Judge Denies Pornographers’ Move to Block AHF from Condoms in Porn Case

LOS ANGELES — A federal court judge has denied the porn industry’s efforts to have a group of five individuals affiliated with AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) removed as ‘interveners’ in a ‘condoms in porn’ lawsuit the industry brought against Los Angeles County officials. The pornographers’ lawsuit claims the law is unconstitutional and is seeking to block implementation of Measure B, the Los Angeles County Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act, which was sponsored by the five AHF-related individuals and was passed by an overwhelming majority of County voters last November.

After the County defendants declined to defend Measure B’s constitutionality, the AHF group sought and was granted ‘intervener’ status to defend the law from the industry’s claims.

However, in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Hollingsworth v. Perry, the California gay marriage case in which the Supreme Court denied intervener status to opponents of gay marriage after California state officials refused to defend that law (known as Proposition 8), porn industry plaintiffs filed a formal ‘motion to reconsider’ with the U.S. District Court, Central District of California [Case No. 13-00190 DDP (AGRx)], challenging the AHF group’s standing in their case. Earlier today, U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson [pictured] denied that motion.

“The pornographers’ efforts to have us thrown out of this case has failed,” said AHF’s Michael Weinstein. “Five individuals affiliated with AHF were the official proponents of Measure B. We drafted the language that would become Measure B, collected signatures to qualify the Measure for the November 2012 ballot, submitted the signatures for verification, raised funds, and drafted an argument for the appearance of the Measure on the ballot. We absolutely should be allowed as interveners in this case and applaud the court’s ruling allowing us to remain so.”

“It’s unfortunate that we even have to be in this case at all simply because the County of Los Angeles refuses to defend the will of the people,” said Tom Myers, General Counsel for AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “County residents voted for Measure B in overwhelming numbers, making it quite clear that protecting the public health in this manner is important to them, a fact seemingly lost on County officials.”

In his order, Judge Pregerson wrote, “Because the Defendants (Los Angeles County officials) refuse to defend Measure B’s constitutionality, Interveners are needed to sharpen the issues this Court will be required to answer. …For the reasons stated herein, the Motion is DENIED.”

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