This year, California residents will head to the polls, and be asked to vote on something unique to the Golden State: what happens on a porn shoot.
Proposition 60, a.k.a. the Condoms in Pornographic Films Initiative, proposes that adult performers wear condoms during scenes where they “actually engage in vaginal or anal penetration by a penis.” (Side note: can we just appreciate that this language made it into a ballot measure?) Aside from that essential fact, the measure requires producers of pornographic films to pay for medical vaccinations and testing related to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and to obtain the state health license.
This measure would cover the San Fernando Valley, where the majority of the porn industry’s films are shot. The measure is not without precedent: In 2012, 56% of voters approved a similar measure, called Measure B, that covered Los Angeles County.
A recent University of Southern California Dornsife/LA Times poll showed that 55% of respondents would support the measure if they had to vote that day. Over 1K people were surveyed.
But Prop 60 also has the potential to harm one of California’s booming industries. Right now, perfumers get tested regularly for STDs, and shooting shuts down if an outbreak occurs. It’s pretty self-governed. But passing the measure might open up liability for independent producers and private companies that distribute porn films.
One reason behind opposing Prop 60 hinges on the fact that it could drive the business elsewhere, to a place that has less stringent (or no) regulations. This concern also has precedent in data: In 2012, the year Measure B passed in Los Angeles, FilmLA reported that there were 480 permits pulled for shoots involving “nonsimulated sex.” In 2013, that number plummeted drastically to 40 permits, and has been dropping year-over-year since. Implementing Prop 60 would also cost the state around $1M to “license and regulate film production, and an additional several million dollars in lost taxes if the industry flees California.”
As you can see, there are many aspects to consider whether you’re for or against Prop. 60. Californians, make sure you do your research before you vote!