California State Assembly Bill 332 anyone?

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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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Author: Julie Meadows

Francophile, oenophile, French Scrabble advocate and future zombie apocalypse survivor.

9 Comments

  1. As usual, I had to drop a word or a couple of thousand on the matter:

    “Whereever They Go, We Will Follow Them”: AHF Takes Condom Mandate Statewide, Then Goes Off On Los Angeles County Public Health — Blog of Pro-Porn Activism

    On the subject of the editorials: it should be noted that the LA Times editorial, while nominally opposing Measure B, did attempt to straddle the line a bit by ceding to the pro-B side plenty of ground. Also, it was the LA Times who did the most to promote that “survey” that attempted to say that porn performers had a greater risk of STI’s than Nevada brothel prostitutes where condom usage was mandated….conveniently ignoring the fact that condom usage is imposed on the CLIENTS, not the workers, and that legal brothels are a bit different from porn shoots.

    Also…most of the Measure B propaganda was focused less on the public media and more towards young Blacks and Latin@s, using plenty of Darren James and Derrick Burts as sob strories of how the evil White porn industry was making profits off people of color without the proper “protection”. The timing of the Mr. Marcus syphilis brohaha didn’t do porn any favors, either.

    I also find it interesting that Weinstein now seems fit to stab his former gay porn buddies in the back, after using bareback gay porn at his thrift stores for his own profit.

    Finally…fascinating that even someone like Larry Flynt is getting soaked…I guess that even he must succomb to the economic recession realities, ‘ya think?? Though, paper magazines have been losing ground to online for quite a while.

  2. I don’t know what the process is for deciding on a measure’s overall merit. I’m assuming it requires looking at the pros and cons from every angle, but the LA Times seemed to ask ‘How high?’ more often than not when MW said, ‘Jump!’

    I’m not altogether convinced that AHF and Talent Testing Services weren’t/aren’t in bed somehow. TTS was the clinic Mr. Marcus went to claiming that an employee there nudged him toward what became him faking his test. Not to absolve MM of responsibility, but TTS was just as in hot water over that. Not only that but I remember as MW was annihilating AIM Healthcare, he plugged TTS as an alternative clinic. That was always very suspicious to me.

    Didn’t an AHF rep respond to their reselling a bareback movie through the thrift store, something like, ‘Well, it was shot already.’ I vaguely remember some classy remark like that.

    Magazine sales have been down since 2008 roughly. Or maybe I’m just remembering Penthouse specifically.

  3. “…but I can’t feel anything!” — “now you know how i feel”

    the civil war wasn’t about ending slavery and this isn’t really about condoms, is it?

  4. I don’t think so. It might have something to do with AHF manufacturing condoms and supplying the industry with their brand, but I think there is definitely more to it. BioCollections Worldwide, Inc. is a big company that also deals in HIV and STDs. One of their twitters:

    @AIDSOutreach Looking for sites to do an HIV viral load testing. Can u help us?

    The adult industry is the most tested industry in The States. It has to be. I can’t imagine any other group that tests as much for HIV and STDs. BioCollections Worldwide, Inc. owns Talent Testing Services. http://www.corporationwiki.com/Florida/Miami/biocollections-worldwide-inc-4080312.aspx

  5. In fact, their Twitter description reads: Organization specializing in the collection of biological material from different diagnostic and demographic individuals for clinical research studies.

    In my opinion, it doesn’t really get more clear than that.

  6. follow the $$$? interesting

  7. Right! Weinstein has openly criticized research aimed at finding a cure for HIV. If there were a cure, he’d be out of business. Plugging TTS doesn’t seem random after the lengths he went to to close AIM.

  8. Is it just me, or does Weinstein look like an evil Ron Popeil?

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