For one, the adult film industry would have to make every performer an employee to satisfy the California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, better known as Cal/OSHA, laws. This would be detrimental: California’s anti-discrimination laws prohibit requiring an HIV test as a condition of employment; therefore the adult film industry’s current testing process, in which every performer is tested for HIV monthly, would be illegal.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that Proposition 8 — an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage in California — is not valid under the U.S. Constitution. Such a decision implies that all such laws in other states are similarly invalid, but court watchers say the ruling was written narrowly and should be understood to apply only to California.
“That law is 100 percent against any performers’ consent,” Jiz Lee told the SF Weekly. “I have never met a single performer who’s in favor of it. I myself am somewhat indifferent, but I don’t like that it’s a mandate. My personal opinion is that it should always be the performers’ choice about how to be safest. I definitely think the decision was not made in the best interest of the performers.”
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation wants porn stars to use condoms and they will not be persuaded that the industry knows better, and, after the support they received for their initiative, neither does the L.A. City Council. It was the overwhelming support that the condom measure received that prompted the City Council to vote on it, so certain were they that voters would approve it come June when it was put on the ballot. On Monday, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the initiative — called the City of Los Angeles Safer Sex in the Adult Industry Act — into law.
What our nervous sideway glances and jeers say is simple: if you let on that you have sex, you’re a danger to our children, and possibly to society itself. Never mind if you’re a tax-paying, law-abiding, philanthropic citizen otherwise — the second it becomes known that you have sex or are interested in it, you’re immediately labeled unfit.
It may not be this simple. Or it may be more simple than this. Porn-positive proponents celebrate this victory, clutching it triumphantly. But we can’t help but wonder what, exactly, this debate has achieved? The battle rages on, no closer to resolution than it was before all these publications took hold of the story, eager for the pageviews that any porn-related story promises to deliver.
The Pentagon has told military recruiters that they must accept gay applicants. Lt. Dan Choi, who was honorably discharged in July under the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy (DADT) headed to the recruiting station at Times Square with gay rights advocate David Mixner and Justin Elzie, who was also honorably discharged under DADT in 1997.