January 24, 2012 / 11:46 PM / 5 years ago

Porn Condom Law Signed Into Law: Industry Swells With Outrage

3 Min Read

Rubbered the wrong way?

The pornography industry is offering stiff resistance to a new law, signed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday, that will require porn performers to use condoms on sets that require a film permit.

The law, which was adopted by the City Council last week in a 9-1 vote,  comes as a big win for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which had engaged in a long, hard campaign for such a law.

The XXX film industry -- a large part of which is headquartered in the L.A.-adjacent San Fernando Valley -- has predictably objected to the law on a number of fronts. As the Los Angeles Times reports, arguments included the position that many performers dislike condoms, and that the law would harm the already ailing pornography business, as many consumers share that dislike for condoms.

Porn-advocacy group the Free Speech Coalition went so far as to accuse the AIDS Healthcare Foundation -- which circulated a petition in favor of the ordinance late last year -- of using faulty information to push its agenda.

"[AHF president Michael] Weinstein’s grandstanding on the condom issue is groundless – using provocative language like 'epidemic' and quoting statistics that have proven to be inaccurate – Weinstein has politicized the issue of mandatory condom use while alienating the industry he claims to protect," the coalition claimed in a statement after the City Council vote.

Free Speech Coalition executive director Diane Duke called the ordinance "yet another example of government overreach and intrusion, adding that the regulation "will not increase performer safety, it will diminish the successful standards and protocols already in place and compromise performer health."

Under the self-regulatory system that the industry had been working under, performers were required to present evidence that they've been tested for sexually-transmitted diseases in the 30 days before performing. Cal-OSHA, the state's occupational-safety program, also requires performers to use condoms under its current rules protecting workers from exposure to bodily fluids, but that law is frequently ignored, due in part to its small fines.

Mayor Villaraigosa's office had no comment for TheWrap on the new law. The Free Speech Coalition has not yet responded to TheWrap's request for comment.

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