LA mayor signs law requiring condoms in porn films

(AP) -- Actors in adult movies filmed in Los Angeles will be required to use condoms under an ordinance signed into law by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and porn industry leaders say the regulation could lead them to abandon the nation's porn capital.

The law, signed Monday, will take effect 41 days after it is posted by the city clerk, something that could happen as early as this week.

Officials with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which lobbied for years for such a law, expressed jubilation Tuesday and said they would now turn their attention to getting a similar requirement adopted elsewhere.

"The city of Los Angeles has done the right thing. They've done the right thing for the performers," said Michael Weinstein, president of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which had pushed the measure for six years.

He said its adoption is crucial in protecting adult film actors from HIV and other .

Weinstein said his group's next move will be to get Los Angeles County to adopt a similar measure for its unincorporated areas.

The group is in the midst of a petition drive to put the issue on the ballot, but Weinstein said he hopes the county's Board of Supervisors will react as the Los Angeles City Council did and pass such an ordinance itself. The council gave its final approval last week.

Industry officials estimate as many as 90 percent of the porn films produced in the United States are made in Los Angeles. Most are filmed quietly in the city's suburban San Fernando Valley.

After the council's action, several of the industry's biggest filmmakers said they might consider moving just outside the county. That prompted Simi Valley Mayor Bob Huber to announce last week that he would ask the city attorney for his community, located just across the county line from the San Fernando Valley, to write a similar ordinance.

Weinstein said Tuesday his group would also be vigilant in keeping track of where porn producers might go.

Exactly how the law will be enforced is still to be determined.

It calls for makers of porn films to pay a fee, the amount still to be determined, that would be used to pay for spot checks at filming locations.

The City Council is creating a committee to determine the amount of the fee and who would make the spot checks.

Weinstein said he envisions enforcement would fall on nurses or other public health providers.

"It is not anticipated, based on what we desire or what has been discussed, that it would be uniformed police officers," he said.

Weinstein said he would be open to working with industry leaders to enforce the law.

He noted the ordinance does not require condoms when oral sex is involved because his group, which originally crafted it, agreed with the filmmakers that infection through oral sex was not as great as through other sex acts.

The industry already requires that actors be tested for HIV every 30 days, and filmmakers say they believe that is sufficient.

"It's not that I don't doubt the sincerity of their desire to protect the talent. And believe it or not, we have the same ambition," Christian Mann, general manager of Evil Angel Productions, said last week after the council's vote.

"We just don't believe their way is the best way," added Mann, who is also on the board of directors of the industry trade group the Free Speech Coalition.

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