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Gay bathhouses
sue Los Angeles over new regulations

Gay bathhouses
sue Los Angeles over new regulations

A coalition of nine gay bathhouses in Los Angeles is suing to challenge new county health rules and regulations aimed at sex establishments. Bathhouse operators say the new regulations, which went into effect this month, are overly broad and unfair. The new rules require bathhoues to pay a $1,000 annual fee, have permits, and submit to health inspections.

The regulations apply to any establishment that provides facilities where high-risk sexual behavior occurs. But the bathhouse operators say that definition does not describe their businesses, claiming their patrons are barred from high-risk sexual contact: Anyone entering the bathhouses is asked to sign a written advisory acknowledging that such behavior is not allowed. Also, the bathhouse owners claim the new regulations violate privacy rights and that it's unfair to target bathhouses but not rent-by-the-hour motels.

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation called the lawsuit a "stunt." The nonprofit organization says studies show people frequenting bathhouses are twice as likely to have HIV. (Sirius Out-Q News)

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