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Should porn stars be required to wear condoms? Voters may decide

Initiative requiring condom use in porn filming qualifies for ballot
A proposed ballot measure that would require porn actors to wear condoms while filming in the city of Los Angeles has qualified for the June ballot, according to a letter from the city clerk certifying that proponents had gathered enough valid signatures.

The initiative still faces a legal challenge by L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. Trutanich filed court papers earlier this month saying that L.A. voters would have no legal authority to adopt the proposed measure even if it were placed on the ballot.

Trutanich argued that only the state — not the city — could legally impose rules requiring the use of condoms on porn sets and charging fees to pay for inspections.

The city attorney’s opinion is at odds, however, with that of the head of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, which regulates workplace safety.

In a Dec. 23 email to one of Trutanich’s deputy city attorneys, Ellen Widess wrote that she believes the city could legally enact the restrictions envisioned in the proposed ballot measure.

“We don’t see a bar to the city or the county doing what they need to do,” Widess said in a telephone interview Monday evening. “We believe the city can use its authority to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among people involved in the adult film industry.”

Ged Kenslea, a spokesman for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the ballot measure’s main backer, said proponents gathered more than 70,000 signatures, well beyond the 41,000 required to place it on the ballot.

“We’re thrilled we’ve passed this initial threshold,” Kenslea said. “We believe we’re going to prevail in court and look forward to taking this issue directly to the voters.”

RELATED:

Porn industry blasts condom campaign

Forcing porn actors to wear condoms sparks legal battle

Porn filmmaking shut down after performer tests HIV positive

-- Scott Glover

Photo: Michael Weinstein of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation lobbies at a Cal-OSHA meeting in Orange County last year for condom use in porn filming. Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

 
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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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