Porn Panic 2012: Now It Is Officially War Time

The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various contributors on this web site does not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of AdultBizLaw.com and Michael Fattorosi nor should they be considered legal advice.

 

Reposted with Permission

Written By: Anthony Kennerson as it appeared on July 26, 2012 on http://bppa.blogspot.com/2012/07/porn-panic-2012-now-it-is-officially.html

Well…on Tuesday, the inevitable happened.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has now allowed Michael Weinstein’s proposed “Safer Sex In The Adult Film Industry” ordinance to be put to the voters of LA County, voting 3-1 to send the proposed condom mandate/adult permitting law to the ballot for later this year, probably November. (The full text of the ordinance can be seen here. [PDF document])

The ordinance is pretty much similar to the law that was passed by the City of Los Angeles earlier this year, but has not been enforced as of yet due to concerns about the scope of enforcement.

Essentially, the ordinance, if passed, would require two-year permits for anyone filming explicit sex acts within the county, and mandatory barrier protection, including condoms, for any performance of explicit sex acts within the scope of Los Angeles County, though individual corporated cities would have their own jurisdictional parameters for enforcing the ordinance.

Indeed, as X-Biz.com discovered, in order to be considered legal under the mandate law, adult performers would have to actually obtain two permits; one for the film production and one for “public health”, with mandatory training in “bloodborne pathogen barrier protection” also required.

The primary role in enforcing the mandate would fall upon the LA County Department of Public Health Services, which would gain one full-time and one part-time inspector who would be responsible for random permit and “condom checks”, along with reinforcement form more traditional law enforcement.

A preliminary memo produced by LACDPHS Director Jonathan Fielding (available here, PDF document) establishes the preliminary scope of the proposed regulations and permits.

Although there was plenty of adult representation at Tuesday’s LA County Supervisors meeting, it was obvious that the majority simply ignored their concerns and generally defaulted to the “OMGWeHaveHIVEpidemicInPornWeMUSTProtectThePoorPerformers!!!!” meme.  And considering that AHF spent nearly $2 million to get their measure to the ballot, I’m sure that they have plenty more to spend to promote themselves and get it passed.

That moment we have all dreaded is finally here. It’s time for the industry to either unite and fight this, or risk losing everything. Moving to Vegas or Pheonix or New Hampshire won’t help things, because this condom mandate will go national if successful. Unless, of course, you want the pirates and tube sites to have a field day selling all the bareback porn which will become the new gold when this ordinance passes.

Update:

Michael Fattorosi, long time attorney representing adult interests, just posted at his Twitter page (@Pornlaw) a link to a memorandum written to the Los Angeles County Supervisors by Los Angeles County Chief Counsel John Krattli, dated on July 23rd, that was placed on the record prior to their vote on allowing the condom mandate ordinance on the ballot. The letter contains much more detail on the parameters of how the law will be enforced if the ordinance passes.

The second most startling information in this memorandum is that even if the ordinance is passed, it would only take effect in the nonincorporated areas in Los Angeles County….and not at all in three cities within LA County: Long Beach, Vernon, and Pasadena; because the latter three cities do not contract out with LACDPH for public health but have their own autonomous public health departments. In addition, there are also 85 other incorporated cities within LA County that would require changes in their policies in order to adapt the provisions of the ordinance; that means that LACDPH would have to get these cities to adapt the ordinance one at a time. That probably would not be an issue considering the deep pockets of AHF and the dominant unpopularity of the porn industry, but it would slow things down considerably in the event of lawsuits against all these jurisdictions.

But even that is secondary to the most startling fact about the LA County ordinance: it goes well beyond even the ordinance passed within the City of Los Angeles, and covers not only porn producers, but anyone who produces or films explicit sex and puts the results online, whether for profit or not. It basically gives LACDPH inspectors a free reign to raid any home or place where they suspect someone is making porn without the required permit, and allows them to seize any and all materials suspected in the making of such videos. It also requires anyone seeking a permit to enroll in a mandatory “blood pathogen training course” prior to receiving a permit, enlists huge fines and possible jail terms for anyone shooting non-condomized porn or even shooting without a permit, and essentially uses the costs of the permits to fund the entire effort on the backs of porn performers. And, that would include even homemade websites, webcam performers, and even personal videos not even intentioned for profit.

In effect, this ordinance would criminalize the filming of bareback sex, even among married monogamous couples and other people with no risk of even coming close of contracting STI’s such as HIV, and would predicate a grave intervention into the bedrooms of consenting adults…as grave as even sodomy laws or laws against “cohabitating”.  That in and of itself should prompt people to reject this proposal, and question its Constitutionality. But, that this is seen as the preferred solution to the NON-issue of HIV in porn, and that this proposal flies in the face of the reality of porn production, and would impose serious dangers on porn performers due to the replacement of the testing and screening regime currently in place..that should give people serious thought to the actual agenda here.

There are many ways to tackle the scrounge of HIV and other STI’s. Forcing adult performers and private consenting adults to be guinea pigs for the State is NOT one of them.

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