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Larry Flynt a No-Show at Condom Protest

Larry Flynt a No-Show at Condom Protest
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Jun 17, 2004 12:45 PM PDT    Text size: 
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) staged a protest Thursday morning in front of the Larry Flynt Publications' office building on Wilshire Boulevard with no shortage of honking horns and members of the mainstream media on hand. But Flynt was a no-show.

Titling the rally "The People vs. Larry Flynt," AHF is calling on Flynt as an icon in the porn industry to do away with his "condom optional" policy and require the use of condoms in the production of his films and Internet content. AHF says it is targeting Flynt because he is an influential leader in the adult business.

Michael Weinstein, president of AHF, spoke with press and protestors in front of the LFP building, holding a large placard designed to look like a postcard addressed to the porn mogul.

"Dear Larry, Do the Right Thing," the placard said. "P.S., Condoms Save Lives."

Weinstein is asking Flynt to take responsibility for the industry that has made him tens of millions of dollars. He called Flynt's condom optional policy a "phony fig leaf."

"It would be a very powerful message if he [Flynt] required condoms on sets," Weinstein told XBiz. "Larry Flynt has been personally touched by AIDS," he said, referring to the tragic loss of Flynt's first wife Althea to the AIDS virus. "He ought to be more responsible."

Former Playboy Playmate Rebekka Armstrong was on hand to lend support to the protest and state her case that condoms in porn can be sexy.

Armstrong contracted HIV at the age of 16 and feels certain that a condom would have saved her life.

"I think that wearing a condom is a beautiful and sexy thing and I think it would be wonderful to see it in porn," Armstrong told XBiz, adding that a few years ago she gave up running her own content site to help educate children and college students nationwide on AIDs prevention and awareness.

"California has the best system in place for HIV testing in the world," said Weinstein, who applauded the adult industry's new policy to test an adult performer for two weeks prior to their appearance in a shoot. However, Weinstein added, if there continue to be more HIV infections in the porn industry, it is inevitable that state and even federal legislation will be enacted.

"We don't need more people becoming infected," he said. "Every life counts and it will just end up costing taxpayers to care for these people."

Weinstein then led protestors and media into the foyer of Flynt's office building to personally deliver the over-sized postcard, although security guards, including one thought to work personally for Flynt, asked the group to leave.

Protestors finished up the rally with a circular march in front of the building, wielding large nylon banners from condom maker Lifestyles and signs that read: "Hustle Up Some Rubber," "Unsafe Porn Has to Go," "Your Porn Needs a Rubber," and "Condoms Save Lives."

"A lot of people get their sexual education from porn," Weinstein said. "It is the industry's responsibility to send the right message."

Weinstein added that members of AHF intend to stage rallies at other Flynt-related events, including book-signing appearances for the debut of "Sex, Lies and Politics," which is slated to hit bookstores on Friday.

Weinstein and AHF also intend to search out other notables in the porn industry who have not yet taken more responsibility for stopping the spread of AIDS on their film sets.

Representatives for Flynt were not available for comment at press time

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