Requiring Porn Actors to Wear Condoms Is Legislating Problems That Don’t Exist

Requiring Porn Actors to Wear Condoms Is Legislating Problems That Don’t Exist

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in late 2014 to uphold a lower court decision requiring actors in pornographic movies filmed in Los Angeles County to wear condoms during sex scenes, Reuters reports. But will this make a difference in rates of HIV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) inside or beyond the porn industry?

The condom mandate was passed by 56% of Los Angeles County voters in 2012, along with a requirement that actors undergo regular testing for STIs. The adult film industry, which is said to be worth an estimated $9 billion to $13 billion a year, and is primarily based in Los Angeles, argued that the condom requirement violated its First Amendment right to freedom of expression.

Condoms In Porn: A Threat To Freedom Of Expression

According to the Reuters report, the Court said the original ruling was “narrowly tailored to achieve the County’s interest of reducing the rate of sexually transmitted infections while also leaving open ‘adequate alternative means of expression.'” Producers had complained about viewers being “turned off” by the visible presence of a method of disease and pregnancy prevention.

Supportive of the law from the beginning, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) President Michael Weinstein issued a statement saying, “Today’s ruling is a total vindication of AHF’s position. We call on Los Angeles County for full enforcement of this law now. As the lower court said, they need to set fees based on actual cost. The porn industry has considered every option but following the law. Now it’s time to do what 57 percent of Los Angeles County voters have asked of the industry — and what the courts have upheld as constitutional.”

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