Porn's Condom Law Battle Abandoned by L.A. County
In a letter to a U.S. appeals court, an attorney for the county of Los Angeles said it won't defend its own condoms-in-porn law in court.
That, as you might expect, had the AIDS Healthcare Foundation up in arms today. The organization spearheaded the mandatory condom rule, which applies to adult video shoots in most of L.A. county.
You, the voter, approved the initiative, called Measure B, in November. But after the industry, including adult video giant Vivid Entertainment, challenged the law, the county dropped out of sight when it came to defending it in court.
So the AHF stepped in.
The porn biz was already rebuffed by U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson, who ruled that the condom rule is not unconstitutional, as it had argued.
Porn's Condom Rule Stays, But it Might Be Hard to Enforce.
The industry said Los Angeles County had no right to limit its freedom of expression, including how it depicts penises, covered or not, onscreen.
The court agreed to limited enforcement, saying that government inspectors couldn't just show up unannounced to ensure condom use. But the industry appealed.
Yesterday the county bowed out of defending the law in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. A letter to the court Monday from an outside lawyer hired by the county says ...
Pursuant to Circuit Rule 31-2.3, Defendants-Appellees [county health chief] Jonathan Fielding, [District Attorney] Jackie Lacey, and the County of Los Angeles elect not to file an answering brief in the above-referenced appeal ...
Here's the response from AHF honcho Michael Weinstein:
It is a sad day when Dr. Jonathan Fielding and other L.A. County bureaucrats are unwilling or unable to defend a fairly straightforward law protecting the health and safety of adult film performers working in the industry in Los Angeles County. Despite Judge Pregerson's ruling that the condom requirement is, in fact, constitutional, County officials are now cherry picking which laws to enforce. This should be a huge embarrassment to the County, but as we've seen before, with little to no little accountability, they have no shame whatsoever.
The adult biz has argued that consumers don't want condom porn and that it's now twice-a-month testing protocol for performers works. The AHF has cited recent reports of HIV as a reason why condoms are needed in porn.
Either way, it appears to be business as usual as porn makers either ignore the law or sidestep locations in L.A. county.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.