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California Voters Reject Requirement To Use Condoms In Porn

The adult entertainment industry had criticized Proposition 60, saying it would push the porn industry underground, thereby making porn actors less safe.

Last updated on November 9, 2016, at 11:28 a.m. ET

Posted on November 9, 2016, at 10:21 a.m. ET

FAIR (For Adult Industry Responsibility) backed California's condom initiative.
Carlos Delgado / AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation

FAIR (For Adult Industry Responsibility) backed California's condom initiative.

Californians voted 54-to-46 to reject Proposition 60 on Tuesday night, nixing a proposal that would have explicitly required actors in the global porn capital to wear condoms when having intercourse on set.

"This was a tremendous victory, not only for adult performers, but for science over stigma, and facts over fear," Mike Stabile, a spokesperson for the campaign to defeat the measure, said in a statement on Wednesday. "Adult industry workers no longer need to fear a punitive law that would have allowed any resident of the state to file suit against them."

The measure was backed by For Adult Industry Responsibility (FAIR) with about $4.5 million from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a group that has for years argued the porn industry promotes reckless promiscuity.

Led by Michael Weinstein, the organization said the ballot measure would help protect workers from HIV and other infections, while preventing disease vectors from spreading to the general population.

Opposition came from the pornography industry, which amassed unlikely support from most big newspaper boards and even some religious conservatives. Their group, Californians Against Worker Harassment, contended that requiring condoms in porn would have done little to protect workers and instead would turn off consumers. Rather than promote health, they argued, the rules would make workers less safe by pushing porn shoots underground or out of state, where there would be little or zero regulation on set.

The proposition would have reinforced regulations already adopted by the state.

For more than a decade, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) has interpreted workplace safety rules for infectious materials to require condoms in porn shoots.

Still, the state has only investigated a case if someone complained — despite the fact that copious porn made without condoms in California streams across the internet constantly.

Under the rules laid out in Proposition 60, the condom requirement would have been explicitly baked into state law, and if the state failed to follow up on a complaint, private citizens could sue a porn producer and receive 25 percent of any penalties paid by a defendant.

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