Should adult film actors be required to wear condoms under Measure B?
Safeguard public health
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—Los Angeles County voters will be asked today if adult film actors should be required to wear condoms under Measure B, the “Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act.”
If passed, the measure would require adult film producers to apply for a permit from the county Department of Public Health to shoot sex scenes.
Permit fees would finance periodic inspections of film sets to enforce compliance with the requirement that performers use condoms while engaged in sex acts.
Violations would be subject to civil fines and criminal misdemeanor charges.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation led the petition drive that put the measure on the county ballot, saying the act would safeguard public health.
Because condoms are rarely used in the making of pornographic films, thousands of actors contract sexually transmitted diseases including gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis and HIV, according to the measure’s backers, who warn that infections acquired by those in the porn industry are then spread to the larger community.
“Pornographers should not be exempt from the basic safety rules that protect everyone else,” according to an argument in favor of the measure included on the county’s ballot guide and signed by AHF President Michael Weinstein and a pair of doctors. “Public health should not be sacrificed on the false claim that this is a free speech issue; this is a public health and safety issue.”
Proponents also point out that actors often lack health insurance, so taxpayers may end up covering the costs of medical treatment.
But opponents contend the ordinance would infringe on individual rights and add unnecessary government bureaucracy, comparing it to New York City regulations governing how much soda consumers can buy in a single serving.
“Safe sex practices are a good idea. However, they shouldn’t be forced on adult film actors,” according to a ballot argument against the measure authored by county Libertarian Party chair Nancy Zardeneta and four other people. “Our individual rights have been fading fast since the Patriot Act. Do-gooders such as New York Mayor Bloomberg seek to create a nanny state where our behavior is increasingly regulated for our own good.”
Actors are tested monthly and no one has contracted HIV on a set anywhere in the United States since 2004, according to opponents of the measure. According to county Department of Public Health documents, four people were infected with HIV while working in the adult film industry that year.
Opponents, such as the Valley Industry & Commerce Association, also say the measure will drive adult film production out of Los Angeles County, costing thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenues.
Zardeneta’s argument contends that producers “tried using condoms during the HIV scare of the 1990s, and people refused to watch the movies.”
“So will the producers just stop making these films? No. They will likely move to areas where they have the freedom to make the kinds of films they want to make,” according to the ballot argument.
California is one of only two states where adult film production is legal; the other is New Hampshire.
The Los Angeles City Council voted in January to require the use of condoms on the sets of porn shoots.
Members of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors have said they support state legislation governing condom use on adult film sets but believe California’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration has regulatory authority on the issue.
“It’s being presented to us as, 'Let’s stop the spread of AIDS,” Supervisor Gloria Molina said in July when the board submitted the initiative for voter approval, as required by law. “We all agree with that.”
But she said she was worried about county taxpayers taking on liability for enforcement of a workplace issue.
LOS ANGELES, Calif.—In a decision that could put a dent in the Southland’s famed pornographic-film industry, Los Angeles County voters approved a requirement that adult film actors wear condoms.
The “Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act” requires adult film producers to apply for a permit from the county Department of Public Health to shoot sex scenes. Permit fees will finance periodic inspections of film sets to enforce compliance with the requirement that performers use condoms while engaged in sex acts.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. — An ordinance requiring men to wear condoms in porn films shot in Los Angeles County appears to be driving some producers to Ventura County, but it’s not immediately clear if they’ll be welcome.
The city of Camarillo received several calls last week inquiring about temporary film permits and asking whether it also had a condom ordinance, Assistant City Attorney Don Davis told the Los Angeles Times.
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif.—The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation announced a petition drive today to get a city ordinance on the June ballot that would require porn actors to wear condoms.
“At present, animals working in film and TV productions in Los Angeles enjoy more safety and health protections than adult film performers do,” according to Michael Weinstein, president of AHF. “There are laws and state statutes to protect adult performers, but there is no real enforcement.”
With just a few clicks of a mouse, kids as young as 12 can have free condoms delivered to their doors in California.
News of the program’s expansion to two new counties comes as the federal government approves the “morning-after pill” without a prescription for girls as young as 15.
The development has garnered mixed reactions.
A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, has ordered the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to make the morning-after birth control pill available to people of any age without a prescription.
The order overturned a 2011 decision by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to require a prescription for girls under 17.