LONG BEACH - This city could become an attractive shooting spot for porn after Los Angeles County voters decided that adult film actors must wear condoms while performing.

The passage of Measure B by more than 55 percent of voters on Tuesday has raised questions among Long Beach officials about whether the law applies to the city, which along with Vernon and Pasadena has its own health departments.

For the county's part, it's not a matter of dispute.

An analysis made by Los Angeles County Counsel John F. Krattli in July found that the initiative's provisions will not be enforceable by the county in cities with independent health departments because those jurisdictions enforce state health laws and their own municipal health codes, not county health laws.

The stance was confirmed Thursday by a county spokesman.

"It's at the discretion of the City Council and voters of Long Beach as to what sort of rules they want to put in place for their public health," said spokesman David Sommers.

Long Beach officials countered that Measure B does apply here, too.

City officials seem to have relied on Krattli's impartial ballot analysis, which stated the measure is applicable throughout the county "to the extent provided by state law."

"Our position is that if it didn't apply to the city of Long Beach or other entities that might be similarly situated, I would have thought they would specify that in the impartial analysis," said Assistant City Attorney Michael Mais.


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Mais said the city is considering its options.

Pasadena officials, after first saying porn productions in town would have to abide by Measure B, changed their mind Thursday and said adult actors filming in the city will not be covered by the law.

"Pasadena does allow permitted adult entertainment filming as it can't restrict it under the First Amendment," said city spokesman William Boyer.

The apparent local loophole in the initiative has some members of the industry suggesting shifting production to other cities.

"Hey porn peeps," tweeted lesbian actress and director Lily Cade. "Pasadena isn't covered by Measure B...want to rent my house? Cute Pasadena Craftsman."

Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Randy Gordon said his organization wouldn't welcome adult film companies to the city.

But he also said he supports free enterprise.

"I'm not going to do anything to stop them from coming to Long Beach as long as the permits are there," Gordon said.

In addition to the use of condoms, Measure B requires adult film studios to apply for public health permits and for the county Department of Public Health to lead inspections and enforcement efforts. Violators could face civil fines and criminal charges, and the Department of Public Health will be able to revoke the public health permits if it finds violations or a risk to public safety.

Permit fees will be used to pay for enforcement, according to creators of the law.

Though condom use on porn sets is already required under state and city laws, the rules are rarely enforced, with state inspections and consequent fines based only on complaints.

Representatives of the adult film industry have said they will fight the measure in court and look into other cities and states where they could continue to make films without condoms.

As they scramble to figure out what Measure B means to Long Beach, officials are questioning ballot language that gave little indication of how the law would affect voters in cities with health departments.

For the measure, the ballot read: "Shall an ordinance be adopted requiring producers of adult films to obtain a County public health permit, to require adult film performers to use condoms while engaged in sex acts, to provide proof of blood borne pathogen training course, to post permit and notices to performers and making violations of the ordinance subject to civil fines and criminal charges?"

"I would be curious as to why if the city of Long Beach was exempt from it, why we would be voting one way or another on it if it was not applicable to us," Mais said. 

Another question is whether Long Beach voters would have voted differently if they had known the law wouldn't apply here, potentially leading to the relocation of porn filming to this city and the others unaffected by the measure.

Fifty-three percent of Long Beach voters cast a ballot in favor of Measure B, according to unofficial final election results.

eric.bradley@presstelegram.com, 562-714-2104, twitter.com/EricBradleyPT

Staff writers Susan Abram and Frank C. Girardot contributed to this report.