L.A. Supervisors Slate Tuesday Porn-Condom Discussion

Jul 19, 2012 6:00 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has slated a vote to certify signatures for the porn-condom initiative petition that would make rubbers mandatory at porn shoots within the county.

The board will hear a recommendation on Tuesday to approve certification of results of the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk's examination of signatures for a November vote. Supervisors also have the option to vote the measure into law immediately.

County officials say they have received 372,100 unverified signatures and verified a sample — three percent, or 11,163, of those signatures. Of those three percent, 8,588 of signatures were found sufficient for the petition. The measure needed 232,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

The initiative would require on-location adult film producers to pay a fee and obtain a permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. Performers would be mandated to use condoms for acts of anal and vaginal sex.

County officials would have the authority to suspend or revoke the permit for violations, and could follow up with $1,000 civil fines or misdemeanor criminal charges.

The requirement would apply to shoots in unincorporated areas of the county and 85 of its 88 cities, including the city of Los Angeles. The county covers some 4,000 square miles and is home to over a quarter of all California residents, including the city of Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, also known as Porn Valley.

On Tuesday, the board also will hear consideration of a report by county counsel and the director of Public Health, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, on various issues pertaining to the initiative petition, including ordinance jurisdiction, film permitting, enforcement mechanisms and ensuring that the measure would be cost neutral to the county.

Questions about the county's legal authority to enforce the proposed rule in 85 cities that contract with the county for public health services were raised two weeks ago at the Supervisors meeting.

The city of Los Angeles already has a porn-condom ordinance, but it continues to be sidelined until the first week of September at the earliest because city leaders haven't yet drawn up formal plans to implement the law.

Just last week, the City Council was advised to meet with legal counsel in closed session over the city's condom ordinance because of two potential threats of litigation coming from AIDS Healthcare Foundation Michael Weinstein and adult industry attorney Allan Gelbard.

The Free Speech Coalition, which all along has opposed the county initiative as well as the city's, has previously said the AIDS Healthcare Foundation hasn't been transparent with the public about facts associated with the industry and sexually transmitted diseases, calling the county condom measure "just their next and the latest business opportunity."

The AHF has been the proponent for both the city and county's condom initiatives.

"The big difference with the adult film industry is that contact with the public occurs through television, computers and smartphones," the FSC said. "There is no direct contact with the public, so how can this be a public health issue?"

Supervisors will vote on whether to forward the porn-condom ballot initiative on Tuesday at Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration at 500 W. Temple St. in Los Angeles. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and the discussion item is No. 15 on the agenda.

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