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City Council Approves Condom Ordinance For Porn Sets

Actress Nina Hartley says the oversight will drive more filming underground.

The City Council today approved an ordinance requiring actors to use condoms on pornography film sets, making Los Angeles the first city in the nation to do so.

The council voted 9-1 to approve the ordinance requiring the city to enforce the condom requirement and forcing film companies to pay a fee for a film permit in order to pay for the inspections.

Councilman Mitchell Englander cast the lone dissenting vote.

The vote was a second procedural vote on the ordinance and required only a simple majority of the council to give final approval.

Council members last week voted unanimously to form a working group comprised of the City Attorney's Office, Police and Personnel departments and state occupational safety officials to figure out how to enforce the new requirements.

Last month, the city clerk certified about 71,000 petition signatures -- more than the 41,138 necessary -- collected by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to force the City Council to consider the initiative.

City law required the council to approve the initiative as an ordinance or place it before voters in an upcoming election. Council members and supporters said approving the ordinance would avoid the $4 million cost of putting it on the June ballot.

The cost of enforcing the ordinance would be borne by the industry, officials said.

The condom requirement was opposed by some actors in the industry.

"It's pure politics. It's not going to make anybody safer," said Nina Hartley, an adult film actress and registered nurse. Hartley said the oversight will drive more filming underground.

She said adult film shoots require sexual intercourse that lasts 30-60 minutes. Hartley said wearing a condom for that long would lead to chafing, open sores and a greater risk of transmitting diseases.

"They're trying to paint us as 'Typhoid Mary's.' It's slanderous," said Hartley, adding that there have only been two cases of HIV in the adult film industry in the last ten years.

See the attached video of Hartley talking about the adult industry in North Hollywood last February.

A state law already exists requiring the use of "barrier protection" on adult film sets, but is rarely enforced, advocates of the measure say.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is leading a new ballot initiative to force the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to closely monitor the industry for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

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