to strictly prohibit the monetization of Adult content on Blogger. After June 30th 2013, we will be enforcing this policy and will remove blogs which are adult in nature and are displaying advertisements to adult websites.
If your adult blog currently has advertisements which are adult in nature, you should remove them as soon as possible as to avoid any potential Terms of Service violation and/or content removals.
The Blogger Team
"Monetization of Adult content" basically refers to ads for paid membership porn sites and affiliate links used to upsell said paid sites.

In short, Blogger/Google believes that you are making way too much money off their free generosity, but rather than actually offer a premium service to get in on the gravvy train, they'd rather just throw you, your blog, and your page links under the bus.

Of course, it may also be the PITA of battling the nasty malware that occasionally travels with those third-party ads that motivated Blogger, or their parent company Google's newly found commitment to focusing their services on a more conservative demographic and "protecting their investment".

Or, possibly Google/Blogger has ceded ground to the antiporn/"anti-sex trafficking" meme that allowing people to get paid using adult commerce is one half step below "sex trafficking" and needs to be nipped in the bud before the federal authorities intervene.

The response of the adult blogosphere, needless to say, has been explosive anger: blogger and sex toy reviewer Epiphora has posted a comprehensive review of all of the drama, along with some helpful suggestions for those wanting to either continue on or move to another venue. Her suggestion of going toward paid self-hosting is the same as mine; since it's relatively cheap and you have more control over your content.

Now...where does BPPA come in on this?? Since we are NOT listed as an adult blog, and we do NOT offer any affiliate links or explicit ad banners, and we are more of a political and discussion-based blog rather than a traditional sex site, we should not be affected by Google/Blogger's new policy...provided that it does allow for adult-oriented sites without ads or affiliate links. That should be that...except that Google/Blogger has been a bit vague about whether or not their policy could extend to all other adult blogs.

Just to be on the safe side, in the small chance that Blogger gets ignorant and does decide to pull the plug on this blog, I've created an exact mirror using my WordPress Red Garter Club Network that can be found here:

I am slowly copying all of the links and blogroll over there as well.

Like I said, I fully expect this blog to be open and accessible after 7 PM EDT on Monday....but not a bad idea to prepare for the worst.

See also Violet Blue's ZDNet article, and a distrubing and comprehensive article in ErosBlog on the history of corporate online sex censorship. Also, see Lydia Lee''s post on the issue (especially the comment section).

Thursday, June 27, 2013

How The SCOTUS Prop 8 Repeal May Have Kneecapped AHF's Measure B Defense

 Updated: Scroll to bottom for latest.

Even this late in the eveniing, you can still feel the joy and relief in the air in California as gay/lesbian/bi folk and those who love them celebrate the US Supreme Court's dual rulings yesterday capping the federally passed Defense of Marriage Act and Cali's Proposition 8 -- both of which defined non-straights out of the benefits of marriage.

The DOMA ruling was straight forward and highly divided, with Anthony Kennedy allied with the four liberal Justices (Elana Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Steven Breyer) uniting in holding the 1994 bill as an unconstitutional abridgment of equal protection; while the four more right-wing Justices (Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas) strongly dissented (and in Scalia's case, dripping with venom) using the old "states rights and democracy) arguments.

The Prop (H)8 ruling, wasn't so straight forward; rather than risk issuing a grand edict on the legal validity of laws opposing same-sex marriages, the SCOTUS instead decided to punt the issue for now, merely upholding the lower appelate court decision that the defenders of Prop (H)8 had lost their legal standing to take the case to the federal level when the state of California declined to defend the law. It was officials with the antigay group Campaign for California Families and right wing Cali Assemblyman Dennis Hollingsworth which had carried on the defense of the law before the US Ninth Appelate Circuit and then the SCOTUS. (Similarly with DOMA, when the Obama/Holder Department of Justice decided not to pursue a defense of that law, Congressional Republicans under the leadership of House Speaker John Boehner paid their own lawyers for that law's defense.)

But, what does that have anything to do with Measure B, the attempt in Los Angeles County to impose condoms onto porn shoots??

As Mark Kernes of AVN recently noted, pretty damn much.

You see, there is currently another lawsuit ongoing in Los Angeles to invalidate the recently passed initiative, in which the plantiffs (VIVID Entertainment, performer Kayden Kross, and producer/director Logan Pierce) are suing the LA County officials who would enforce Measure B for an injunction against enforcement of the recently passed initiative. The original defendants in this lawsuit are the officials of LA County, but the presiding judge in this case, Dean D. Pregerson, did allow the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), who have been the principal boosters of the condom mandate, to enter themselves in the lawsuit litigation process as a party in defense of Measure B.

Problem is for AHF, the groups defending Prop (H)8, their status in defending the law is greatly undermined under Federal protocols that only those suffering direct harm can file claims for relief to the process. To quote directly from Mark Kernes' AVN article on the entire matter posted yesterday:

When the Ninth Circuit, which had asked Hollingsworth not to appeal his and the Campaign's loss, certified the essential question in the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, as it is required to do, it asked, "Whether under Article II, Section 8 of the California Constitution, or otherwise under California law, the official proponents of an initiative measure possess either a particularized interest in the initiative’s validity or the authority to assert the State’s interest in the initiative’s validity, which would enable them to defend the constitutionality of the initiative upon its adoption or appeal a judgment invalidating the initiative, when the public officials charged with that duty refuse to do so."

In other words, did Hollingsworth and Campaign for California Families have standing to bring the case in the first place, since none of them were personally affected by the legality of same-sex marriage.

"What the Supreme Court has basically held is that regardless of a state supreme court thinks a party has standing in its state courts, the federal courts are still bound by Article III, and unless a party has actual Article III standing, it has no standing to pursue an action," First Amendment attorney Allan Gelbard analyzed. "How this applies to AHF is because, under the Article III cases that have come down so far, the proponent of a statute, once it becomes law, no longer has standing in Article III courts to defend or protect that law. That now has to be done by the Executive or someone appointed by the state to defend that interest. AHF hasn't been, so it appears that AHF will be out of court on this matter."

Chief Justice Roberts said nearly that exact thought in the Hollingsworth decision.

"Article III of the Constitution confines the judicial power of federal courts to deciding actual 'Cases' or 'Controversies'," Roberts wrote. "One essential aspect of this requirement is that any person invoking the power of a federal court must demonstrate standing to do so. This requires the litigant to prove that he has suffered a concrete and particularized injury that is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct, and is likely to be redressed by a favorable judicial decision. In other words, for a federal court to have authority under the Constitution to settle a dispute, the party before it must seek a remedy for a personal and tangible harm. 'The presence of a disagreement, however sharp and acrimonious it may be, is insufficient by itself to meet Art. III's requirements.' The doctrine of standing, we recently explained, 'serves to prevent the judicial process from being used to usurp the powers of the political branches'." [Citations omitted here and below]
Now, considering the humongeous bank that AHF has poured into their condom mandate initiatives, starting with the city of Los Angeles' condom law, then Measure B countywide, and now with the proposed statewide initiative of HB 332, you can clearly say that they are indeed a very involved party in defending Measure B. But, interest (and principal) is not the issue here; the folks filing the lawsuit are the ones who are claiming direct injury due to the passage of the condom mandate; and it is the county and city, since they are the ones who will have to enforce this law if it holds up, who will bear the responsibility for any resulting injury. Outside parties can file and have filed what are called a centori briefs supporting one side or another of a legal preceding, but they are still quite limited in directly intervening in the matters at hand..especially in a Federal court. I'm sure that state and local courts are more tolerant on this question.

It's also becoming more apparent that LA County is becoming more and more reticent to handle the hot potato of enforcing the condom mandate and the other henious byproducts of Measure B; preferring to allow Cal-OSHA to handle most of the dirty work. Obviously, that position isn't going too well with AHF, which is why they are going all out to break off the city of Los Angeles from the LA County Health system and form their own department. But even the city of LA isn't immune, because they recently tweaked their own condom mandate ordinance to copy the language and intent of Measure B...thusly putting them into the fire if the county law is rendered unconstitutional.

All this means that next week could get pretty interesting, as attorneys repping the porn folks attempt to use the SCOTUS rulings as a wedge to force Judge Pregerson to reverse his initial decision and remove AHF as a "party in good standing" in their suit. Again, quoting Kernes:

Hence, attorney Paul Cambria, on behalf of Vivid and the other plaintiffs, will be moving to have AHF disqualified as a party to the case.

"This is exactly what we had suggested was going to happen and should happen," Cambria told AVN, referring to his and the other plaintiffs' attorneys arguments at the hearing before U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson. "It's an important decision because special interest groups with a lot of money shouldn't be able to take over a government role. They have no fiduciary duty, they have no ethical duty to the Constitution. It doesn't make sense to give them standing, and the Supreme Court has recognized that. It's not like the county legislature or a county attorney or an attorney general; those individuals have sworn to uphold the Constitution. They have a fiduciary duty to the citizenry, and if something is unconstitutional or should be narrowly interpreted, they have a fiduciary and ethical duty to do so, whereas special interest groups like AHF have no such fiduciary or ethical obligations."

The Supreme Court made exactly that point in upholding the Ninth Circuit's overturning of Prop 8.

"The only individuals who sought to appeal that order were petitioners, who had intervened in the District Court," Roberts wrote. "But the District Court had not ordered them to do or refrain from doing anything. To have standing, a litigant must seek relief for an injury that affects him in a 'personal and individual way.' He must possess a 'direct stake in the outcome' of the case. Here, however, petitioners had no 'direct stake' in the outcome of their appeal. Their only interest in having the District Court order reversed was to vindicate the constitutional validity of a generally applicable California law."

And that describes AHF's "interests" to a "T."

"We're going to renew our motion to have AHF disqualified," Cambria stated. "They clearly have no standing. The Supreme Court's ruling is on all fours without any possibility of distinguishing it. They have no standing. They shouldn't be heard. They should not be able to submit papers. They should be out. It's up to the county now to handle this matter. My anticipation is that when we show up on Monday [for the scheduled hearing on a Preliminary Injunction against Measure B], we'll ask the court to anticipate that motion and obviously recognize that they [AHF] have no standing based on that case, and seek some guidance from the court as to how we handle it from there."

What that could easily mean is that the case will go forward for a little while, as LA County decides whether it wants to defend the clearly-unconstitutional Measure on its own, or will simply allow the plaintiffs to be victorious through a renewed Summary Judgment motion.
The grand irony of all this is that had the SCOTUS decided to take the more aggressive route and use their Prop (H)8 ruling to invalidate other anti-samesex marriage laws in other states, the "due standing" doctrine would have been no issue, and AHF probably would have a firmer ground to stand on. Of course, they still probably would have lost anyway based on the "equal protection" clause due to discrimination against performers who don't want condoms mandated on them...but at least they would have been able to make their case.

So, Chief Justice John Roberts' reticence in going nuclear (same thing that enabled him to defend the Affordable Care Act last year) might have saved the porn industry in California from a nuke.

UPDATE:  Adult legal analyst and attorney Allan Gelbard jusst issued his own statement reinforcing the dominant position that the Prop (H)8 decision by the SCOTUS knocks AHF out of the Measure B suit. Quoting him from yesterday:

The AHF, in its arguments for intervenor status, contended that counsel for Los Angeles County won't make any arguments made by the proposed intervenors because it won't defend the constitutionality of Measure B.

But today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Hollingsworth vs. Perry, which dismisses a case relative to California's Proposition 8 gay marriage ban, could be key in the possibility of tossing the AHF from the Measure B case.

The U.S. Supreme Court today held in Hollingsworth vs. Perry, 5-4, that opponents of gay marriage behind California's 2008 Proposition 8 effort did not have the constitutional authority, or standing, to defend the law in federal courts after the state refused to appeal its loss at trial years earlier.

"The court [in the Measure B case] granted AHF's intervention motion based on the Hollingsworth vs. Perry (Proposition 8) 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision that as a proponent of an initiative, they had standing," industry attorney Allan Gelbard told XBIZ.

"The Supreme Court ruled this morning that was incorrect when it held that the proponents of Proposition 8 lacked Article III standing in federal court and vacated the 9th Circuit opinion," Gelbard said. 

Pregerson wrote in the April ruling that the AHF had significant protectable interest in the subject matter of the litigation that was sufficient to support intervention.

The AHF, in its arguments for intervenor status, maintained that the county concedes that the group was a necessary party to litigate the constitutionality of Measure B because "no other party to the case will."

Among its affirmative defenses, the AHF said that it had reserved "the right to have proponents of Measure B intervene and defend the constitutionality of Measure B in light of the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban decision."
Like I said....Monday's shaking out to be an interesting day.

UPDATE #2 (6-27-13):  I guess they couldn't even wait until Monday; the plantiffs in the Measure B suit filed their motion this morning to have AHF disqualified as a party to their suit  AVN has attached a link to the transcript of their original article.