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Porn's Condom Rule Stays, But it Might Be Hard to Enforce

Porn's Condom Rule Stays, But it Might Be Hard to Enforce
File photo of the AVN Awards by Nate 'Igor' Smith for LA Weekly

A federal court today ruled that a November voter initiative that requires condom use on porn sets in most of L.A. county is constitutional, but U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson appeared to make the rule difficult to enforce.

In fact, in the ruling Pregerson said authorities couldn't sneak up on adult video shoots: They'd have to get a search warrant:

The ruling reads, in part:

... Adult film actors must still use condoms. A permit is still required. Although the permit may not be modified, suspended, or revoked, fines and criminal charges may still be brought against offenders, as described in footnote 23. While administrative searches cannot occur, nothing prevents law enforcement from obtaining a warrant to enforce Measure B.

The judge also said that producers shouldn't have to pay the fees to take out county permits that are part of the condom law, called Measure B, because they haven't been proven to be "revenue neutral."

Adult industry attorney Michael W. Fattorosi wrote this tonight:

... Measure B will now be much harder to enforce than it already is. But condoms remain a required aspect of shooting porn in Los Angeles County and California. The real question is does the County want to enforce a condom law that will now require a warrant for a search in order just to find violations.

In my opinion, I doubt the County will have the man power, the resources or the funding to start searching sets especially since they will not be able to charge fees for their permits.

The ruling denied the industry's request for a preliminary injunction, saying that its "First Amendment claim regarding Measure B's condom requirement is unlikely to succeed on the merits."

The adult business argued that requiring condoms infringed on filmmakers' constitutional right to express themselves freely and depict sex without them.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation spearheaded Measure B and has been trying to pressure L.A. County officials to enforce it.

AHF chief Michael Weinstein tonight called it a big deal for the safety of adult performers:

Today's ruling that requiring condoms in porn is constitutional is just a tremendous, tremendous victory, one that will go a long way to safeguard the health and safety of those adult performers working in the industry.

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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