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Porn Condom Law in L.A. Likely Put on Hold for Summer

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Fri, May 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM

click to enlarge NATE 'IGOR' SMITH.
  • Nate 'Igor' Smith.
Like a lot of things with the L.A. City Council (marijuana dispensary rules, a boycott of Arizona businesses over the state's controversial immigration law), this was clearly easier said than done.

This week the L.A. chief administrative officer formally asked for a 90-day extension to complete a report on just how enforcement of a new rule requiring condom use at on-location porn shoots in the city would actually happen.

It's a messy issue, which CAO Miguel Santana admitted in a memo (PDF) to the council:

Due to the complexities of this issue and the need to further address the implementation matters associated with this Ordinance, additional time is needed to complete the report.

Complexities might be an understatement. Santana's request notes that after three "working group" meetings on how condoms might be enforced, this is still up in the air. Why?

While requiring condom use might sound straightforward, adult industry leaders have raised some sticky issues:

click to enlarge NATE 'IGOR' SMITH
  • Nate 'Igor' Smith

-What would happen if a married couple wanted to tape a scene? Would the city get all up in their reproductive rights?

-FilmLA, the entity the city uses to process all film permits in the city, doesn't ask producers if their projects involve nudity or adult content. The city would basically be asking it to discriminate between projects with sex and those without. An industry lawyer raised constitutional issues here: Can L.A. treat films differently based on content? He noted that some Hollywood films feature sex scenes. Would they also be required to ensure condom use?

-Finally, it was reported that both the LAPD and the L.A. Fire Department don't have the inspection skills currently -- nor the staffing levels, it would seem -- to do this job. So who would?

Yeah, sometimes the council doesn't think before it acts.

Now it looks like all the buzz over how progressive it would be for L.A. to protect porn industry sex workers was a lot of hot air. Condoms in porn won't happen anytime soon, at least not this summer.

Like a lot of ill-advised moves at the council, this can is being kicked down the road.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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