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article imageLA voters to decide on condom use in porn

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By Layne Weiss     Jul 5, 2012 in Politics
Los Angeles - A ballot measure will allow Los Angeles County voters to decide this November whether or not porn actors should be required to wear condoms during film shoots.
According to the LA Times, the measure is one of the most explicit to ever be put on a ballot, and will be voted on in a county that is considered the headquarters of the US porn industry.
Los Angeles AIDs activists fought to get the measure on the ballot as means to protect porn actors from getting HIV, BBC News reports.
"The lives of these performers are not disposable," AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein said Wednesday according to the LA Times. "This industry is sending out the wrong message about safer sex."
If the measure is approved, it may affect the way porn movies are made, Reuters reports. Porn industry producers have warned they might move out of LA County to avoid the requirement if it were to come into fruition.
The proposed measure would require porn producers to get health permits from LA County to make films showing "explicit sex and nudity."
Many producers in the industry oppose the measure saying porn stars should be able to decide whether or not they want to wear condoms during film shoots.
Critics of the measure say porn actors are tested regularly, and should not required to wear condoms, BBC News reports.They believe requiring actors to wear condoms will hurt business.
In January, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed an ordinance ordering porn performers to wear condoms while acting in porn films made only under city permits, the LA Times reports. The City Council approved the ordinance after AIDs activists collected enough signatures to take the issues to the voters. AIDS Healthcare Foundation President said his group collected 371,000 signatures. 232,000 is the amount of signatures needed to get a measure on a ballot.
Los Angeles is still trying to figure out how to enforce Mayor Villaraigosa's ordinance, BBC News reports. Diane Duke of the Free Speech Coalition, told the LA Times in February that measures such as these were "government outreach."
"It's clearly the government interfering where it doesn't belong," she said.
Duke and other Free Speech Coalition representatives have not returned calls or emails about the ballot measure for November, Reuters reports.
Most US porn films are produced in LA's San Fernando Valley.
According to BBC News, a 1988 ruling prevented producers in California from being prosecuted under anti-prostitution laws. Only New Hampshire has a similar ruling. HIV scares have led to the suspension of various porn film productions in the past.
Back in January, Keiran Lee, a British porn actor in Los Angeles told BBC Newsbeat that "viewers at home don't want to see condom porn."
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