Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsCondoms

L.A. council moves to require condoms in porn filming

The measure, tentatively approved on an 11-1 vote, would be the first of its kind in the nation, supporters say. A final vote is set for next week.

January 11, 2012|By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times
  • An ordinance tentatively approved Tuesday would mandate that those seeking permits to film adult movies in Los Angeles require the use of condoms on set and impose a fee to cover the costs of enforcement.
An ordinance tentatively approved Tuesday would mandate that those seeking… (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles…)

The Los Angeles City Council has given preliminary approval to a pioneering local government effort to require porn actors to wear condoms during film shoots.

An ordinance tentatively approved Tuesday would mandate that those seeking permits to film adult movies in the city require the use of condoms on set and impose a fee to cover the costs of enforcement.

It is the first ordinance of its kind for any city in the nation, supporters of the measure said. State law already requires adult actors to wear protection during filming, but safe-sex advocates say it is rarely enforced.

The issue arose last month when the AIDS Healthcare Foundation qualified a ballot measure in Los Angeles that would force adult filmmakers to require condom use. The group said it collected more than 70,000 signatures — well above the 41,000 needed.

The City Council could have ordered a June election on the proposal, but that would have cost more than $4 million. Instead, lawmakers voted 11 to 1 to enact the ordinance, with Councilman Mitchell Englander casting the lone dissenting vote. The measure returns to the council next week for final approval.

The council also voted to convene a group of representatives from the Los Angeles Police Department, city attorney's office and state's workplace safety agency to study the ordinance and make recommendations regarding implementation.

Among those speaking in support of the proposal Tuesday was 25-year-old Derrick Burts, a former adult film star who said he contracted HIV/AIDS and several other sexually transmitted diseases in 2010 after less than five months working in the adult film industry.

Burts said porn producers don't want performers to wear protection because sex without condoms "is part of the fantasy." He said producers care more about profits than the performers' health.

But another actor, Nina Hartley, decried Tuesday's vote, and said the industry already does a good job of regulating actors' health by requiring monthly tests for sexually transmitted diseases. Condoms are uncomfortable, she said, and viewers of pornography aren't looking to adult films for safe-sex education.

"We are an entertainment medium and it's not our job to give safe-sex messages to the public," she said.

The ballot initiative initially faced a legal challenge from the city, which argued that the state — not the city — governs relationships between employers and employees.

The lawsuit was settled Tuesday, said Chief Deputy City Atty. William Carter.

One condition of the settlement is that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation will pay up to $50,000 in legal defense costs if Los Angeles is sued over the ordinance.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is pushing to qualify a ballot measure that would apply throughout Los Angeles County. It would require film producers to apply for a permit from the county Department of Public Health.

kate.linthicum@latimes.com

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|