Top porn producer sues to overturn Los Angeles condom law

Law

A top adult film producer sued Los Angeles County on Friday over a voter-approved measure requiring porn actors to wear condoms, saying the law infringes on their First Amendment rights and was driving the industry out of southern California.

Vivid Entertainment, which was joined in the lawsuit by porn stars Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce, claims the mandate is both an unconstitutional prior restraint on freedom of expression and a financial burden that studios could not bear.

"You don't have to win an Oscar to be protected by the First Amendment," the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Paul Cambria, told Reuters after filing the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

The complaint also alleges that the ballot initiative known as Measure B, which was approved by 56 percent of county voters in November, treads into an area regulated by the state.

The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that would block implementation of Measure B, which requires porn actors filming in Los Angeles County - the heart of the massive US adult film industry - to wear condoms during sex scenes.

Representatives for Los Angeles County, its chief public health official Kenneth Fielding, and District Attorney Jackie Lacey, who were also named as defendants, declined to comment on the legal action on Friday afternoon.

But an attorney for AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which sponsored the measure, predicted that the lawsuit would fail.

"Despite what the adult industry's lawyers are claiming in this lawsuit, Measure B is not directed at speech and as such their First Amendment claims will likely ring hollow with the court," the group's general counsel, Tom Myers, said in a written statement.

The law also orders producers of adult films to pay a fee to the county's Department of Public Health and obtain a permit that requires all principals and management-level employees to undergo blood-borne pathogen training.

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