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L.A. City Council OKs Adoption of Measure B's Language

L.A. City Council OKs Adoption of Measure B's Language
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Jan 17, 2013 12:00 PM PST    Text size: 

LOS ANGELES — City Council voted, 14-0, yesterday to approve the city administrative officer's recommendation that the city adopt the language and intent of Los Angeles County's Measure B and ordered a draft measure that requires adult film producers to obtain health permits before commencing production.

Miguel Santana, the City of Los Angeles' city administrative officer, earlier this week submitted a report that seeks to amend the city's own Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Ordinance, approved by council and signed into law in January 2012 by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, because of conflicting requirements and enforcement procedures included in the city and county ordinances.

"The city has three choices about how to address the city and county regulations," Santana wrote in the report. "One option would be to repeal City Ordinance No. 181989 and replace it with the county ordinance, which would require a ballot measure and voter approval.

"The second possibility would be to adopt both the city and county ordinances and resolve conflicts in enforcement as they arise.

"This office recommends a third choice to amend City Ordinance No. 181989 to include the language and intent of county measure."

On Wednesday, City Council directed the office of the chief administrative officer to update the film permit process to also include the requirement of a county health public health permit, amend the city ordinance to reflect the change and adopt the county ordinance and report back on mechanisms of enforcement and method of data collection through the city's contract with Film LA.

The porn-condom ordinance was passed by City Council last year 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. Voters in November approved the county ordinance.

Under Measure B, producers of adult films are required to obtain a public health permit from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health by filing an application form with the department and by paying a fee.

The law also states that the adult film production public health permit must be displayed at all times at the location where any adult film is filmed in an area that is visible to performers. In addition, a legible sign shall be posted that states that the use of condoms is required for anal or vaginal sex during the production of adult films.

Further, the county ordinance when implemented will include inspections and administrative reviews and how violations of the ordinance will be enforced through the revocation of permits, fines and imprisonment.

Santana, in his memo to City Council and mayor, said that the city has updated language on film permits, which are administered by FilmLA Inc.

Those updates require permittees to "comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, ordinances and rules, including all applicable federal and state regulations for workplace safety and requirements for workers' compensation insurance for all persons operating under this permit as well as all applicable regulatory, environmental, safety and other standards of care in carrying out the activities that are subject of this permit."

Santana said that the city also has added a section to the "Filming Activities" list of the permit that includes "non-simulated sexual activity."

"If that section is selected by an applicant, indicating that non-simulated sexual activity would be filmed, then the following language is inserted into the 'Generic Conditions' section on the actual permit: Permittee must abide by all applicable workplace health and safety regulations, including California Code of Regulations Title 8, Section 5193, which mandates barrier protection, including condoms, to shield performers from contact with blood or other potentially infectious material during the production of films," Santana said.

"In addition, if council adopts Measure B, producers of adult films would then be required to provide the appropriate public health permit documentation from the County of Los Angeles to secure a film permit from the City of Los Angeles."

Santana, in his report to City Council and the mayor, said that he received a letter on Tuesday from the chief proponent of the Safer Sex ordinance, Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation.

In the letter, Weinstein requested that City Council "take immediate action" to adopt the county's Safer Sex law and to amend the Los Angeles City Municipal Code.

Weinstein's letter said that Los Angeles residents "deserve and demand prompt enforcement of the law."

Last week, Vivid Entertainment filed a suit at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles challenging the new law under the First Amendment right of free expression. The complaint seeks an injunction that would stop the ballot initiative from taking effect.

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