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Porn condom initiative qualifies for starring role on November ballot

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The L.A. Times reports that a ballot measure dictating the future of unprotected sex for porn actors has received enough signatures to qualify for a starring role in the November election. The NSFW initiative will be decided by voters living in the nerve center of the U.S. porn industry --  Los Angeles County. 

Adult film actors would be required to wear condoms for specific sex acts, and a fee to cover the costs of enforcement would be imposed as part of the film permit. Producers would also need to obtain a permit from the county Department of Public Health.

For some, the multi-billion dollar question is whether or not Los Angeles would be screwing itself out of local industry by roughing up the prolific process of pornography in favor of forced prophylactic use.

Supporters of the mandate cite the risks of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases for actors. And, with New Hampshire as the only other state with similar court rulings regarding adult film producers and anti-prostitution laws, they do not take seriously a threat of industry relocation.

Opponents say talent should be able to choose whether or not to suit up, and that consumers have not shown significant interest in pornography where actors are wearing condoms. 

Earlier this year, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed into law an order for porn actors to wear condoms in films shot under L.A. city permits. Though effective since March, enforcement has been somewhat slippery.

232,000 signatures were needed to qualify the new measure for the ballot. AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein said his group collected 371,000 in five months, say the Times.

Unincorporated areas of the county, and 85 of its 88 cities -- including L.A. -- will be affected by the decision. Long Beach, Vernon and Pasadena each have their own public health departments.

Placing the measure on the ballot now rests with the county Board of Supervisors.

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