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Assembly passes bill mandating condom use during adult film shoots; regular disease testing

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Adult film actors in California must wear condoms during film shoots and their employers must provide regular testing under a bill that passed the state Assembly on Tuesday.

The bill, AB1576 by Assemblyman Isadore Hall, D-Compton, advanced to the Senate on a 41-12 vote, the minimum numbers of voters needed. The bill follows a similar mandate in Los Angeles County, approved by voters in 2012.

Hall said his bill is a workplace safety measure to curb the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, citing recent industry-opposed moratoriums on adult film shoots after actors were diagnosed.

"Whether you work in agriculture, manufacturing, health care, food service or any other industry, all workers deserve a safe workplace to make a living," said Hall, who tried and failed twice before to pass such legislation.

The bill has provoked contentious committee hearings, with adult film representatives saying it would persuade their industry to flee California. The Valley Industry and Commerce Association says the adult film industry is worth $6 billion in the San Fernando Valley.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a sponsor of the bill, says it would pursue film producers who leave California, with a much-debated argument that porn shoots are technically illegal in most states. Last fall, the group filed a complaint about an adult film made in Florida, where California porn makers outsourced unprotected sex scenes,

High-profile film stars also opposed the bill, saying its provisions would undermine their medical privacy and that existing testing protocols provided enough protection.

"Condoms are made for home environments, normal sex and normal time frames," actress Kayden Kross said in an April hearing.

Other porn actors who have contracted HIV have supported the bill, saying their employers put their health second to profits.

Safety regulators with the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health say existing blood-borne pathogen rules already require condom use but are rarely enforced. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, doubted if AB1576 would be any more effective.

"This is largely unenforceable, even though I know there's a line of people wanting to inspect sets," he said.

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Follow Fenit Nirappil on Twitter at http:/www.twitter.com/FenitN

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