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L.A. federal judge denies effort to block AIDS Healthcare group from Measure B case

City News Service | 8/5/2013, 2:39 p.m.

A Los Angeles federal judge has denied the porn industry’s efforts to have AIDS Healthcare Foundation affiliates removed as “interveners” in a lawsuit brought by adult filmmakers and actors who want to overturn the county law requiring porn actors to wear condoms on film shoots, according to court papers obtained today.

Vivid Entertainment and porn actors Kayden Kross and Logan Pierce filed suit in January in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in an effort to invalidate the county’s Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act.

Vivid claims Measure B, which was sponsored by the five AHF-related individuals and was passed by an overwhelming majority of voters last November, is unconstitutional.

After the county declined to defend the law’s constitutionality, the AHF group sought and was granted intervener status to defend the law from the industry’s claims. Porn industry plaintiffs then filed a formal motion to reconsider,  challenging the AHF group’s standing in their case.

U.S. District Judge Dean D. Pregerson denied that motion Friday in a written ruling.

“The pornographers’ efforts to have us thrown out of this case has failed,” said AHF’s Michael Weinstein.

“Five individuals affiliated with AHF were the official proponents of Measure B,” he said. “We drafted the language that would become Measure B, collected signatures to qualify the measure for the November 2012 ballot, submitted the signatures for verification, raised funds, and drafted an argument for the appearance of the measure on the ballot. We absolutely should be allowed as interveners in this case and applaud the court’s ruling allowing us to remain so.”

Vivid’s attorneys are asking Pregerson to grant a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of the law. Another hearing is set for Sept. 9.

“Although I was somewhat surprised by the latest ruling, we remain focused on the big picture,” Steven Hirsch, founder/co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment, said. “We feel that our arguments on the merits of the case are strong and will ultimately carry the day. We look forward to our next day in court and the decision in our motion for preliminary injunction.”

The plaintiffs also contend that the county ordinance is needless because the industry already regulates itself against disease.

The measure, which passed with a 57 percent of the vote in the November election, requires producers of adult films to obtain a public health permit from the county, follow all health and safety laws, including condom use, and pay a permit fee to cover enforcement of the law.

The porn industry also maintains that the measure could end up driving production overseas, where no protections exist.