Los Angeles makes condom use mandatory for porn actors

The Los Angeles City Council has given final approval to a city ordinance requiring porn actors to wear condoms during film shoots.

The 9-to-1 vote on Tuesday marked a significant victory for the L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has been rallying for years to protect the health of porn performers by asking agencies in California to mandate condom use during film shoots.

In the past decade, porn shoots had been suspended several times following high-profile cases where porn performers had been infected with HIV.

"It's a great day for the performers and safer sex in our society," LA Now quoted Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation as saying.

"This is the first legislative body to take up the issue and the near-unanimous support is very gratifying," he said.

For years, lawmakers have largely ignored or dismissed the calls to crack down on porn filming in which condoms aren't used.

However, last year the AIDS Healthcare Foundation changed its tactics and gathered signatures to ask voters to pass an ordinance requiring adult film producers, when seeking a filming permit in the city of Los Angeles, to use condoms during filming, and pay a fee that would fund surprise inspections.

The proposed requirement would have targeted the multibillion-dollar porn industry centred in the San Fernando Valley.

Last week, City Council members signalled that they believed the porn condom measure would pass and decided to adopt the AIDS group's proposed ordinance in order to avoid a costly 4 million dollars special election this June.

"Personally at every opportunity I have to do anything to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS, I always take that opportunity," Paul Koretz, the councilman, said.

"I think there's no doubt: the voters would see this as a common sense issue and pass it," he said.

Porn industry representatives were furious at the vote.

"This is government overreach. It's not about performer health and safety, it's about government regulating what happens between consenting adults," Diane Duke of the lobbying group Free Speech Coalition said.

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