Los Angeles (City) Won’t Refuse Permits for Condomless Porn

by Michelle Minton on April 14, 2011

in Health and Illness, Nanny State, Personal Liberty, Regulation

After years of fighting and failed attempts to force Los Angeles County to require condom-usage on adult film sets, AIDS activists were finally successfully in getting the county to vote in their favor, thanks in large part to a very public incident this year where a male porn star was diagnosed with HIV. As a result of the council’s vote, some in the porn industry worried that their continued non-usage of condoms on set could result in the city denying requests for permits to film, but a new letter from the LA City Attorney suggests that will not be the case.

As I have written about before, the major push for mandating condoms on porn film sets has come from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which is an LA-based organization dedicated to reducing the infection rate and providing medicine, care, and education throughout the world regarding HIV and AIDS.

While the work that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation does is laudable and most people can agree that porn actors would be wise to demand condoms in a profession where they are often exposed to blood-borne pathogens, mandates aren’t the way to go. First of all, mandates just don’t work. Secondly, and more importantly, mandates are a violation of both the freedom of expression and a violation of the right for individual actors and producers to make their own decisions about their health and careers.

First of all, the mandate will not prevent actors from staring in condomless porn that will produced in Las Vegas and likely still in LA County. The demand is strong enough that producers like Larry Flynt might simply be willing to take the cost of the CAL/OSHA fines. Second, sex-tech is advancing fairly rapidly and male condoms aren’t the only game in town when it comes to barrier protection.

Most importantly though, it should be up to the actors themselves to take care of their own health and demand that condoms be made available or get out of the business. You have a right to liberty — not a right to a career in the porn industry.

The good news is, even though the LA City Council did approve the mandate for condoms on porn sets, and there was a worry among producers that the state would hold permits to film “hostage” for companies not in compliance with the new ordinance, it looks as though they plan to butt-out when it comes to enforcement. In a letter, the LA City Attorney declared that it was up to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (aka Cal/OSHA) to enforce the state’s health standards in the workplace. In the letter, the City Attorney notes that while the FilmLA, Inc., (the quasi-governmental organization that doles out permits to film porn within the city limits) does have the power to deny permits if producers aren’t complying with the condom ordinance, they aren’t required to and probably won’t.

After years of fighting and failed attempts to force LA County to require condom-usage on adult film sets, AIDS activists were finally successfully in getting the county to vote in their favor, thanks in large part to a very public incident this year where a male porn star was diagnosed with HIV.

As I have written about before, the major push for mandating condoms on porn film sets has come from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation which is an LA-based organization dedicated to reducing the infection rate and providing medicine, care, and education throughout the world regarding HIV and AIDS.

And while I agree with them that protection just makes sense when you are exposing yourself to that kind of risk that often mandates don’t work, for one, and more importantly, mandates are clearly a violation of the right to free expression, and a violation of the right for individual actors and producers to make their own decisions about their health and careers.

First of all the mandate will not prevent actors from staring in condomless porn (aka barebacking) which will produced in Las Vegas and likely still in LA county. The demand for the appearance of barebacking is strong enough that producers like Larry Flynt might simply be willing to take the cost of the CAL/OSHA fines. Second, sex-tech is advancing fairly rapidly and male condoms aren’t the only game in town when it comes to barrier protection.

Most importantly though, it should be up to the actors themselves to take care of their own health and demand that condoms be made available or get out of the business. You have a right to liberty—not a right to a career in the porn industry.

The good news is, even though the LA City Council did approve the mandate for condoms on porn sets, and there was a worry among producers that the state would hold permits to film “hostage,” for companies not in compliance with the new ordinance, it looks as though they plan to butt-out when it comes to enforcement. In a letter the LA City Attorney declared that it was up to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health aka Cal/OSHA to enforce the state’s health standards in the workplace. In the letter the Attorney notes that while the FilmLA, Inc., (the quasi-governmental organization that doles out permits to film porn within the city limits) does have the power to deny permits if producers aren’t complying with the condom ordinance, they aren’t required to and probably won’t.

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