Sunday, August 2, 2020. New York City – Bathhouses for gay, bisexual, MSM in San Francisco, California?
Matt Tracy wrote the article “San Francisco to Lift AIDS Era Bathhouse Ban.” on gaycitynews.com. Part of the article says, “A new ordinance in San Francisco would pave the way for legal bathhouses to operate in the city as Steamworks Berkeley does across the bay.
San Francisco city supervisors voted unanimously on July 28 to lift restrictions on bathhouses once the coronavirus pandemic subsides. The bathhouses were first shut down in 1984 when the San Francisco Health Department intervened and encouraged courts to step in and place significant limitations on bathhouses, requiring them to ban the rental of private rooms and require monitors on site, among other regulations.
That forced the shuttering of many bathhouses, and soon enough, the few bathhouses that remained open under those strict rules shut their doors.
Bathhouses in New York, where HIV/ AIDS was also taking a deadly toll on the city, also fell victim to similar strict regulations the following year.
According to the San Francisco-based LGBTQ publication Bay Area Reporter, the effort to lift those restrictions more than three decades later has been led by out gay San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, who represents the Castro, Diamond Heights, Glen Park, Corona Heights, Eureka Valley, and other neighborhoods.
The push to ease the rules was already underway prior to the emergence of COVID-19, but was delayed when the pandemic engulfed the nation. In February, Mandelman opened up about his initiative.
In New York State since the 1980s, anal, oral, and later vaginal sex in commercial establishments has been banned, which led to the closure of many establishments in the ‘80s and ‘90s by the city health department. In recent decades, the health department has not moved against such venues, though efforts to change the law and regulate commercial sex establishments so they could operate on a fully legal basis have not made any headway.”
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