Adult-film producer Vivid Entertainment is challenging a voter-approved law requiring porn actors to wear condoms while filming explicit sex scenes, claiming, in part, that it infringes on actors’ First Amendment rights.
The lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court claims that Measure B, which passed last fall with 57 percent of the vote, violates the First Amendment right to free expression and is unnecessary because industry safeguards against AIDS and other sexually-transmitted diseases are already in place.
That porn actors are required to test monthly for STD’s and HIV was a major argument in the campaign against Measure B, the so-called Safer Sex in Adult Films initiative.
Califa Productions and two adult-film actors are also named as plaintiffs in the suit against Los Angeles County.
The industry has maintained that the law, if enforced, will drive business and thousands of jobs out of LA's sprawling San Fernando Valley, a hub of porn production.
Last fall, the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA) justified its condemnation of Measure B with similar arguments that the new law would threaten business.
Measure B expands countywide another voter-approved law that required male adult-film actors to wear condoms on all film shoots that receive a permit from the city of Los Angeles. It went into effect in December but the county has yet to find a way to enforce the law.
The ballot measure was initially spearheaded by AIDS Healthcare Foundation and members of FAIR (‘For Adult Industry Responsibility’) after as many as 22 HIV infections believed to be tied to the adult film industry were reported in two outbreaks in Los Angeles since 2004.
It also came amid a report that said thousands of sexually transmitted infections occur annually among adult performers, a rate higher than prostitutes in Nevada, where prostitution is legal.
A call by the Associated Press seeking comment from attorneys at the county counsel's office was not immediately returned.