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Porn Industry Rejoices: Condom Mandate Rejected

Following more than five hours of opposing testimony from dozens of adult industry actors in Oakland on Thursday, California officials came just one vote shy of approving a measure that would have required pornography actors to wear condoms–as well as “porn goggles” and dental dams–while filming adult movies.

With the absence of two voting members, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Cal/Osha) voted 3-2 in favor of section § 5193.1 also known as “The California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act.” The Free Speech Association, a trade organization for the adult entertainment industry, live-tweeted the hearing.

Cal/OSHA Spokeswoman Julia Bernstein told the Associated Press that the board will now begin considering a new workplace safety measure for porn actors and to regulate the multibillion dollar industry.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), which was behind the proposal, was instrumental in passing a local law in Los Angeles County in 2012 requiring condom use on adult film sets.

Veteran adult stars Jessica Drake and Nina Hartley were also present at the hearings.

Part of the argument made against the measure was that studios are already testing every two weeks, versus every three months, as the new rules propose.

A study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases in 2012 revealed that 28 percent of adult film workers tested positive for chlamydia and/or gonorrhea.

Following the vote, Eric Paul Leue, executive director of an adult entertainment trade group called the Free Speech Coalition, addressed the crowd that had gathered against the measure. According to Xbiz, he said “These regulations were based in stigma rather than science and would have severely hurt adult performers. We look forward to working with Cal/OSHA on sensible regulation that respects performers choices.”

Xbiz notes that the AHF is seeking to produce a different version of Thursday’s rejected measure and place it on the 2017 ballot for a statewide vote.

Follow Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz.

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