The porn industry in Los Angeles has failed to link sex without a condom to free speech, with a federal appeals court decision obliging actors to continue using them.
The court ruled on Monday that an LA county ordinance mandating condoms in films did not violate the adult entertainment industry’s first amendment rights.
The three-judge panel of the ninth US circuit court of appeals said the claim that condoms sabotaged porn’s fantasy element was a stretch.
Vivid Entertainment, Califa Productions and other producers had argued that the 2012 ordinance, which was passed by voters, restricted their ability to create alluring scenarios free of real-word concerns like pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
The court upheld a district court’s ruling that audiences were likely oblivious to such a message.
“Here, we agree with the district court that whatever unique message plaintiffs might intend to convey by depicting condomless sex, it is unlikely that viewers of adult films will understand that message,” said Judge Susan Graber, writing for the panel’s majority.
Sex, rather than condomless sex, was the relevant expression for first amendment purposes, the court found.
The LA-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a powerful advocacy group which championed the condom ordinance, known as measure B, hailed the ruling as a vindication. “The court struck down every one of their arguments,” said Michael Weinstein, the group’s president.
The group has compared performing without condoms to Russian roulette and is aiming for a California-wide law.
“Condom free speech argument fails to stand up in court”