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Bill requiring condoms in adult films advances in Assembly

Measure to require condom use in adult film shoots statewide is now heading to Assembly floor
The bill is fiercely opposed by some in adult entertainment industry, who warn production will go elsewhere

A measure that would require condom use in adult movies filmed in California cleared its final Assembly committee hurdle Wednesday.

Assemblyman Isadore Hall III (D-Compton) presented his measure, which also would require performers to be tested for sexually transmitted diseases at least every 14 days, as a workplace safety issue, arguing that testing and the use of condoms or other protective barriers will prevent spread of disease in the adult industry.

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FOR THE RECORD

A previous version of this post said several former performers who support the bill say they contracted HIV on set. While some of those actors are HIV-positive, it is not clear if that infection was transmitted during a film production.

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"There is a cost to not prioritizing disease and injury prevention," Hall said.

In 2012, voters in Los Angeles County passed Measure B, which requires condom use in adult movies filmed in the county. The law is currently the subject of litigation.

Hall's bill is supported by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation; several former performers who say they contracted sexually transmitted infections while on set testified in support.

But the measure faces strong opposition from others in the industry, who raise privacy concerns and argue the current disease testing procedures are sufficient to stop the spread of infection.

Diane Duke, president of the Free Speech Coalition, an adult entertainment industry group, said that if the bill was made law, the industry would move its productions outside California.

"We are being wooed by other states to come there, because with us, we bring living wage jobs and we bring revenues to the state," Duke said.

The measure passed on a 9-3 vote. It now heads to the Assembly floor.

One no vote was from GOP gubernatorial contender Tim Donnelly, Assemblyman from Twin Peaks, who said he was uneasy about performers' privacy when it comes to disease testing.

"I have serious concerns about the entire idea of the government being this deeply involved in people's private business," Donnelly said.

He also questioned how the requirement of condom use would be enforced. 

"Unless you're planning to send enforcement agents to every single set -- I'm sure some people would enjoy that job," Donnelly said. "But the bottom line here is that this is a serious thing and if you're going to pass a mandate, it has to be enforced."

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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