Even though Measure B barely passed this past November and some members of the adult community put up an admirable fight, I have to admit it’s been a real headache to think about–I hate to even type the name–Michael Weinstein. Ugh… It’s like saying “Shelley Lubben”. Oh… Now I’m depressed.
So what’s the skinny? Are people using condoms? I am assuming they are, but some things happened that I did not write about. Evidently this is still not a cut and dry process!
In January 2013, according to BBC News:
“Two major US porn companies have taken legal action to try to overturn a law requiring porn actors in Los Angeles County to wear condoms.
Vivid Entertainment and Califa Productions say the measure violates the guarantee of free speech in the US constitution’s First Amendment. …
Porn actors Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce are joining the challenge against the law.”
To be expected. Then…
In February, AHF expanded their attack to include gay company Treasure Island–notorious for their “bareback” (condomless) porn. JoeMyGod.Blogspot.com [NSFW] featured an article and the comment section is long and very interesting…
“AHF would be better off spending its time & energy in to education & information, rather than censorship. I see way too many guys, especially 20-somethings, who think that they can get away with barebacking as long as all parties concerned are “negative”.”
“Bareback videos wouldn’t exist–and certainly wouldn’t sell–if there wasn’t an audience for them. But the bigger picture, as far as I’m concerned, is that HIV/AIDS efforts (prevention/education/whatever) have been stuck in a rut since 1996, when HAART therapy started guaranteeing longer lives for Pozzers. All of a sudden AIDS stopped being such a death sentence, and activists didn’t know what kind of approach to take towards it. In fact, they still don’t seem to know what to do. As others here have commented, taking a “Just say no” approach doesn’t cut it. And as still others have accurately pointed out, it’s kind of pointless to demand condom use from HIV+ individuals with undedectable viral loads and high T-Cell counts.
I wish HIV/AIDS activists would concentrate their efforts on pressuring the drug companies. A vaccine and cure must be found, and it must be found soon. The number of people who bareback is only going to increase, and not only among the young’uns. Most people hate condoms for reasons which I don’t need to mention, and others resent the tyranny of a “Sex Police” mentality. So as far as I’m concerned, the focus should be on finding a cure and not castigating people for barebacking.”
And now on the block is California State Assembly Bill 332, or AB-332. What’s it been? Four months since the election?
In Mark Kernes’ February article, Op-Ed: AHF’s Latest ‘Grand Idea’ Reveals Weinstein’s Real Agenda, he wrote:
“Wow! It’s getting so that you can’t open the L.A. Times (or Google News) without seeing yet another headline about AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) latest foray into politics—activities that increasingly appear to be in violation of the organization’s tax-exempt status.
What’s also becoming increasingly clear is that AHF president Michael Weinstein has a (if you’ll forgive the expression) major hard-on for the adult industry, the latest iteration of which was his call yesterday for the City of Los Angeles to withdraw from its contract with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) and to form its own separate health department, despite the fact that to do so would likely cost the city millions if not tens of millions of dollars—dollars which the city is sorely lacking.
Forming its own health department would force the city to lay off even more city workers, including teachers, police and firefighters, and to close more courtrooms and lay off their staffs, than it already has in its latest budget crunch—but AHF has no problem with forcing them to do so, for no apparent reason other than Weinstein’s distress that even with the passage of Measure B, L.A. County isn’t doing enough to drive the adult industry out of business.”
That brings us to AB-332, up for vote March 19th, 2013. Like, literally around the corner.
Everyone goes back and forth about what’s important, what’s not important; what matters, what doesn’t matter. Apparently, it doesn’t matter that some members of the gay community equate MW and AHF with part of the religious-right anti-pornography movement; that the adult industry doesn’t organize as well as some groups because they have a French approach to life that isn’t inherently bullying or brutish (unless you like that sort of thing–wink, wink); that our fair state can’t afford to police condoms on adult sets; that MW probably still thinks LA porn is a multi-billion dollar industry while news lately is Larry Flynt just sold the Larry Flynt Publications “skyscraper” and admits that Hustler Magazine sales are in the toilet [link here]; or that the news media endorsements against Measure B–the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News–were seven to one (Yes on B endorsement: La Opinión). What does one ex-porn star, most of the straight industry and a bunch of California-based news media outlets know, anyway!
For everything you could possibly need to read about the bill and contacting members of the The Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media committee (the people voting on the bill), as well as absorbing an incredible amount of research on the subject of industry issues; Dr. Chauntelle Tibbals has got what appears to be the definitive post on what is going on and why this matters [here]. Apparently the language behind AB-332 is as sketchy as Measure B. Are we surprised? Of course not.
If you need a Measure B refresher, a video walk down memory lane: Condoms, Porn, and L.A.’s Measure B: The Most Bizarre Ballot Initiative of 2012
“I’m not going to speculate on negative, unintended consequences. They sell their product to hotels, they sell them to cable t.v. They cannot go underground. Larry Flynt has a skyscraper on the corner of La Cienega and Wilshire. That is not going underground” – Michael Weinstein, AIDS Healthcare Foundation
This has turned into a real cluster fuck without a condom.
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