CANOGA PARK, Calif.—A lawsuit was filed yesterday by the City of Los Angeles challenging the constitutionality of AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s (AHF) ballot initiative. The initiative, if passed, would force local officials to enforce mandatory condom regulations on adult production sets. AHF personnel, including its president, Michael Weinstein, are named as defendants in the suit are various
“Clearly AHF has chosen to squander its donors resources by filing frivolous lawsuits and ballot initiatives instead of providing valuable resources toward the prevention and treatment of HIV,” said FSC Executive Director Diane Duke. “It is heartening to know that the City of Los Angeles will draw the line on AHF's political grandstanding when it comes to wasting taxpayer dollars.
“History has shown us that regulating sexual behavior between consenting adults does not work,” she added. “The best way to prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs is by providing quality information and sexual health service, all of which are successfully provided through adult industry protocols and best practices.”
The city’s complaint argues that the ballot proposal is preempted by state regulations that require barrier protection on adult sets and that enforcement of those regulations falls under state jurisdiction. There have been two previous rulings in complaints filed by AHF, where the judge decided that L.A. County officials are not compelled to enforce regulations on behalf of state health & safety agency Cal/OSHA.
The city also states that the process involved in bringing the ballot measure to the voters would be a “waste” of taxpayer money. The City of Los Angeles also said in the complaint that the ballot initiative is potentially unconstitutional; if passed by voters in June, the city raised concerns of more money being spent if the initiative was overturned on constitutional grounds.
“The City of Los Angeles has acted responsibly to protect the taxpayers from enacting an unenforceable measure preempted by State Law. The adult industry has been extraordinarily successful in preventing HIV infections through its testing protocols and self-regulation,” said Free Speech Coalition (FSC) Board Chair, Jeffrey Douglas.
FSC has worked with industry stakeholders, compliance experts and legal advisers to develop the FSC Bloodborne Pathogen Plan, and other policies for industry appropriate regulations.
In April, when Adult Industry Medical Healthcare (AIM) clinic was closed, due largely to legal attacks by AHF, FSC stepped up to provide Adult Production Healthcare & Safety Services (APHSS.org) as a resource for performer testing and production protocols.
“Thankfully, the Los Angeles City Attorney’s office is acting in an abundance of caution and not simply marching to the tune called by Michael Weinstein,” commented attorney and APHSS.org legal adviser, Karen Tynan.
“The industry is working with the state toward adopting industry specific and industry appropriate safety standards, and these efforts by AHF and Michael Weinstein are an attempt to interfere in that process,” Tynan said. “The Los Angeles City Attorney is correct that the ballot initiative would be a complete waste of taxpayer money.”