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Condom requirement for porn film actors to be voted on in California

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/.a/6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a64b9aa1970b-320wiState regulators are expected to vote Thursday on a petition asking them to require porn industry performers to use condoms and to take other safety measures. The six-member California Division of Occupational Safety and Health standards board appears likely to create an advisory committee to report back on whether the law should be changed and how it could be accomplished.

The board, appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, has up to six months to act on a Dec. 17, 2009 petition filed by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation that seeks to change state law to require safe-sex protections for adult-film workers, including mandatory condom use and more stringent safety training and testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

Earlier this month, staff members recommended that the board create an advisory committee to consider amending the law “in order to give greater protection to employees in the adult film industry.”

“It’s to study the issue more. If it merits it, they would formulate the language and bring it before the board,” to amend the law, said CAL/OSHA spokeswoman Erika Monterroza.

Monterroza said it is “extremely common” for the board to create such advisory committees.

Officials from the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation said they support the creation of such a committee, which they hope would ultimately back new regulations for the adult film industry. The advocacy group has been pushing regulators and porn industry leaders to better safeguard the health of adult-film performers since an HIV outbreak among porn performers in the San Fernando Valley in 2004.

“Allowing the porn industry to flout the law on technicalities undermines the whole concept of worker safety in California,” said AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein, who is among those scheduled to address the board Thursday. “By making it more explicit it removes an excuse the industry has used that these regulations are not intended for their industry. At the end of the day, it’s about enforcement.”

Last summer, the foundation sued Los Angeles County after the disclosure that an adult-film performer had tested positive for HIV. In the suit, it alleged public health officials failed to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and to enforce laws requiring employers to protect workers against exposure to bodily fluids.

The suit was dismissed by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge late last year, but Weinstein said the foundation appealed the decision last week.

Among those scheduled to speak Thursday is former porn actor Darren James, who tested HIV-positive during a 2004 outbreak.

“I know there’s a lot of actors that’s getting tired of STDs,” James said Wednesday in an interview with The Times. He said many actors feel they cannot speak out against the spread of STDs for fear of losing work. “They just need more options; if they can provide them with better care maybe we can slow it down.”

Also scheduled to speak at the meeting are half a dozen representatives of the adult film industry, including Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, a Canoga Park-based trade association.

Duke said her group’s members have tried to comply with state health and safety regulations, but that they are overly vague and general. She supports forming an advisory committee as long as it includes adult-film workers, producers or other industry representatives.

“We have been trying to work within the regulations, but it’s almost impossible,” Duke said. “If we were going with the letter of the law, every film would have performers in latex gloves and goggles.”

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times

Read more from the archives about safety and other issues related to the porn industry

Related from L.A. Now:

At least16 previously unpublicized HIV cases in porn film performers

Porn industry healthcare clinic not cooperating, public health officials say


 
Comments () | Archives (38)

Isn't this going to push that industry out of Los Angeles and California entirely?


Just keep in mind that so called "porn actors" are simply prostitutes, they get paid to have sex, the only diffrence is a camera is there. I feel sorry for those people they have such shallow lives and low self worth.

This is absolutely absurd. A law is a serious thing. A law is something you give the police permission to stick a gun in someones face for, and force them into a cage if they disobey it. Wearing condoms is a good idea. IN REAL LIFE. Porn, as all movies, is not real life. People seem to really be losing their grip on reality. What happens on a screen cannot reach out and control you, it can't warp childrens minds and delete anything they've been taught.

Teach your kids to wear condoms every time, and that porn is FANTASY just like everything else on a screen. And teach them that getting worked up over what people put on a screen is a childish concern, and trying to control what people put on the screen is mean and immoral.

and the rush to join the corps of condom inspectors will create a mob scene in San Francisco.

Has California figured out how to create a "green" condom...or just continue to use rubber and spit?

Well that is one way to drive an industry out of the state. I am sure Nevada will welcome them with open arms and lower taxes.

You may hate porn but the companies pay a LOT in taxes!

With all the things going on now, this is what those ass#@$%s are doing.

Well if condoms are required, another industry can be expected to leave California.

GET REAL! REGULATE THE PORN INDUSTRY? NO ONE SHOULD START TELLING ANYONE WHAT TO DO, ESPECIALLY THE SEX INDUSTRY. YOU CAN GET HIV OR STDS EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT IN THE PORN INDUSTRY, JUST AS MUCH. SO, WHY DO WE HAVE TO HAVE A BIG BROTHER REGULATOR/AGENCY TELL OR REGULATE WHAT THEY THINK NEEDS TO BE DONE TO PROTECT OURSELVES FROM OURSELVES?!?!? THE IDEA IS A GOOD ONE BUT IT SHOULD BE A "RECOMMENDATION," NOT A REQUIREMENT. WE ARE LOSING OUR FREEDOMS LEFT AND RIGHT, MOSTLY BECAUSE OF THE LEFT (WHICH I WAS ONCE ONE). LEAVE THE SEX INDUSTRY ALONE. STOP TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO AND TRYING TO BE A BIG BROTHER. I HAVE ENOUGH SIBLINGS.

And our tax dollars are paying for this crap?

Yea this is a good idea... Lets drive the last thriving industry out of California! We do not need the money so lets make even more regulation so more companies will leave. I know you all are like it is PORN. Nope it is a business just like everything else. They are adults and can make up there own mind.

If the real goal is to stop the spread of STDS then I think all workers, not just porn actors, should be subject to mandatory HIV testing. Considering that homosexuals are the single largest vector for the spread of AIDS and all other sexually transmitted diseases I am quite confident that no such requirement for testing will ever be enforced.

I find it odd that these 'actors' chose this line of work, knowing the risks, and whine when they find out that they've gotten an STD. It amazes me that they could be so surprised. As for OSHA getting involved, that's sort of laughable, too. How involved are they in boxing matches, with two men beating each other to a bloody pulp, sometimes ending in brain damage or death? It's an assumed risk. There's only so much you can do to protect someone in their chosen 'career' path, and mandating the use of condoms for the porn industry is sort of ridiculous, if you ask me. Yeah, I know, nobody asked me, but though I have no interest in watching porn, who wants to see some guy pause to put one of those things on? Of course in real life, we ALL do if we are trying to protect ourselves, but in a medium that should be considered fantasy, who really does want to see that? It's like using the bathroom. We all do it, it's a fact of life, but it's not something that's usually depicted in movies of any sort unless a point is being made--if that's what one would call it. As for condoms being mandated, enforcement of this is going to be interesting.

So California is so bent on destroying its economy that it's even forcing the porn industry out of state. No porn consumer wants to watch "safe sex". Let's mandate scenes where potential partners undergo AIDS testing before respectfully copulating while we're at it. How does this not result in porn producers, and their enormous tax revenue, simply pulling up stakes and relocating to Nevada? Bubye San Fernando, welcome to Vegas.

You may as well vote to shut down the industry in California. (By the way they make more money than Hollywood). If condom legislation becomes law porn industry will move to another state. Noone want to see a porno movie with condoms. Period. If all states require condoms thay will move out of USA. Movies with condoms is imposible to sell.

I find Mr. Weinstein's comment about "[a]llowing the porn industry to flout the law on technicalities" interesting. After all, there are laws on the books that prohibit people from having sex for money, but the porn industry skirts those just fine.

As to the point of this article, enacting this condom requirement would effectively kill the porn industry in California. (And personally, I couldn't care less if it did.) No one watches pornography for examples of responsible behavior, so all this is going to do is send people to the Internet for content produced elsewhere, whether in foreign studios or private bedrooms.

Like it or not, porn is a cash cow for the Golden State, and this is hardly the time to be snuffing out any potential sources of revenue. If participants in this industry are willing to put their lives at risk for their "craft," I say let them. The real issue is whether these people pose a significant risk to the general population.

It seems like drug users and street prostitutes are a lot more risky behaviors than porn actors. So are high schoolers and college kids. Let's clean them up and give them access to condoms first.

I guess if in 2010, people are too stupid to use a condom when they have many different sexual partners in many different ways. Maybe the government needs to step in and make it mandatory. But it does seem to me that if they are that stupid shouldn't they be locked up somewhere so their ignorance won't harm us? ads about aids awareness and sexually transmitted diseases have been atounf since the early 80's. It is illegal to drink and drive, yet people still do. If you make it mandatory to wear a condom that don't mean they will.

That would suck!

It would be like porn with cellophane over the TV screen.

Watching just won't feel the same!

Porn : THE Universal Language

If people don't want STDs then don't have sex with a bunch of different people...period! Duh!

No one wants to watch porn that has condoms.

All this is doing is forcing the industry to move out of California.

Again, stupid democrats know best for all of us.

Just keep voting democrat and EVERYTHING will be OK.... NOT.

This is REAL legislation? This is REAL news? This is an inconsequential joke! Clearly "our" elected voices are wasting our money. Why not waste your time benefiting our mutual existence instead?

WOW THIS IS CRAZY NOW THE GOV. WANTS THE PORN ACTORS TO WEAR CONDOMS THATS FUNNY WHAT ABOUT THE EVERY DAY PEOPLE THAT CHEAT AND DONT WEAR CONDOMS THAT THE HELL IS THIS WORLD COMING TO

Pppppfffffssssstttt!!!!
Who the hell cares about what the sex industry does???

This is a bad idea. It all boils down to personal choice among the performers, the studio and the people that enjoy adult entertainment. If this ridiculous law passes, the industry will simply move to a state without regulation and government interference. On top of that, millions of dollars and jobs will be lost in the communities in which these films are produced (local revenue from performers and staff and outsourcing/manufacturing costs). Porn buyers will just find another source where they have the power to choose what kind of entertainment that like. Not a good idea.

 
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