Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Decades after San Francisco closed gay bathhouses, new law makes way for return
2020-02-12

This article shared 2817 times since Wed Feb 12, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


SAN FRANCISCO — District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman introduced legislation Tuesday at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors requiring the San Francisco Department of Public Health to remove current regulations requiring the monitoring of patrons' sexual activities and prohibiting private rooms in bathhouses and commercial adult sex venues.

"Our current regulations for adult sex venues were put in place as an emergency measure at the height of the AIDS crisis when San Francisco was desperate to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS" said Mandelman. "Decades later, with the emergence of PrEP and in light of San Francisco's reduction in HIV diagnoses to under 200 for the first time since the 1980's, these regulations — including a ban on private rooms and required monitoring of patrons' sexual activities — have no public health rationale and need to be changed."

In 1984, at the height of the AIDS crisis, the City and County of San Francisco filed a lawsuit against the operators of bathhouses, citing them as a public health nuisance. The court issued an order allowing the businesses to remain open on the condition that they employ monitors to prevent unsafe sex from occurring and remove most of the doors to individual video cubicles, booths, or rooms. Although the bathhouses technically could have remained open under the rules established by the court, all of them closed. In 1997, the Department of Public Health adopted minimum standards requiring that patrons' sexual activities be monitored on a regular basis by staff, and prohibiting venues from having locking booths, cubicles, or rooms. The minimum standards that are in effect today include these same restrictions.

Recent advances in HIV prevention strategies have reduced HIV transmission and minimized the adverse community and individual health impacts of HIV. These include the broad availability of PrEP ( preexposure prophylaxis ) to prevent HIV infection, rapid access to antiretroviral therapy for people newly diagnosed with HIV, and increased viral suppression among people living with HIV in San Francisco through increased retention in care. According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, in 2018 the number of new HIV diagnoses in San Francisco dropped to 197, marking a 58% decrease as compared to the number of new HIV diagnoses in 2011.

"It's time for regulations that were put in place at a time of fear and a lack of knowledge to catch up with the progress we've made in the fight to end AIDS," said Joe Hollendoner, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. "With PrEP, U=U and other advancements in sexual health, bathhouse restrictions are antiquated and stigmatizing. It's time that these baseless regulations be struck from the code, and we are grateful to Supervisor Mandelman for leading this charge to decriminalize sexuality."

LGBTQ advocates have long argued that the current regulations unfairly target gay men and maintain that without access to private rooms people are more likely to have unsafe sex in other venues without access to safer sex education and supplies. The news of Mandelman's legislation was met with acclaim by these advocates.

"The queer community has been advocating for decades to have these regulations changed, and each time we've run into a dead end," said Blade Bannon a San Francisco based erotic photographer and author who has spent the last several years working to enact changes to the regulations. "Cities around the country and world have successful adult sex venues operating without these restrictions and it's time that San Francisco join them. I'm glad that Supervisor Mandelman agrees that it's time to make a change."

Mandelman's ordinance will amend the Health Code to require the Department of Public Health to adopt new minimum health and safety standards for commercial adult sex venues, and will prohibit the department from adopting standards that require monitoring of patrons' sexual activities, or ban booths, cubicles or private rooms with locking doors. It provides for these minimum standards to include requirements that venues make safer sex supplies and education materials available to patrons. The ordinance requires that these new minimum standards be adopted by no later than July 1, 2020 and that there be a public notice and public comment process.

"When properly operated, by providing access to safer sex educational materials and supplies and HIV and STD testing, these venues assist rather than impede our efforts to control the transmission of HIV," said Mandelman who is gay and represents the Castro District. "I hope that this ordinance will support our efforts to get to zero new HIV infections and will put a bookend on a painful chapter in the history of the queer community in San Francisco."


This article shared 2817 times since Wed Feb 12, 2020
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Illinois Restaurant Assoc. asks Pritzker to allow indoor dining
2021-01-14
On Jan. 14, the Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA) and restaurant operators around the state issued a press release asking Gov. JB Pritzker to immediately allow for safe and limited indoor dining operations. The IRA's Open Indoor ...


Gay News

Howard Brown developing new center in Northalsted area
2021-01-14
Howard Brown Health has chosen Inland National Development Company, LLC to develop its newest healthcare center in Chicago's Northalsted neighborhood (formerly known as Boystown), according to REJournals. There are plans ...


Gay News

Choucair part of Biden/Harris COVID-19 response team
2021-01-12
Dr. Bechara Choucair—the senior vice president and chief health officer at Kaiser Permanente, and onetime commissioner of the Chicago Department of Public Health—is part of new President Joe Biden and ...


Gay News

Vulnerable communities slow to adopt key strategy to stop HIV's spread
2021-01-11
--From a UCLA press release - LOS ANGELES — Taking a daily pill to prevent HIV transmission is one of the most effective biomedical strategies available to combat the virus' spread, yet use of this health regimen remains low among vulnerable communities ...


Gay News

COVID-19 Chicago's stay-at-home advisory extended
2021-01-11
Chicago's stay-at-home advisory has been extended for another 12 days (from Jan. 10), ABC7Chicago.com reported. Residents are advised to only leave their home to go to work or school, or for essential needs; examples include requiring ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Anti-bias rule nixed, trans deaths, lesbian archivist dies
2021-01-11
Under the cover of chaos the day after Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, the Trump administration officially nixed regulations barring federal grantees in the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) from discriminating against LGBTQ ...


Gay News

Indiana pols propose anti-conversion therapy bill
2021-01-11
Indiana Stonewall Democrats issued a press release lauding state Sen. JD Ford (District 39) and state Rep. Sue Errington (District 26) for introducing a new bill to effectively end so-called "conversion therapy" practices across the state ...


Gay News

National LGBTQ organizations call for Trump's removal from office
2021-01-08
--From a press release - New York, NY - Thursday, Jan. 7, 2020 - GLAAD, the world's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, along with leading LGBTQ legal, health, youth, justice and equality organizations, is callin ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Marriage proposal, Creating Change, mural erased, 'Queer Santa'
2021-01-05
A COVID-19 vaccine appointment at a Canton, South Dakota, hospital turned into a marriage proposal for one healthcare couple, CNN.com noted. Robbie Vargas-Cortes, 31, a paramedic and EMS supervisor, was scheduled to get his vaccination on ...


Gay News

WORLD Workplace index, Japan survey, stories of the year, Buttigieg
2021-01-05
Two years after the India's Supreme Court decriminalized homosexuality, employment for the LGBTQ community is slowly gaining acceptance in the private sector—to the point where there is now an India Workplace Equality Index, RFI.fr reported. The ...


Gay News

Gay influencers called out for partying in Mexico during pandemic
2021-01-05
A social-media account called GaysOverCovid has been exposing the gay men of the world for continuing their hard-partying, jet-setting lifestyles in the midst of a pandemic, according to media outlets such as DListed.com. For instance, Chicago-based ...


Gay News

City officials send letter to Lightfoot regarding schools reopening
2021-01-03
On Jan. 3, more than 30 members of the 50-member Chicago City Council sent a letter to Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Chicago Public Schools CEO Janice Jackson regarding concerns about Chicago Public Schools' reopening plans amidst ...


Gay News

State Rep. Yoni Pizer leaves post early, citing early insurance termination
2020-12-30
Illinois state Rep. Yoni Pizer (D-12th District) issued a letter stating that he would retire Dec. 31 "because of the State's policy to effectively terminate health insurance for me and my family on 12/31/20, even though ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Aimee Stephens, GNC teen murdered, Katie Hill, Amazon
2020-12-27
A consent decree ordered that Michigan business Harris Funeral Homes—which fired the late Aimee Stephens for being transgender and led her to sue the business in litigation that made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court—must ...


Gay News

11th Circuit urged to reverse decision allowing LGBTQ youth conversion therapy
2020-12-21
--From a Born Perfect press release - ATLANTA, GA — The Born Perfect campaign submitted a friend-of-the-court brief on Friday urging reversal of a recent decision by a three-judge federal panel validating the dangerous unethical practice known ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.