Porn producer Vivid Entertainment sues LA County over condom rule

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A leading adult film producer has launched a lawsuit against Los Angeles County over a voter-approved measure requiring porn actors to wear condoms, saying the law infringes on 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 was 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,” lead plaintiffs attorney Paul Cambria said, after filing the lawsuit in US District Court in Los Angeles on Friday.

The complaint, which also alleges that the law, known as Measure B, treads into an area regulated by the state, seeks an injunction that would stop the ballot initiative. The measure was approved by about 56% of Los Angeles County voters in November.

Attorneys 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 lawsuit.

Measure B, which was sponsored by the group AIDS Healthcare Foundation, requires porn actors filming in Los Angeles County, the heart of the massive US adult film industry, to wear condoms during sex scenes. The law also orders producers of such 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.

“They’re telling the production house that in order to produce legally protected expression, you have to first get government approval and you have to agree to shoot it in particular way, namely with condoms,” Cambria said.

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