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Porn Industry Challenges Condom Law Following Prop 8 Ruling

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(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

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textalerts180 Porn Industry Challenges Condom Law Following Prop 8 Ruling

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com/AP) — A case involving the porn industry’s challenge to the local condom law was heard Thursday by a Los Angeles federal judge.

The industry is citing the recent U.S. Supreme Court Prop 8 ruling on gay marriage in an effort to muzzle its main opponent in the legal battle to keep condoms off of its actors.

Porn industry attorneys filed a motion in June in U.S. District Court asking that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation be removed from the industry’s legal battle to repeal the condom requirement that Los Angeles County voters approved last year.

Shortly before the motion was filed, the Supreme Court ruled that a group that had campaigned successfully for Proposition 8, the voter-approved measure banning gay marriage in California, had no legal standing when it came to appealing lower court rulings overturning the law.

“It has decided that proponents of a ballot measure lose any status once the measure has passed. Then at that point, they have no standing to bring a lawsuit,” attorney Paul Cambria told KNX 1070’s Jon Baird.

Porn industry officials are hoping U.S. District Court Judge Dean Pregerson will reach a similar conclusion following Thursday’s hearing on Measure B, the condom law, although a decision has not yet been made to overturn it.

It was the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) that successfully lobbied Los Angeles County voters to adopt the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act.

“One thing that we made for sure is that Measure B does not address content or viewpoints of the film that are out there by the industry,” Samantha Azulaii of the AHF said.

In ruling on gay marriage, the Supreme Court said a private group has never been granted the standing to defend a state law in court when local officials decline to do so.

“I think that the ruling parallels what is happening in our case,” said Steven Hirsch, chief executive officer of Vivid Entertainment Group, the industry’s lead plaintiff in the case. “AHF, they really do have no role in the enforcement of Measure B. They have no authority to enforce Measure B. They have no stake in defending its enforcement and as a result they should have no standing.”

Porn industry officials also plan to ask that Pregerson issue a preliminary injunction against the measure’s enforcement until their case is decided. The lawsuit argues that the law requiring the use of condoms as a health and safety measure is an unconstitutional violation of free expression.

“For violations of the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, Due Process,” Cambria said.

Since the law’s adoption, Los Angeles County health officials have confirmed they are investigating at least one alleged violation.

Pregerson on Thursday set another hearing for August 12.

“We are pleased we had the opportunity to argue the case,” plaintiff Steven Hirsch, founder/co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment, said outside court.

“It  was clear the judge was extremely knowledgeable as to the facts and we look forward to moving ahead.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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