Via the Associated Press:
A Los Angeles County ordinance requiring actors in pornographic films to use condoms does not violate the porn industry’s First Amendment rights of free expression, a federal appeals court ruled Monday. The decision from a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the industry’s contention that having actors use condoms would interfere with a film’s fantasy element by subjecting viewers to real-word concerns like pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. For the First Amendment argument to apply, the court ruled, there would have to be a great likelihood that a film’s audience would understand that intended 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 P. Graber, writing for the panel’s majority.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation head Michael Weinstein called the ruling a “total vindication.” The AHF was the bill’s primary backer. A similar bill to implement the rule statewide died last year in a state Senate committee. Weinstein has vowed to place the issue to a public ballot if the bill is not resurrected.