Measure B: Debating the use of condoms in pornography

Written by
Derrick Burts,  Former adult film performer who says he became HIV-infected while working in the industry.
James Lee, Spokesperson for No on Measure B, and Rebecca Bardoux, Veteran adult entertainment performer
Michael Weinstein, President and co-founder of AIDS Health Care Foundation

One of the down-ballot local measures that LA County residents will vote on come November 6 is Measure B. The measure would require all male porn performers to wear condoms on set to protect their partners and themselves from the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

In order to pay for County health workers to traverse the Valley spot checking porn sets and enforcing the new rules, all adult film producers would have to pay for a public health permit from the LA County Health Department before getting on set and calling “action.”

Much of the pornography produced in the U.S. is produced right here in the San Fernando Valley. So, despite its seemingly limited focus – there are only a few hundred performers that would be impacted – Measure B has roused significant forces both pro and con.

According to the Valley Industry & Commerce Association (VICA), which opposes the measure, porn supports “more than ten thousand workers in production-related jobs such as make-up, lighting, carpenters, transportation, food service, payroll processing, web design and actors. VICA is concerned that, rather than conform to the new rules, the industry will pick up and move or go underground.

The Yes on B campaign, however, says “hardcore pornography” is only legal in two states: California and New Hampshire. So moving the industry elsewhere might not be so easy.

Strangely, the state of California and the city of Los Angeles already have laws on the books requiring the use of condoms in XXX productions. The city ordinance was passed in January and became effective in March. But, according to the LA Times, the city is still studying how to enforce it.

We asked the Yes and No campaigns to come to KCRW studios and debate the pros and cons of Measure B on Which Way L.A.? You can hear the results, here: