Court Rejects L.A. Porn Industry's Case For Condoms As Free Speech


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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday ruled that a Los Angeles County ordinance requiring actors in pornographic films to use condoms does not violate the porn industry’s First Amendment rights.

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.

The ordinance, adopted by LA County voters in 2012, was championed by the Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation as a means of reducing sexually transmitted diseases. The foundation’s president, Michael Weinstein, hailed Monday’s ruling as a “total vindication.”


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