The Los Angeles condom ordinance, which requires adult film actors to use condoms on set, went into effect on Monday against considerable opposition. The city of Los Angeles says that the ordinance will "help prevent the spread of HIV"; opponents of the law say that is invasive and "threatens the industry"Â—an industry which makes millions for the city of Los Angeles.
According to a report by ABC 7, The Free Speech CoalitionÂ—which, despite its very broad-sweeping name, is only interested in the free speech of adult film starsÂ—issued a report saying that the ordinance "is the government intruding into how we make films, "It is the government intruding into sexual behavior between consenting adults. This ordinance is a very bad idea and is now a very bad law."
In addition to requiring the use of condoms on set, the Los Angeles condom ordinance also requires that film companies to get a permit, which would pay for "inspections". According to the Los Angeles Times, these inspections would consist of "civilian employees" watching unedited footage to look for violations.
No word on whether the City of Los Angeles has received an increase in job applicants since the ordinance passed.
The Los Angeles Times also says that producers would be required to hire a health official to verify proper use of condoms on set. Surprise inspections have not been ruled out, though that might just be the plot of one of the industry's upcoming films.
The adult film industry argues that they have safeguards in place, and have threatened to find other locations to film. In response, nearby cities, including Simi Valley, have begun considering ordinances of their own.
"The bottom line is we don't want to be known as the porn capital of the world," said Simi Valley mayor Bob Huber to the Los Angeles Times.
The condom ordinance, which was approved in January, is being implemented at a very interesting time for American sexual politics. Sandra Fluke and Rush Limbaugh have made news very recently in a fight over government-mandated insurance coverage of birth control pills. Both debates, while very different, come down to a similar fundamental issue: health and safety versus the freedom to make a decision for yourself.