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Condom use in porn may be decided by LA voters

November 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Los Angeles voters may decide whether actors in pornographic movies filmed in Los Angeles should be required to wear condoms.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation said it gathered enough signatures to put the issue on the June 2012 ballot.

"We treat animals better than porn performers," said Michael Weinstein, president of The AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "We see at the end of a movie, 'No animal was hurt in the making of this film.' Yet many, many performers are hurt in the making of adult films."

At a news conference in Van Nuys on Wednesday, Weinstein was joined by adult film actors who said they contracted HIV while working in locally-produced porn films.

"In a lot of other industries, there are unions. This is a multibillion-dollar industry that has no union in place," said Derrick Burts, who contracted HIV on a porn set.

Federal and state laws already require the use of condoms in adult films, but performers say the laws are often ignored.

The proposed city ordinance would require spot inspections on porn sets and require condom use to secure a film permit.

"My perception is that a lot of performers would love to see this happen. It's just they're afraid to speak up because they're afraid they'll lose their paycheck, and that's a real shame," said Burts.

Critics say the requirement would force porn further underground, making it riskier for performers.

The city has 30 days to validate the signatures. Once that happens, the city council could put the ordinance into effect immediately. If the council fails to act, then the issue goes before voters.


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