L.A. Mandatory Condom Law Qualifies for Ballot

Bob Johnson

LOS ANGELES — Proponents of the proposed measure that would require porn actors to wear condoms in films while shooting in L.A. have secured enough signatures to qualify the initiative for a June ballot.

The AIDS Heathcare Foundation (AHF)  — the main advocacy group behind the initiative — said it has gathered 70,889 signatures through its For Adult Industry Responsibility (FAIR) campaign, well above the 41,138 required to place it on the ballot.

AHF President Michael Weinstein said in a statement, “We are proud to announce that in letters dated Friday December 23rd and addressed to each of the five citizen proponents, June Lagmay, the Los Angeles City Clerk, has certified signatures from enough registered voters in the City of Los Angeles to qualify this ballot initiative for the June 2012 election.”

Ged Kenslea, a spokesman for AHF told the L.A. Times, "We're thrilled we've passed this initial threshold. We believe we're going to prevail in court and look forward to taking this issue directly to the voters."

But the hotly contested safe-sex issue still faces a challenge by Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich who filed court papers in December claiming L.A. voters would have no legal grounds to adopt the proposed measure.

Trutanich maintained that only the state — not the city — could legally make condom-only rules and charge the $85 inspection fees.

And Trutanich is butting heads with Cal/OSHA that regulates workplace safety and has taken the stance that it would be tough for the Department of Health to enforce required condom use.

Trutanich wants to hand off enforcement of health and safety regulations to local agencies.

Cal/OSHA’s Ellen Widess, chief of industrial relations however took issue with the City Attorney’s assessment and fired off a Dec, 23 email to Deputy City Attorney Kimberly Miera.

The email read, “We respectfully disagree with your interpretation conveyed in your September 9, 2011 letter to James Clark, in response to his letter of July 20. We remain convinced that the City of Los Angeles is not preempted by Cal/OSHA from asserting its authority to protect the health of employees and others, including volunteers, who may be exposed to health hazards in L.A.’s adult film industry. We believe that cities and counties can regulate under their police power unless specifically restricted by something else, and our Blood Borne Pathogen standard does not provide that restriction.  I cannot speak for the Cal/OSHA Standards Board.”

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