California porn stars are getting heated about bill AB 1576, which passed through the state’s Assembly’s Appropriations Committee on Wednesday and is headed for the Assembly floor.

If passed, the bill would ban porn stars from performing without condoms. Industry performers claim this is a violation of their freedom of speech, stating this would force them to perform in a constrained way and would prevent them from expressing themselves the way they choose to. Nearly 500 adult industry performers have signed a petition to kill the bill, put out by the Free Speech Coalition, the industry's trade association.   

“We are a small community, and not always the most political, but outrage has come from all areas of the industry -- gay, straight, trans, fetish, studio and independent -- to fight against a bill that criminalizes sex between consenting adults,” Diane Duke, chief of the coalition told LA Weekly.

Assemblyman Isadore Hall, the man responsible for the bill, says it aims to protect performers after several industry-wide outbreaks of HIV/AIDS. He explained to LA Weekly that the bill would be “a strong reaffirmation of the California Legislature’s commitment to protect workers in the state, regardless of the type of work performed. For too long, the adult film industry has thrived on a business model that exploits its workers and puts profit over workplace safety.”

Duke disagrees. "This isn’t about protecting performers, this is a morality crusade aimed at driving a legal, regulated business out of the state and underground,” she said in a statement released Thursday. 

A condom law has already been instated in Los Angeles.

Porn star Lorelei Lee shared her thoughts on the bill to LA Weekly. “This is an insulting and paternalistic bill. This shows a total disregard for performers' autonomy and threatens a vital safety infrastructure that we have spent ten years building,” she said. “AB1576 squanders resources addressing a problem that doesn't exist. If the bill becomes law, it will, in fact, harm the people it claims it will protect.”