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AIDS Healthcare Continues Its Anti-Porn Crusade in Florida

Foundation's petition sets stage for court battle over vague "sanitary nuisance" law

AIDS Healthcare Continues Its Anti-Porn Crusade in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—According to a press release issued by AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the unnamed "Chief Legal Counsel for the Florida Department of Health"—no such entity is listed on the Health Department's website, and each county appears to have its own "Chief Legal Counsel"—has "begun an investigation" based on complaints filed by three "responsible resident citizens" at AHF's urging, alleging "the lack of use of condoms in films produced by Florida's fast growing adult film industry."

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The complaints are based on a skewed reading of Florida's "Sanitary Nuisance" statutes which, though vaguely worded, appear to refer to such tangible nuisances as rotting garbage, liquid chemical waste or smoke, and machinery that may pose a risk when operated. Regarding the "nuisance," the Department of Health is authorized to "[u]ndertake required correctional procedures, including the removal of same if necessary," with the costs to be borne by the "person or persons committing, creating, keeping, or maintaining such nuisances," but is not authorized to "alter, change, demolish, or remove any machinery, equipment, or facility designed or used for the processing or disposing of liquid or smoke effluent of a manufacturing plant." Moreover, maintaining a "sanitary nuisance" is a second-degree misdemeanor under Florida law, punishable by a $500 fine but not imprisonment. Nothing in the statute raises the offense level for multiple violations.

In its press release on the Florida situation, even AHF hedges its claims about the law, noting that adult producers shooting non-condom content only "arguably fall under the definition of a 'sanitary nuisance'," and although the release refers at one point to a local "sanitary nuisance" ordinance for Miami-Dade County, where much of Florida's adult production takes place, it's unclear (at least from the press release) whether that county's Director of Public Health has agreed to investigate AHF's claims.

And then, there's the implication that since Florida's adult performers generally don't use condoms, they take no steps to protect their health while engaging in sexual activity, but that appears not to be the case.

"AIM has 'draw stations' all over the country, and certainly in Florida," said AIM general manager Brooke Hunter, noting that testing stations nationwide are listed on AIM's website. "Performers or anybody who goes to those draw stations, their blood is sent to our labs for testing, and the results go in our database just like the results from people testing in the San Fernando Valley. But remember, we're just the testing and screening facility. What happens on a set as far as who uses a condom, we don't know, nor do we know if producers in Florida are making sure performers have current tests before working on a movie. We do know they do so in California."

However, Hunter also said that she had had no reports from performers who had worked in Florida claiming they were not asked to show their test results before beginning a scene.

Although three of the four companies complained of, which are named in AHF's press release, were not available for comment at press time, Hustler Video President Michael H. Klein assured AVN, "Every actor in every one of our movies is tested before we shoot, under our strict guidelines and timing for testing."

So to recap:

1) "Unprotected sex taking place on adult film productions," as AHF describes it, is not necessarily a "sanitary nuisance" as loosely defined in Florida's statutes—and considering the wording of the statutes, probably is not;

2) It's unclear which Florida official has agreed to "[begin] an investigation" into AHF's complaints, and whether that unnamed person has any authority to target companies in Miami-Dade County;

3) Adult performers having unprotected sex is not a "health hazard" in the usually accepted use of the term, because...

4) Adult performers and production companies in Florida are believed to follow the same protocols for regular monthly HIV and STD testing as performers in California, and despite AHF's use of bogus Los Angeles Department of Public Health statistics of STD infection in the adult performer community, working in adult appears to put (hetero) performers at less risk of contracting an STD than would picking up a sexual partner at one's local bar.

Pictured above: Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation






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Comments

Posted 06/28/2010 by florida.performer
every heard a story called California v. Freeman...condoms should be the least of their worries....I mean they dont call it "Porn Vally" for nnothin. why dont you try a case that shooting commercial noutside of LA is "ILLEGAL"...some folks are so ass backwards.
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