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Porn industry trade group vows to fight condom requirement

November 7, 2012 | 10:16 am

PHOTOS: California voters head to polls

The day after voters approved a measure requiring porn performers to wear condoms while filming in Los Angeles County, opponents vowed to fight the initiative in court and explore ways to move the industry out of L.A. "as quickly as possible."

Measure B, which passed with 55.9% of the vote, will require porn producers to purchase a public health permit, much like tattoo shops and massage parlors. Violators will be subject to fines and misdemeanor criminal charges, and porn producers will foot the cost of the law.

Opponents said the industry should be trusted to police itself and that performers are regularly tested for disease. They said the measure would create an unwanted, ineffective country bureaucracy and force the industry out of L.A. County because consumers would not buy pornography if condoms were used. 

FULL RESULTS: California races

Diane Duke, president of the Free Speech Coalition — the Canoga Park-based trade group that represents the adult film industry — said voters were "deceived" by "misinformation and outright distortions" from the measure's proponents.

"The adult film industry will not just stand by and let it destroy our business," she said in a statement.

Duke sent a letter to to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Wednesday, outlining the Free Speech Coalition's plans to challenge the "intolerable law" in court, calling it "unconstitutional on the grounds of forced expression" but also a state, not a local, matter.

"There are several other problems, of course, including the definitional vagueness, enforcement conundrums and the development of an implementation process," Duke wrote. "We asked that the county Board of Supervisors suspend the implementation of the law until the courts have rendered their decision."

PHOTOS: California voters head to polls

The letter also said the measure's passage would push porn production out of Los Angeles to other communities that have offered "open arms and tax incentives" to the industry."

"In the upcoming weeks and months, we will provide a roadmap for adult production to move its over a billion-dollar industry and its accompanying 10,000 jobs to these welcoming communities," Duke wrote.

In a news release from the group, the industry said it would facilitate a move out of Los Angeles County "as quickly as possible."

In the meantime, Duke asked the board give the Free Speech Coalition "a seat at the table" as it discussed how to implement the measure.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which has sought for years to protect adult-film performers from HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, sponsored the measure. Michael Weinstein, the foundation's president, called the measure's passage "a major referendum on the subject of safer sex."

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— Kate Mather

Photo: Proponents of Measure B watch results at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation election headquarters victory party. Credit: Joe Kohen / Associated Press

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