AHF Plans to Appeal Porn Production Ruling

Jun 23, 2011 10:30 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — The AIDS Healthcare Foundation will appeal last week's ruling by the California Court of Appeal that said Los Angeles County health officials can't be forced to regulate the local porn biz.

The state's highest court now will decide whether to take the case over the AHF's bid to make condoms mandatory for all porn productions in the county.

Tom Myers, general counsel for AHF, said that the group "will continue to pursue all available means to protect adult film workers and the public."

Diane Duke, the Free Speech Coalition's executive director, on Thursday blasted the AHF, saying, "It is shameful how AHF's grandstanding consistently takes priority over the health and well being of their clients and now the people of L.A. county."

"AHF has a history of frivolous lawsuits that not only squander funds that could and should be used for the prevention and treatment of HIV but also now into  taxpayer dollars."

But Myers said his group is on the right path and that the county has been derilict of duty when it comes to the porn industry.

"The county of Los Angeles has the duty to protect public health, one the highest responsibilities of local government," Myers said. "It simply cannot ignore this duty and blithely sit by while thousands of people, both inside and outside the industry, contract STDs.”

“Unfortunately, in dismissing our case, the Court of Appeal effectively ruled that the county cannot be forced to fulfill it statutory duty to protect the public from inherently hazardous activities, such as sexually transmitted diseases resulting from the making of adult films. We disagree with that conclusion, and will seek Supreme Court review."

The decision to ask state justices to weigh in on the case contradicts an earlier statement to XBIZ by AHF officials.

Appellate judges, in the unpublished opinion last week, said the county's health department has discretion to determine what measures are necessary to prevent the transmission of communicable diseases and could not be forced by the courts to implement the specific means advocated by the AHF.

The AHF said in the appeal that that the porn biz in Los Angeles county has been afflicted by recurrent outbreaks of sexually transmitted diseases among performers — an "epidemic" — including HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, hepatitis, genital human papillomavirus infection and genital herpes.

It blames the "lack of protective equipment for performers, including condoms,” for the so-called "epidemic," and says the county has taken no effective steps to address it.

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