LA could vote on mandatory condom use in adult films
December 28th, 2011
09:59 AM ET

LA could vote on mandatory condom use in adult films

A ballot initiative that would require condoms in all adult films shot in the city of Los Angeles has enough signatures to get on the June ballot.  But there’s a legal challenge coming from the city’s attorney before LA residents can vote on the matter.

The proposed law called the “Safer Sex In The Adult Film Industry Act” would require “any person or entity directly engaged in the creation of adult films who is issued a permit” to “maintain engineering and work practice controls, including the provision of and required use of condoms, sufficient to protect employees from exposure to blood or other potentially infectious materials consistent with state law.”

It would also charge adult film production companies a fee to pay for the periodic inspections.

Although state law already exists requiring condom use, a city ordinance would give additional enforcement, proponents of the proposed law say.

On December 23, the City Clerk of Los Angeles certified that there were enough voter signatures to qualify. HIV/AIDS advocates needed 41,138 valid Los Angeles voters’ signatures and they submitted 70,889.

The signatures were gathered over three months by a professional signature-gathering firm, according to AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a non-profit that has called for mandatory condom use in adult films.

The issue is a public health matter, according to AHF.  In 2010, several adult film productions came to a halt after an adult film actor tested positive for HIV. In 2004, four actors tested positive for the virus that causes AIDS, also shutting down production in California.

“This wasn’t about porn, it was about worker protection, about fairness,” said Michael Weinstein, president of AHF.

But there are legal hurdles before putting this law on the ballot, according to the office of Carmen Trutanich, the Los Angeles City Attorney.

“We’re not trying to suppress the will of the voters or quash democracy,” said Frank Mateljan, the City Attorney’s spokesman.  “We believe there are certain judicial questions or issues that are still out there.”

The city has to get clarity on whether it has the legal standing to enforce such a law or whether it’s pre-empted by the state, which already requires condoms be used in adult film shoots, he said.

The cost to the city of putting this on the ballot is $4.4 million when it’s unclear whether the city has the legal standing to enforce the law, he said.

“It’d be in the best interest to get clarification than put $4 million issue in the ballot, that we can be sued and rendered moot,” Mateljan said.

The city has already received threats of lawsuits from the adult film industry, he said.

The Free Speech Coalition, a trade association for the adult entertainment industry, applauded the city of Los Angeles for petitioning the court.

It sent a statement to CNN saying, "the City of Los Angeles has acted responsibly to protect the taxpayers from enacting an unenforceable measure preempted by State Law. The adult industry has been extraordinarily successful in preventing HIV infections through its testing protocols and self-regulation."

Mateljan said the city is “not taking a stance on the substance of the measure or the goal.  We’re simply trying to get some clarification who has standing to enforce these provisions and regulations.”

Ellen Widress, chief of California's Division of Occupational Safety and Health wrote an email to the Los Angeles attorney’s office stating that the city was “not preempted by Cal/OSHA from asserting its authority to protect the health of employees and others , including volunteers,  who may be exposed to health hazards in L.A.’s adult film industry.”

“LA needs to get on the right side of history,” Weinstein of AHF said.  The measure requiring condoms would be “stopping the thousands of sexually transmitted diseases that take place in this industry.”

STDs have long been an issue in the adult films as workers in this industry are 10 times more likely to be infected, according to AHF.

Although state laws exist mandating condom use, the problem is the lack of enforcement, Weinstein said, adding that it has been a “political hot potato” and that no one has taken responsibility.

soundoff (251 Responses)
  1. Doug

    This will simply push the booming adult industry overseas at a time when the US and California desperately need revenue.

    December 28, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JLS639

      Um, for one, people can already get that sort of product from overseas if they desire (what business has boomed internationally over the internet like no other?). Another problem is that previous laws restricting the adult film industry in California ended up effectively legalizing it in California. I fear this sort of legal meddling is more likely to end up with a court ruling establishing the adult film industry as exempt from worker health codes than it is to promote safer practices.

      December 28, 2011 at 19:25 | Report abuse |
    • Lucifer

      Push them overseas? I think not, to another state perhaps. I'd take em on, more cash for me.

      December 29, 2011 at 07:30 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      This is so stupid. Let adults decide what they want to do. Government has no business intruding in this.

      What next? Are they going to come into my bedroom and regulate how my wife and I conduct intimate relations?

      December 29, 2011 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
    • Juan

      Hey tom. Pron is a business and is thus regulated and controlled as one. If infectious diseases are to be incurred it affects the insurance industry, whom as you may not know, is one of the major contributers to political campaigns. Wsoo, some people are naive beyond description

      December 29, 2011 at 12:25 | Report abuse |
    • Olaf Big

      No, it would not push the booming adult industry anywhere. It will just make it a little safer for the people involved in production, and they partners off the set. I don't see mandatory requirement for hard hats at construction sites shutting down construction business in the U.S.

      December 29, 2011 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Why go overseas when you could just move your studio 15 miles east?

      December 30, 2011 at 16:28 | Report abuse |
    • Osobien

      Another example of a well intentioned initiative that is just wrong. Should people wear condoms where they are engaging is sex with multiple partners? Duh. But seriously, you would have to be under a rock for the last 30 years not to know about HIV. And all of the other things that you could get by having unprotected sex. What is the next move by the illustrious City Council? Have a police person at each filming with his / her handcuffs ready to make an arrest? Who knows, they might end up in the movie....might even be a star....you never know.

      We already have a state law covering this. Why do we waste taxpayer money with an initiative on the ballot? More laws will breed compliance? Sure. Oh yes, and Santa was actually here last week. His sister, the Tooth Fairy, never left.

      January 1, 2012 at 18:38 | Report abuse |
  2. Mandingo

    As long as I can do some white women it's okay!

    December 28, 2011 at 17:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • illeagalimagrant

      You needs them fo blacks womans

      December 28, 2011 at 17:20 | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Black women are THE BEST !!!!

      December 28, 2011 at 20:31 | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      White women are the hottest. Yuuuummmmm

      December 29, 2011 at 10:50 | Report abuse |
    • Georgie

      Do you have a monster anaconda? Hmm that is something I wanna try...

      December 29, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
    • Justin Sprayer

      You people are hilarious where do you come up with this nonsense!!!

      December 29, 2011 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
    • Hawk in Texas

      I had an indian woman tell me that my white man forked tounge drove squaw up teepee wall.

      December 31, 2011 at 23:42 | Report abuse |
  3. Fluffy Butternut

    Oh, no! I prefer paper over plastic!

    December 28, 2011 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. ken

    Sounds like something Sweden would do....only they could criminalize only the male star.

    December 28, 2011 at 17:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bill Sargent

      yeah, because you're certainly the authority on what Sweden does or does not do.

      December 29, 2011 at 04:19 | Report abuse |
  5. Teddy

    Joe, people having sex is PRIVATE.

    December 28, 2011 at 17:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rob

      It's only private when they choose for it to be private.

      I think that these people are crazy not to use condoms, but I don't think that it should be mandated.

      December 28, 2011 at 17:36 | Report abuse |
    • Juan

      Recording sx acts on digital media and distributing it for money isnt private. Where do you people come from.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Maybe it's private to you. Ever hear of exhibitionism?

      December 30, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
  6. kat

    Well, of course when doing a adult film you know what percautions are taking. You can get herpes, aids, warts from oral. But if your so supersticous, <- spell check, about getting any kind of disease wear a condom or dont do the movie at all......

    December 28, 2011 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. City Inspection Officer.

    Okay, pull out there mate lets make sure johnny is wearing the proper rain gear.

    December 28, 2011 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Phil

      I see offers of sexual favors for the inspector to look the other way.

      December 28, 2011 at 17:35 | Report abuse |
  8. danial54

    This is without a doubt the STUPIDEST load of crap law I ever heard of. Really???? You've got nothing better to do? Do ya think the stars don't care? They do. Do you think it's going to get more people to use condoms? I really doubt it. Fear of disease will make them use condoms. Pregnancy will make them use condoms. IDIOTS!

    December 28, 2011 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brick

      Have you actually seem a flix recently? There are no rubbers being used. I mean really to even be an adult star you have to kind not be afraid of a lot of things and couple that with the wide spread drug and alcohol abuse in the industry and yea you get AIDS scares. You forget these people don't just do this stuff in America. They also go to countries were there are no laws requiring the participants to safe. I mean if this were a CDC employee and they were in a lab instead then would you say the same thing?

      December 28, 2011 at 17:46 | Report abuse |
  9. arcandciel

    As long as it's not mandatory for the viewers I don't care a bit!... I just want to see the females anyway!.....

    December 28, 2011 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Phil

    @ Bella Mami

    I'm 38. I haven't been a little boy for a long time.

    At least I'm not into freaky things. What I like is considered normal. Personally, I like the films from the 70's and 80's where they at least tried to have a plot. These three hour long films with their two minute scenes are stupid.

    Sorry, but can't take someone seriously when they have a name like "Bella Mami".

    December 28, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. erin andrews perky breasts


    December 28, 2011 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Leroy Jenkins

    Why? I mean...I watched a movie the other night...Gladiator...at what point is there a need to wear a condom? Or what about Men In Black?

    Are you telling me that you are going to make Will Smith and Russell Crowe wear condoms? You should make all the actresses wear their sponge or whatever.

    Boy, I am so glad I am not an actor. I hate wearing those things during sex, let alone all that time they film a movie.

    December 28, 2011 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joe

      At least I have chicken.

      December 30, 2011 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
  13. Phil

    ****** I say, let the performers decide make their own choice. **************************** Nanny state California should back off.

    December 28, 2011 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. GE

    Wow this is a heckuva way to spend taxpayer money...lemme guess that's on Obama to huh?

    December 28, 2011 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brick

      The law is written that the industry itself pays for the regulation. The film companies/actors must pay for the random checks. So no tax payer money is spent and no Obama to blame. lol

      December 28, 2011 at 18:25 | Report abuse |
  15. Buzz Aldrin

    I doubt they really care about the public health issue. You almost never hear of issues with actors catching things.

    Seems like the reason for this is the inspections – a way to tax the productions.

    December 28, 2011 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juan

      Pron stars have been catching and spreading diseases since the birth of the industry. What in the world are you talking about? Where do you people come from.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:30 | Report abuse |
  16. Phil

    California is already OVER-REGULATED and unfriendly to business. Do we really want to give this multi-billion dollar industry a reason to relocate out-of-state? This is a personal choice issue that does NOT belong on a voting ballot.

    December 28, 2011 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brick

      Nothing about AIDs and other STD's is personal.

      December 28, 2011 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
    • CosmicC

      Did you ever notice that "over regulated" and "not business-friendly" seem to be synonyms for safe for employees and consumers?

      December 30, 2011 at 13:38 | Report abuse |
  17. JB

    Nobody really cares period. About the welfare of the people who make those productions, or the people who star in them, again: period. So why bother?

    December 28, 2011 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Juan

      Insurance companies do. Why do you think its illegal to not wear a seatbelt? Who cares if you smash your face into your dashboard, it doesnt affect anyone else except the insurance companies.

      December 29, 2011 at 12:31 | Report abuse |
  18. s~

    should I buy stock in a condom company?

    December 28, 2011 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. AZTech711

    Retarded. First they want to prevent teens from getting contraceptives. Now they want to require adult to use them. Also, there are still too many questions. What if the film star was Catholic, where birth control is against their religion? They are forcing them out of the business. Religious persecution!

    December 28, 2011 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brick

      Ummm you can't be Catholic and a Adult Film star. They kinda dont mix. Also forcing workers in an industry to maintain safety guildlines are nothing new. What industry can you think of that doesn't have safety regulations? Why are adult entertainers exempt?

      December 28, 2011 at 18:22 | Report abuse |
  20. the_dude

    This is just another way to grab up some of that tax money. I imagine there will be steep fines for anyone who breaks this law and we will need a new government office to monitor all this and hire hundreds of useless minorities to staff this useless government office that does nothing.

    December 28, 2011 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. a. zandra

    4 million dollars

    December 28, 2011 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Geoff Hamilton

    So, the films would just shoot in Burbank or Sacremento, or say they were shot out of town... burden of proof is a difficult thing to overcome

    December 28, 2011 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Jaquie

    Condoms....ewww I'm not watching that. Well there goes the govt meddling into people CONSENTUAL behavior again.

    December 28, 2011 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TheyShould WearOne

      Jaquie, it should be EWWWW! when they are NOT wearing condoms, fool! How would you like a member of your family or even yourself to fall prey to someone not wearing a condom and infecting them or you? Does it seem any better when you're in those shoes? Or worse?

      December 28, 2011 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • TheyShouldWearOnesParentsShouldHaveWornOne

      Thank you for being a voice of reason. It's sad that some people can't tell the difference between consentual sex and rape.

      December 28, 2011 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
    • Juan

      Someone didnt read the article. Especially about the "business" part... Where do you people come from

      December 29, 2011 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
  24. Simply Amazing

    People are quite ignorant who feel they could not watch adult film actors if they were not using a condom. Hey! I've got the Perfect answer for you! Don"t Watch Them!! Does it take a rocket scientist to tell some of you people that? If you don't like something because an actor is wearing something or not wearing something then simply Stop Watching Them! Wow, amazing that no one thought of that. Simply amazing!

    December 28, 2011 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. imaguard

    How would you like to be one of the city inspectors to enforce THAT law. "Show me your rubber...."

    December 28, 2011 at 20:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eggsacklee

      lol...... but i do appreciate some people here clarifying the whole "insurance company" angle on this and other things like seatbelts.... i never understood 'til now..... happy new year to all!

      December 29, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
  26. Salome

    You can still get Herpes and crabs when you wear a condom during sexual intercourse. Who honestly uses contraceptives during oral sex? There's really no such thing as safe sex but the diseases can be somewhat contained through monogamy. Boring for some, yet true.

    December 28, 2011 at 22:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. T3chsupport

    I can't believe I'm actually going to argue against this... what a strange world... anyway:

    Adult film people know the risks they are getting into when they get into it. That is why anyone with any degree of decency who shoots these things require records of tests, and those people who get those tests only work with other people who also regularly get those tests, etc. There is still a risk involved, but that's their choice. The ones who are sloppy about who they come in contact with are people who are likely going to catch something somehow anyway.

    This goes too far. For one, like it or not, you're legislating someone's... artistic expression... which is wrong in and of itself, even if you disagree with the medium. Two, you're legislating how consenting adults get busy, and withholding the right of the consumer to get the kind of s mut they want to see. Or is this communist China, now? I don't think most people care, but I know that for some people, seeing rubber in their 'entertainment' throws them off their groove. Business still gets taken care of, sure, but it's not what they're looking for. Some people don't care. Some entertainers won't shoot without it, and they've still got their respective fanbases. It should be a choice.

    Keep the government out of your p0 rnz!

    December 28, 2011 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. James

    Since when does anything in movies reflect real life? I'd bet if this becomes law, the majority of adult filming or at least publishing will move to another state.

    December 28, 2011 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Roberto

    This is basically stupid. All it will mean is that adult film producers will drive to just outside the city limits to shoot their films. Then, they won't have to pay for the rubber inspectors or have to shoot with condoms.

    What a waste of everybody's time.

    December 29, 2011 at 01:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Alex E.

    I agree dat dere should b a low inplace, since dis guys refuse d use of condom 4 safty.

    December 29, 2011 at 05:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Wan Hung Low

      Are you for real? Is you dat uliterat?

      December 29, 2011 at 08:32 | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Just how low would that be?

      December 29, 2011 at 16:53 | Report abuse |
  31. Myto Senseworth

    professional signature-gathering firm ?????? I wonder if they are like "vote getters" in my state. They could get people to vote that were dead for years. Wonder how much they make per signature.(or pay?)

    December 29, 2011 at 08:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Myto Senseworth

    I wish everybody would use condoms.....help cut down on stu–pd people and people living off of my tax money.

    December 29, 2011 at 08:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Myto Senseworth

    Thanks CNN. This made me L O L this morning.

    December 29, 2011 at 08:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Andrew

    What a nanny state California is. They're trying to emulate Sweden. Next they'll criminalize cheating for men, but encourage it for women.

    December 29, 2011 at 10:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Georgie

    no way , honey , I like it RAW....Deeeliciious...

    December 29, 2011 at 12:08 | Report abuse | Reply

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    December 29, 2011 at 14:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Jason

    I'm sorry but they don't make condoms large enough for Mandingo! However, what a waste of money. Government intrusion into private industry will only ruin it. I for one am not watching a movie with an actor wearing a condom, that's like watching an action movie in which people never get shot even though fake. Oh well, just shoot it on her face.

    December 29, 2011 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. SirVictor

    I'd say a big kudos to LA. Its high tym this be enforced.

    December 29, 2011 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. macdoodle

    Since the state is not actively enforcing, why not just ask the state permission to collect costs from the productions under the state law to enforce for them?

    December 29, 2011 at 22:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. stiffinp

    Actually they don't use condoms on productions in Miami!

    December 29, 2011 at 23:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. MmmmYah

    Instead of requiring condoms (which is silly since this significantly impacts the business revenue and is not supported by the business customers) the law can simply require a more frequent testing period (stdtestexpress.com boasts a 3 day or less check) and more stringent third party checks before each filming.

    December 30, 2011 at 01:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Greg

    Right or wrong, I really don't care – I'm so tired of regulation after regulation that the danger of intrusive government is starting to outweigh the dangers they try regulate.

    December 30, 2011 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. ToeCheese

    I guess it's safe to say that the money (shot) is in the bag.

    December 30, 2011 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Joe

    So they'll just leave LA. Easy as that.

    December 30, 2011 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Slick Willy

    From the perspective of the viewer, condoms can certainly take away from the fantasy aspect of adult films which won't be very good for sales. But at the same time, the actors are engaging in real sexual acts (even if they're not enjoying themselves and are just thinking about the paycheck) which makes disease transmission a real possibility and so taking precautions such as wearing a condom is a good idea.

    It seems to be an insoluble conflict, which means nobody involved with this issue is going to be happy except the lawyers.

    December 31, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. deez nuts

    Where the women that can handle ten inches....

    December 31, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Fuyuko

    I am anti-this law. While yes, condom use would be a good idea, you can't really legislate intelligence. I prefer people not be so over-regulated by the nanny government. Let people make their own rules if they want, but government stay out of what consenting adults do, thanks.

    January 1, 2012 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Poodles

    I soiled myself. Whoops 🙁

    January 1, 2012 at 18:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Nicole

    I'm shocked that this is actually up for debate. It's no different than requiring safety harnesses for window washers or safe working conditions for miners. Condoms can mean the difference between life and death.

    January 1, 2012 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Amanda

    Yeah they are making this law but yet the actors obviously are in it for the money and if they get a disease they get a disease they are adults and should be able to make their own decisions by now dont you think??

    January 11, 2012 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
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