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Porn's Condom Battle Puts L.A. Lawmaker in Hot Seat

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Fri, Sep 6, 2013 at 9:04 AM

click to enlarge MIKE GATTO VIA GATTO'S OFFICE.
  • Mike Gatto via Gatto's office.
The battle over mandatory condoms in porn just got a little more political.

If you ever wondered which lawmakers in Sacramento have been sitting on their hands as groups like the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has been calling on tougher regulation of adult worker health, the AHF has a name for you: L.A. Assemblyman Mike Gatto.

According to the group, Gatto is blocking L.A. Assemblyman Isadore Hall's proposal to make mandatory condom use in adult video a statewide law. Gatto says it's not true:

The AHF yesterday announced it has launched a robocall campaign targeting 100,000 of Gatto's constituents in places like Atwater Village, Burbank, Glendale, Hollywood, La Canada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Los Feliz, Montrose, and Silver Lake.

The calls urge "his constituents to call Gatto and demand that he free AB 640 from his hold and let it come to a vote immediately before anyone else is harmed," the group states.

While an earlier version of the bill died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee that Gatto chairs, he noted to the Los Angeles Daily News that AB 640 isn't even in a place, the assembly, where he could block it if he wanted to (it's in the senate).

Gatto told the paper:

I have not made any decisions We're really not quite sure what they are talking about. It's clear they are trying to engage in some public brow beating. It's before the Senate. It's not before me.

But AHF says he "is single-handedly blocking a California bill to protect the health of adult film workers throughout the state."

The group spearheaded the mandatory condom rule for porn that applies to most of L.A. county, and AHF has been critical of the industry following recent revelations that two performers have tested positive for HIV.

The adult business has so far defied the L.A. rule, arguing that consumers don't want to see condoms and that its monthly testing protocol for performers works.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.

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