Condom Mandate Would Be a Bonanza for Studio Owners Who Are Exempt

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from – Los Angeles County is set to vote on whether to follow the city in making condom use obligatory for pornographic actors.

The move comes after AIDS campaigners said they had collected 360,000 signatures backing a new law, enough for a November ballot.

Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation, one of five groups which spearheaded the poll, said turnout was likely to be high as it would coincide with the White House elections.

‘This ordinance, modeled after the County’s similar health-permitting process for tattoo and massage parlors and bathhouses, should go a long way to improve safety on the sets for adult film performers.’

Much of the U.S. porn movie industry is based in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles.

Mr Weinstein said: ‘We are extremely pleased to learn that our County of Los Angeles ballot measure to require adult film producers to obtain public health permits has successfully qualified for the November ballot.

Using condoms on set would be a requirement of any permit issued, whether the shoot was in a studio or elsewhere, Weinstein said.
Clamping down: According to one campaigner, using condoms on set would be a requirement of any permit issued, whether in a studio or elsewhere

He noted that the City of Los Angeles already voted in January to require porn actors to wear condoms on set, the latest move in a battle between AIDS activists and the US adult film industry.’

We look forward to taking this measure directly to voters throughout the County of Los Angeles in November,’ he added.

California porn film makers were forced to suspend production temporarily last year after an actor tested positive for HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, in the latest such disruption to the multi-billion-dollar industry.

Film L.A. Inc., which issues permits for film companies shooting in the West Coast city, said about five per cent of the 45,500 permit days the agency issues per year are for pornographic film shoots.

Authorities in Los Angeles were expected to start enforcing the condom ban in the city from this month after the council gave police, the city attorney and the porn industry six months to recommend the best way to enforce it.

There has been debate about the best way to do this, with some suggesting health professionals or even the police should be present on sets.

To shoot a movie outside of a studio, the law requires a film permit and condom use.

The larger porn companies that make the movies on studio soundstages don’t need permits and therefore are exempt from the condom requirement.

These filmmakers, however, would need one if they went to a house in a neighbourhood to shoot a scene.

The cost of the inspections would be paid out of fees the filmmakers would pay when applying for permits. Fees mooted range from $50 to $75.

Filmmakers who are caught violating the requirement would be refused future permits.

The question was posed whether smaller companies, which often shoot films at houses in the San Fernando Valley before moving on after a day or two, will pay any attention.

Industry officials say the law isn’t needed and that their audiences find the use of condoms a turnoff.

They said the industry’s own requirement, that actors be tested for sexually transmitted diseases every 30 days, is sufficient.

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