L.A. May Vote on Mandatory Condom Use for Porn Stars

Los Angeles residents may soon vote on whether condom use should be mandatory for those who work in the City of Angel’s prolific porn industry.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, an organization that spearheaded the proposal, collected more than 70,000 signatures, which were certified by the city clerk Tuesday. The number of signatures is far more than the 41,000 needed to have the measure considered for city voting.

Under current law, porn stars must test negative for HIV and other STDs within 30 days of filming. Many argue that even the current law should be modified because HIV often does not show up in tests until months after a person contracts the virus.

“There are thousands of STDs in this industry,” Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told Reuters. “It’s the ick factor. They don’t want to deal with this because it’s sex, and because it’s porn.”

Many in the adult entertainment industry argue that mandatory condom use would destroy the fantasy associated with pornography.

While L.A. residents would vote on the issue during the presidential primary in June, the Los Angeles Times reported that the proposal still faced legal challenges.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich filed court documents earlier this month that said the state, not the city, had the only legal authority to impose condom use on porn sets.

But Ellen Widess, head of the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, said the proposal is a legal possibility.

In a news release on the AIDS Healthcare Foundation website, Widess said: “We remain convinced that the City of Los Angeles is not pre-empted 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. We believe that cities and counties can regulate under their police power unless specifically restricted by something else, and our blood-borne pathogen standard does not provide that restriction.”

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