A proposal that would require adult film actors to use condoms has qualified for the June ballot after proponents gathered enough signatures to put the issue before Los Angeles voters.
Proponents gathered more than 70,000 signatures, exceeding the 41,000 required to place the issue on the ballot, according to AIDS Heathcare Foundation spokesman Ged Kenslea. The signatures were certified last week by the LA City Clerk.
The Adult Film Workplace Condom Initiative would condition adult film permits on the production company's agreement to use condoms on the film set. Under the proposal, fees may be charged to "provide for inspectors to ensure compliance with conditions on film permits."
"We have other conditions on film permits," said Michael Weinstein, of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a backer of the proposal. "If you're going to blow things up, you have to have the fire department involved."
The ballot measure is the subject of a legal challenge by City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. His office filed a lawsuit earlier this month, calling the measure a "needless and wasteful expenditure of public resources made in connection with a measure which the voters have no power to adopt."
State laws already mandate use of condoms when workers are exposed to blood-borne pathogens, the lawsuit states.
But in a letter sent to the LA City Council after Trutanich issued his opinion on the matter earlier this year, Cal/OSHA officials said local authorities can require condom use on adult film sets.
"State law does not preempt such action by the City because the City does not seek to enact an occupational health and safety standard but rather a public health standard applicable to any film activity (regardless of employment relationship) within the City boundaries," officials said in the letter.
The ballot proposal has come under fire from the Free Speech Coalition, a Canoga Park-based industry trade group. The group issued a statement in support of the lawsuit, calling the measure "political grandstanding" and a waste of taxpayer dollars.