UPDATE 7:35 a.m.
Voters in Los Angeles County approved Measure B Tuesday, ushering in a new era of government oversight of the adult film industry.
The new law, which passed with over 55 percent of the vote, requires male actors to wear condoms during the shooting of adult films and follows on the heels of a similar ordinance passed by the Los Angeles City Council in January.
The vote is a victory for the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which gathered enough signatures to get Measure B—also known as the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act—on the ballot. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation also gathered the required number of signatures that forced the L.A. City Council to vote on the issue in January.
Measure B requires producers of adult films in the county obtain health permits and requires that male actors use condoms while filming vaginal or anal intercourse. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation has argued that the use of condoms will help protect performers from sexually transmitted diseases.
"Our goal is to protect performers, and I understand if they disagree with us," Michael Weinstein, executive director of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, told the Los Angeles Daily News.
Measure B was strongly opposed by leaders of the adult film industry, which is centered in the San Fernando Valley and generates an estimated $8 billion a year in revenue. Approximately 90 percent of all U.S. adult films are shot in the Valley, according to Mark Kernes, senior editor of Chatsworth-based Adult Video News.
A group of adult film performers opposed to Measure B held a rally on Sunday at a strip club in North Hollywood. Many there argued that the industry's required testing of performers is sufficient to protect against STDs.
"We're tested every 15 days," adult performer Tatyiana Foxx told Patch.
Fox said condoms would ruin the fantasy of many scenes her fans enjoy, while male performer James Bartholet said the city would lose tax dollars if the industry were forced to relocate.
"We spend our tax dollars here, we go to the beauticians and the nail salons and the auto body shops," he said, adding: "If you shut this industry down you're going to have local businesses that are going to have a huge drop in sales. Now is that a smart thing?"
Measure B passed despite editorial opposition from both the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Daily News. The Daily News argued that the threat of STDs to performers has been exaggerated, as the industry claims no performer has tested positive for HIV since 2004 as a result of its rigorous testing policies.
After the ordinance was passed in January, many adult film companies have threatened to leave Los Angeles to nearby locations rather than comply with the condom ordinance. In response to the L.A. ordinance, nearby Simi Valley passed its own condom ordinance in April, which was aimed at stopping a possible flood of film production companies relocating there. Now with Measure B passing and requiring condoms throughout the entire county, the future of the industry in Los Angeles and Southern California is unclear.
-- Arin Mikailian contributed to this story