L.A. Condom Panel Asks for 90 Days, Cites 'Complexities'
LOS ANGELES — The city administrative officer has asked for a 90-day extension to report back to City Council and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa over rules implementing the new condom ordinance targeting adult performers.
The request, made in a memo obtained by XBIZ, cited "complexities of this issue" and asks the City Council and mayor to give the Adult Film Industry Working Group additional time needed to complete the report.
The request effectively puts enforcement of the ordinance, which makes condoms mandatory for performers at on-location adult film productions within city limits, on hold until at least late summer.
The Adult Film Industry Working Group has met three times already to craft policies to implement the ordinance; the panel, composing of city, county and state officials, had planned to schedule a final meeting sometime this week before reporting to City Council, but that meeting ended up postponed.
The panel had been pressured to create a master plan for the ordinance within 120 days of the law being passed by City Council and signed by the mayor. The condom ordinance was passed by City Council in mid January after threats of litigations from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which was successful in getting a ballot initiative pushed through.
In recent weeks the Adult Film Industry Working Group panel has heard from a contingent of vocal adult entertainment industry officials who say the ordinance is faulty and unneeded.
Two weeks ago, Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Diane Duke and FSC Board Chair Jeffrey Douglas met separately with the city administrative officer, Miguel Santana, and his staff to discuss specific complications inherent to the ordinance's implementation and enforcement.
And last week's meeting at City Hall produced a strong turnout for the adult entertainment biz and included public comments from Immoral Productions' Dan Leal, Duke and adult industry attorneys Michael Fattorosi and Allan Gelbard.
Gelbard, who spelled out problematic legal consequences associated with the ordinance at the meeting, told XBIZ today that the 90-day extension may give the panel more time to logically think things through.
"Perhaps, if they take a more thorough look at the constitutional issues involved in attempting enforcement, they will realize what a mistake passing this ordinance truly was," Gelbard said.
"I would hope the working group advises the city that the chance of this ordinance surviving a legal challenge is all but nonexistent, and that the city — in this time of fiscal uncertainty — can ill afford the cost of defending this clearly unconstitutional statute in court, not to mention the significant additional financial exposure of having to pay an attorneys fees award when it is finally struck down."
Fattorossi told XBIZ that because of the industry's comments and analysis at the meetings, the working group is now well aware of problems that enforcement of the law will place on the city's services.
"The act is unconstitutional and it is encouraging to see the city finally recognizing how it is fatally flawed," he said. "It was apparent from my attendance at the meetings that the members of the working group had not considered how far reaching and overly broad the act is.
"I have a feeling they may need even more than 90 days."