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Aide says mayor supports L.A.'s porn film condom requirement

January 17, 2012 |  6:04 pm

L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa supports a proposed ordinance requiring porn performers to wear condoms while filming, a spokesman said late Tuesday.

“The mayor is supportive of the ordinance and believes that this addresses a public health issue,” said aide Peter Sanders. Because Villaraigosa is in Washington this week, City Council President Herb Wesson -– who also supports the measure -– could sign the ordinance as acting mayor.

The voice of support all but assures that Los Angeles will become the first municipality to require condoms for adult film performers. The City Council voted 9-1 earlier Tuesday to give final approval for an ordinance requiring adult film producers, when seeking a filming permit in Los Angeles, to have performers use condoms.

The new rule would also require porn producers to pay a fee to fund surprise inspections. The proposed requirement affects the multibillion-dollar porn industry centered in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley.

The move by City Hall to embrace a condom requirement marks a significant victory for the L.A.-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has been rallying for years to protect the health of porn actors by asking agencies in California to mandate condom use during film shoots. In the last decade, porn shoots have been suspended several times following high-profile cases where porn performers have been infected with HIV.

“It’s a great day for the performers and safer sex in our society,” said an ebuillent Michael Weinstein, president of the foundation, which has been waging a largely lonely battle for mandatory condom use for years. “This is the first legislative body to take up the issue, and the near-unanimous support is very gratifying.”

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation forced the issue after collecting enough signatures to require the city to hold a special election in June to ask voters to decide the issue at the ballot box.

Anticipating that voters would endorse the condom requirement, the council moved to approve the AIDS group’s ordinance, thereby avoiding a $4-million special election.

Porn industry representatives opposed the measure. Diane Duke of the lobbying group Free Speech Coalition said, “This is government overreach. It’s not about performer health and safety, it’s about government regulating what happens between consenting adults.”

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-- Rong-Gong Lin II

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