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L.A. County Voters Approve Measure Requiring Condoms in Adult Films

The Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act follows on the heels of a similar law passed by the Los Angeles City Council.

UPDATE 7:35 a.m.

Voters in Los Angeles County approved Measure B Tuesday, ushering in a new era of government oversight of the adult film industry.

The new law, which passed with over 55 percent of the vote, requires male actors to wear condoms during the shooting of adult films and follows on the heels of a similar ordinance passed by the Los Angeles City Council in January.

The vote is a victory for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which gathered enough signatures to get Measure B—also known as the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act—on the ballot. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation also gathered the required number of signatures that forced the L.A. City Council to vote on the issue in January.

Measure B requires producers of adult films in the county obtain health permits and requires that male actors use condoms while filming vaginal or anal intercourse. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has argued that the use of condoms will help protect performers from sexually transmitted diseases.

"Our goal is to protect performers, and I understand if they disagree with us," Michael Weinstein, executive director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told the Los Angeles Daily News.

Measure B was strongly opposed by leaders of the adult film industry, which is centered in the San Fernando Valley and generates an estimated $8 billion a year in revenue. Approximately 90 percent of all U.S. adult films are shot in the Valley, according to Mark Kernes, senior editor of Chatsworth-based Adult Video News.

A group of adult film performers opposed to Measure B held a rally on Sunday at a strip club in North Hollywood. Many there argued that the industry's required testing of performers is sufficient to protect against STDs.

"We're tested every 15 days," adult performer Tatyiana Foxx told Patch.

Fox said condoms would ruin the fantasy of many scenes her fans enjoy, while male performer James Bartholet said the city would lose tax dollars if the industry were forced to relocate.

"We spend our tax dollars here, we go to the beauticians and the nail salons and the auto body shops," he said, adding: "If you shut this industry down you're going to have local businesses that are going to have a huge drop in sales. Now is that a smart thing?"

Measure B passed despite editorial opposition from both the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News. The Daily News argued that the threat of STDs to performers has been exaggerated, as the industry claims no performer has tested positive for HIV since 2004 as a result of its rigorous testing policies.

After the ordinance was passed in January, many adult film companies have threatened to leave Los Angeles to nearby locations rather than comply with the condom ordinance. In response to the L.A. ordinance, nearby Simi Valley passed its own condom ordinance in April, which was aimed at stopping a possible flood of film production companies relocating there. Now with Measure B passing and requiring condoms throughout the entire county, the future of the industry in Los Angeles and Southern California is unclear.

 

-- Arin Mikailian contributed to this story

Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 08:44 PM
The inspections will be much easier than that. Just like the resturaunt industry cried foul when they began posting the letter grades, the porn indistry has made many pleas full of misinformation, alot of which I see in alot of the posts here. Just like OSHA, the violations are on film. Inspectors wont even have to visit sets, and the task of doing these inspections will probably be farmed out to an outside health agency. Here is one thing to remember, if the source of your information,and the arguments on which you base your opinions are coming from the adult industry, you can rest assured that youre not getting anything even close to the entire truth, Do you have any idea how hard I laugh everytime I see someone repeat the industry line. "We have a lower std rate than the general public." In fact, my most conservative estimate, based on 100,000 tersts from AIM alone, and another 85-100,000 tests from other clinics, is that the industry rate is at a minimum 30x higher than the genreal public, and this does NOT include herpes,1%2,,HPV, which is beyond astromonicaly high, PID, trichomonis,fecal bacterial infections of the female throat and vagina f, and a host of other related health problems that are virtually NEVER talked about publicly by the adult industry. I have personally been escorted out of supposedly public OSHA hearings when I have asked these questions and threatened wihe legal action for violating privacy.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 08:53 PM
And what do performers do when they catch stds, and have these other related problems. A vast majority of the time they go to "free" clinics, that is tax payer funded clinics, to get treated. A minute percentage of performers have any insurance, and most of the companies do not carry workers comp insurance, and why they are allowed to get away with that I have no idea. I will give you another example of adult industry exaggeration. A few years ago there was a big deal abour releasing the legendary Deep Throat on dvd. The industry's #1 trade magazine estimated that DT had grossed over $680,000,000 over the years. But when you looked at the formula they used to calculate that number there was an equation right in the middle that said, "Alot of theartres in the 70's use to underreprt their receipts, so they figured the actual number was TEN TIMES HIGHER than the actual theatre receipts. Where they came up with that is still unknown, but then ther was the funniest part, they used 2005 theatre ticket prices and applied that number to all of the ticket sales fromt he 70s and 80s, when the cost of a 'dirty' movie ticket was about 1.oo. Actually DT was used by some of the major mafia families to launder their money, and several of the major crime families all worked together to launder their money through the theatres. Does anyone remember how many years that DT was the only movie shown at the Pussycat theatre on Hollywood and Wester. Pure money laundering operation.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 11:28 PM
Jordan, where do you get the idea that porn actors only have sex with other porn actors and thier mates. The truth is, the majority of female performers who work for the legal adult talent agents, and the illegal talent agents have escort ads on most of the major excort agency sites., and more guys in porn escort than those that dont. The LA Times edictorial against measure b contained this quote. "Few performers, if any, "date" outside the industry." I personally spoke wit seveal people on the editorial board of the LA Times and not a single one of them would, or could answer my question, "Where did you guys come up with this." The funny thing was that they put the word "date" in quotes, because they couldnt write "Few is any performers "Fu**" outside the indsutry. I have personally spoken to 3 editorial board members, left messages and emails, and have not reciebed a response to the question of "On what or from whom did you get any information to support that statement?' Thier silence has been deafening. And in the industry thier is an std epidemic. If this were any other profession where people were getting diseases this often, nobody would stand for it. And you would be surprised who those 'dirty sex people' are. For every one story you hear of a teacher with a porn star past, there are 100 you will never know about. Where did you get that idea Jordan, was it the LA Times? If so Ican only say that you were misinformed by the LA Times.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 11:43 PM
Leigh, this has nothing to do with any privacy issue. These actors are employees, performing their jobs under the direct supervision of a director, and producer, and being paid. It is not prostitution becuase neither of the acotrs is paying the other for sexual gratification, they are being paid by a third party, and that removes ALL of the privacy issues regarding the act being performerd by the two actors. These issues have been decided by the ninth circuit courts many years ago. One might have a first ammednment argument, saying that requiring condoms in turn requires that producers to put things in their films that they dont want there. But the response to that is,,,,,,,Is speech that requires the participants to be exposed to disease and potentially infectios material(OPIM) truel a protected for m of speech. If your boss said your job requires you to be exposed to disease, and offered no protection against that exposure, he would be held liable for that exposure. In porn, no such responsibility is taken by the producer. Doctors and nurses are required by law to use universal precautions to protect themselves, and other patients. Would you say that a nurse should have the choice whether to wear gloves or not? Does a performer have the RIGHT to expose a co worker to disease and do nothing to protect his co worker? When two people are paid by a third party to create a visual depiction, they lose the privacy argument.
Tim Tritch November 27, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Leigh, it was either the Freeman or Miller court decisions that made porn in California legal. The ruling was based on the fact that two actors are being paid for a performance, and nobody is being paid for sexual gratification. Actors do not engage in intimate sexual activity, they are paid for a performance that include explicit acts of sex. This was the very core of the ruling that made porn legal in California. Griswald v. Conn is off point.

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