LOS ANGELES (AP) — Just in time for Valentine's Day, a state assemblyman is proposing a special gift for porn actors — condoms for every adult film made in California.
Standing next to a table covered in prophylactics, each wrapped in bright holiday covers and bearing names like "Love" and "Icon," Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, said it's time for California to share the love with those involved in one of its most lucrative industries.
Lawmakers can do that, he added, by making sure porn actors are covered, so to speak, with safety protections, just as the state mandates measures for people who work in dangerous professions such as construction.
"The adult film industry, given the type of work required, disproportionately exposes actors to a range of health and safety risks," Hall said.
His bill, patterned after a law adopted by Los Angeles County voters last year, calls for producers of adult films to require the use of condoms whenever scenes involving intercourse are filmed.
It doesn't spell out a penalty for violations but calls on the state Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to address that issue.
Although he chose Valentine's Day to promote his proposal — "This is the only day I was available," Hall joked with a wide grin — the assemblyman said protection of porn actors is a deadly serious business.
He announced his sponsorship of the bill at a news conference staged by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a group that pushed for the Los Angeles County condom law.
Although an estimated 90 percent of adult movies filmed in the United States are believed to be made in Los Angeles County, Michael Weinstein, the foundation's president, said Hall's bill addresses threats by the industry to move its operations to other parts of California if the local ordinance survives court challenges.
"We'll be on their trail," he said.
The county ban hasn't been enforced yet, and one of the industry's largest filmmakers, Vivid Entertainment, sued last month to overturn it as an infringement on freedom of expression.
Hall acknowledged that getting a statewide law passed by the Legislature is likely to be a daunting task.
"No pun intended, this is not a sexy bill," he said. "It holds accountable a $14 billion a year industry, and a lot of people don't want to address that."
The industry says it's annual revenue is closer to a $7 billion.
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