The AIDS Healthcare Foundation said Friday that it had collected enough signatures for a ballot initiative on mandatory condom usage in adult films throughout California.
The Hollywood advocacy group has 371,486 signatures of registered voters on its petitions as of July 12, a buffer of just less than 5,000 of the 366,800 needed to be eligible to appear on the November 2016 ballot.
AHF wants to extend L.A. County regulations passed in November 2012 and make them law throughout the entire state. The county initiative, Measure B, required adult film performers to use condoms as a means to stop the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
“It’s only fair that these performers be afforded the same safeguards as other Californians in their workplaces,” AHF President Michael Weinstein said in a prepared statement.
Advocates of the measure will continue collecting signatures until the Sept. 14 filing deadline, with the goal of obtaining between 525,000 and 550,000 signatures.
The adult industry has objected to a statewide mandatory condom policy just as it did against Measure B. It has contended its protocols for testing performers for sexually transmitted diseases are adequate.
Diane Duke, chief executive of the Free Speech Coalition, a Canoga Park trade group for the adult industry, said that Weinstein has wasted AHF’s funds in a campaign to “harass” adult performers.
“Money that should have gone to prevention campaigns in high-risk communities has instead been spent attacking a highly regulated industry that hasn’t seen an on-set HIV transmission in over 10 years,” Duke said in a prepared statement.
A lawsuit filed by Vivid Entertainment, one of the largest producers of adult films in the San Fernando Valley, and two performers challenged Measure B’s constitutionality.
In August 2013, a U.S. District Court judge in California struck down portions of the law, including a $2,000 to $2,500 permit fee, but upheld the constitutionality of requiring condoms in adult films and any fee that was “revenue neutral” to cover enforcement costs. The Ninth Circuit Appellate Court agreed with that decision in a ruling made in December.