National and Local politics from a Liberal Democrat from Gillingham, Kent
Thursday, 13 December 2012
Measure B passed by LA county
Precisely a month and a day late I am writing about the success of Measure B voted for in Los Angeles County.
Not heard of it?
No, nor had I until two months ago and that was through an obscure channel and I'd forgotten about it until this morning - hence the delay.
A while back I read this article by adult performer Aurora Snow and found it quite interesting.
Basically the bill is a battle of freedoms and liberties.
The Pro B wing argued that performers in the adult industry had the right over their own body and freedom from disease.
The anti B wing argued the state that the LA county was attacking the industry's freedom of speech and expression. The industry also argued that it was self regulating and that performers had to be tested regularly. Interestingly though, as Miss Snow pointed out, only for HIV, Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia with a zero need for Syphilis or Herpes or any others.
I'm personally fairly indifferent to Pornography as an industry as I believe that if someone willingly enters into the that line of work, like Miss Snow did, and they enjoy the work, moreover willing adults buy the magazines and movies then that is up to them as long as it is not invading my personal liberties or it is where minors can get at it then it is all fine. One of the fundamentals of law is that you are free to act as you will as long as you do not cause negative effects on another person's liberties and what you do behind closed doors in your own time (again, not effecting someone elses Liberties) is your private business.
However, no matter what your feelings are towards the adult business you have to respect the right of the performers to be disease free and not give in to industry pressures or bullying. It is akin to workmen being forced to remove Asbestos without breath masks and hazard suits. STDs can be deadly and those that aren't can have a really negative effect on your life and everyone has the right to work in a safe environment.
Further to that is the cultural stigma against safe sex. Anything that can add to the idea that safe sex is good for you is a bonus. Those who want to engage in casual sex with multiple partners in their personal life should really par take in safe sex to cut back on the risk to themselves and others. Miss Snow puts it perfectly when she states that when there was a slip up on set she had to contact previous industry partners and her boyfriend at the time. If the adult industry starts showing performers engaging in safe sex then surely that will transmit to those watching the movies too.
I am happy to report that the measure was passed with 55% of the vote despite some big company support for the Industry's "No" campaign shown in Gail Dine's Guardian article and is now law.
Any one working in a workforce is entitled to protection from reasonable danger by their employer and they should provide the means to make sure they are kept safe through contraception and paying for health checks.
The downside is that having been quite vocal against the Industry's preferred stance, Aurora Snow now fears that her career will be harmed. Only time will tell but in my opinion it should not be held against her and that she can continue - I unfortunately fear that her career will suffer harm but hope that an individual standing up for what they believe in will not face any repercussions on this.