May 28, 2014 / 1:27 AM / 5 years ago

California Assembly passes bill mandating porn film condoms

An activist holds a sign during a rally in support of the use of condoms in the adult film industry in West Hollywood, California June 15, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - A bill requiring pornographic film actors to wear condoms during sex scenes easily passed the California State Assembly on Tuesday despite resistance from most of the adult film industry.

The bill would also require employers to test pornography film actors regularly for sexually transmitted diseases.

The lower house passed the measure 48-13, with 19 Assembly members not voting. The bill now goes to the Senate.

State Assembly member Isadore Hall, a Democrat from Compton who authored the bill, has hailed the measure as a public health effort aimed at reducing the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, within the pornography industry.

Adult film actors are 10 times more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease than the general public, according to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a group that sponsored the bill.

The Free Speech Coalition, which represents the pornography industry, calls the law “a morality crusade” aimed at driving a legal business out of California.

The coalition has warned that further regulations on condoms and the regular testing of actors would force the film sector, worth an estimated $9 billion to $13 billion a year, from the state.

The 13 Assembly members who voted against the bill include Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim Donnelly and other lawmakers who are largely from areas in or surrounding Los Angeles County, where most U.S. adult films are shot.

Reporting by Jennifer Chaussee

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