L.A. Condom Panel to Meet Next Week

Rhett Pardon

LOS ANGELES — The Adult Film Industry Working Group, the panel created to craft policies to implement Los Angeles' porn-condom ordinance, has met two times already and plans on meeting a third time sometime next week before it gives its formal findings to City Council by mid month.

So far, the city's recent marathon budget hearings as well as the complexity of the topic evidently have put the ordinance's enforcement issue on a slower track.

The panel, which earlier discussed to meet this week, now plans to meet next week and a formal report is expected to be presented to City Council on May 16, Los Angeles City analyst Eva Bitar told XBIZ.

Bitar said that the city plans to post a meeting notice on the city's website, as well as at a location at City Hall, three days in advance of the third Adult Film Industry Working Group meeting, which hasn't been calendared.  

Enforcement of Los Angeles City Ordinance No. 181989, called the "Safer Sex in the Adult Industry Act," has been put on hold while city leaders try to sort out how to implement it, as well as determine which authority would be responsible for tending to it.

The porn-condom ordinance was passed by City Council in January while a ballot-initiative effort by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation was in full swing; council members decided for the ordinance after weighing legal and ballot-initiative costs.

At its second meeting last month, the Adult Film Industry Working Group — comprising of various officials from Film LA, the LAPD, city Fire Department, the City Attorney's office and county Health Department — discussed potential problems with enforcement, including whether Film LA, which coordinates film permits for the city, can ask producers whether their productions involve sex. Questions such as those, it was brought up, could lead to First Amendment issues.

One of the multitude of topics discussed involve cam sites and whether the city could enforce the law in the privacy of people's homes by raiding them over suspected violations.

Another problem that dogs the ordinance is the actual cost of implementing it through a formal program, particularly when the city faces a $238-million shortfall.

Group such as the Free Speech Coalition have been adamantly opposed to the ordinance and pending enforcement, and claim that the ordinance is a waste of taxpayer money.

FSC Executive Director Diane Duke told XBIZ she will be attending next week's hearing and that the adult entertainment trade group's board chair will represent it at the May 16 City Council meeting.