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Porn Condoms Measure For LA County Will Be On November Ballot

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PORN CONDOMS MEASURE
Angelenos will vote in November on a measure to require condoms in porn shot in LA County and to require producers to obtain a health permit from the county before filming. | Alamy

Angelenos will be voting on what may be LA's most sexually explicit ballot measure ever this November.

The measure would require, for all of LA County, the "use of condoms for all acts of anal or vaginal sex during the production of adult films," the LA Weekly reports.

The LA City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa already passed an ordinance, which went into effect in March, requiring adult film actors to wear condoms at all city filming locations.

Now, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has led the campaign for requiring condoms in porn, wants the rule to extend to all of Los Angeles County. And the group announced Tuesday that it has collected far more signatures -- 371,000 -- than the 232,000 it needed to qualify for a measure on the November 6 ballot.

The county measure is more sweeping than the city ordinance and "is modeled on County's health permit process for tattoo and massage parlors and bathhouses," the AIDS group explains. The measure would require filmmakers to obtain a health permit from the county Department of Public Health, pay a fee, and face a suspended or revoked permit or even civil fines or misdemeanor criminal charges for violations, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"This would close a bunch of loopholes and make the mandate more enforceable," Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, said to The Huffington Post.

However, Steven Hirsch, CEO and co-founder of adult film production company Vivid Entertainment, commented to HuffPost, "This is yet another example of hard-working taxpayers' money being spent figuring out how to enforce something that does not exist. We do not believe that this is a public safety or health issue but rather an attempt to regulate an industry that is already self-regulated. We will continue to shoot in LA county for the foreseeable future."

He also claimed the mandate currently in place in the city of LA "has had absolutely no effect on the adult industry."

Still, porn producers have threatened to leave the Los Angeles area altogether because of the mandate, saying that consumers don't want to watch actors who are wearing condoms.

Some porn performers have spoken out against the mandate, saying that the new requirements will drive porn underground, creating even more unsafe conditions. Other performers say that condom use for the extended period of time needed to shoot a film causes chafing and open sores, which will lead to an even higher risk of disease transmission.

AVN, an adult industry news site, also strongly challenges the measure, saying it is wasting resources on a non-problem:

A 152-page epidemiological profile on HIV/AIDS was distributed by the LA County Department of Public Health in 2010… Nowhere in that report are adult productions even mentioned. The report does identify the Latino population, African-Americans, the un-insured, the under-insured and people in poverty, as areas of concern for HIV and targets for HIV resources... Imagine how many will go unserved if the County is forced to waste its limited HIV resources on a problem that doesn't exist.

"Testing every 28 days, adult performers are the most tested population in LA County!," the industry site added.

Still, there have been adult film actors, such as Derrick Burts and Darren James, who have been infected with HIV on set.

"Porn is the only industry in California where employees are forced to expose themselves to dangerous diseases in order to work," Weinstein wrote for HuffPost in a March 2012 blog post. "These performers are not disposable."

UPDATE: The LA County Board of Supervisors voted 3-1 on July 24 to approve the ballot initiative that will ask voters to decide whether porn actors should be required to wear condoms in sex scenes.

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Finalists In The LA County Condom Design Contest
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