Mandatory Condom Use: Supervisors Delay Placing Porn Measure on Ballot
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday postponed action on a ballot initiative that would require performers in adult-films produced in the county to use condoms. AIDS prevention advocates gathered 372,100 signatures in support of the initiative - 140,000 more than required to make it on the ballot.
The board appeared ready to place the measure on the ballot, but postponed acting until the end of July so attorneys can investigate jurisdiction and enforcement questions. The ballot placement deadline is Aug. 7.
“I do believe voters have the right to vote on it in November, no question about it, but I do think a lot of work is going to have to be done between now and the passage of this ordinance to create a path forward for credible enforcement,” said Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.
Under the proposed ordinance, adult-film producers would have to complete training on blood-borne pathogens and submit an exposure-control plan before obtaining a health permit. Fees for the permit would pay for enforcement, with violations carrying fines and/or misdemeanor charges.
The adult-film industry argues that viewers do not want to see condoms in films, and that productions may move or go underground. The industry has been policing itself by frequently testing performers.
“We know of no other industry in the state of California where people go on television and say, ‘We’re going to flout the law,’” said Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has pushed for the initiative. The industry “is sending a terrible message that the only kind of sex that is hot is unsafe,” he said. “I don’t believe these young people’s lives are disposable.”
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