Associated Press - January 10, 2012
LOS ANGELES, (AP) - An ordinance that would require porn actors
to wear condoms during film shoots was tentatively approved by
the City Council on Tuesday.
The council voted 11-1 for the proposal. The ordinance still
requires a second vote next week for final approval.
Under the ordinance, porn producers would have to provide and
require the use of condoms on set in order to obtain permits to
film in the nation's second-largest city.
Approval of the ordinance would supersede a proposed ballot
initiative by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The group has long
advocated for mandatory condom use in adult films and urged
council members to approve the ordinance.
"This long struggle to move us to a place of making Los Angeles a
safe place to make adult films has taken a huge leap forward
today," said foundation President Michael Weinstein, referring to
advocacy work and legal attempts to create a mandate for condoms
in porn and to enforce it.
The Free Speech Coalition, the porn industry's trade association,
issued a statement criticizing the vote and the incursion of
government into sex films.
"Government regulation of filmmaking would likely undermine
existing health and safety efforts and industry standards that
are effective as well as take the government into dangerous new
territory," said Diane Duke, coalition executive director.
Duke said the porn industry has a low rate of sexually
transmitted disease and there has been no transmission of HIV in
the industry in five years.
The most recent HIV scare in the industry came when a male
performer initially tested HIV positive, but retesting revealed
he was free of the disease in September 2011, according to Duke.
Prior to that, porn actor Derrick Burts was diagnosed
HIV-positive in December 2010 after working in gay and straight
porn for a few months. Burts said he contracted the disease
through those performances.
Duke and others don't count Burts' case as an industry-caused
illness, alleging he contracted HIV outside the workplace.
Burts denies those allegations and called the council vote
Tuesday "a huge, huge step in the right direction."
The council also agreed to form a group comprised of law
enforcement, state occupational safety regulators, the AIDS
Healthcare Foundation and other stakeholders to hammer out how to
enforce the new rules.
The council also voted unanimously to drop a lawsuit filed by the
city attorney against the foundation aimed at stopping its
proposed ballot measure.
The group last month said it gathered enough signatures to put
the issue on the June ballot.
The Free Speech Coalition opposes mandatory condom regulations
but favors consistently testing adult film performers for
sexually transmitted diseases.