LOS ANGELES — Actors in adult movies filmed in America's pornography capital would be required to use condoms under an ordinance granted final approval Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council.
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The measure, adopted 9-1, next goes to the mayor for his signature. Before it can take effect, however, the City Council has ordered police officials, the city attorney and others to hold meetings to figure out how it might be enforced.
The council's second and final vote to approve the law was taken without public discussion on a day when most of the porn industry's major players were in Las Vegas preparing for Wednesday's opening of the Adult Entertainment Expo, their industry's largest trade event.
Several industry officials condemned the move as being an unneeded exercise in political correctness that cannot be enforced.
"The only thing that the city could potentially achieve is losing some film permit money and driving some productions away, but you can't actually compel an industry to create a product that the market doesn't want," said Christian Mann, general manager of Evil Angel Productions, one of the industry's biggest makers of porn films.
Like others in the business, he said large numbers of consumers, especially overseas, consistently refuse to buy films in which condoms are used.
Veteran porn actress Tabitha Stevens said she has worked with and without condoms during her 17-year career. Although Stevens, who also produces films, said she prefers to work with condoms, she doesn't believe their use should be mandated by a government authority.
"If you want to wear them, wear them. If you don't, don't. That's up to the talent to decide. It shouldn't be up to the government to decide," she said by phone from Las Vegas.
Stevens and others also said the industry's self-imposed testing standard, in which major companies require that actors be tested every 30 days for sexually transmitted diseases, is working well. They say there has not been a confirmed case of HIV related directly to the porn industry since 2004.
Advocates of the new law said the testing isn't sufficient and the condom requirement adds another level of safety.
"We are not opposed to testing, but testing is not prevention in the same way that a barrier protection is," said Ged Kenslea, spokesman for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which supports the condom requirement.
He also accused the adult film industry of not being forthcoming in reporting all cases of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia and others.
Kenslea scoffed at the idea that the industry, about 90 percent of which is believed to be based in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, will pack up and move because of the restriction.
"The industry is not going to go away," he said, adding that other parts of America aren't as tolerant of hard-core-sex films and that the industry's infrastructure, from writers, directors and actors to production facilities, is already based here.
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