Friday, June 28, 2013

SFPD: No Difference Btwn Gay or Straight Baths, 7/17 Hearing

There is no law on the books prohibiting the operating of bathhouses, which are defined as commercial venues with shower and water facilities and cubicles with doors, catering to homosexual males. Yes, I've blogged about a ban on gay bathhouses and used the word ban, simply because it's shorthand that best describes the unofficial situation and political sensibilities that prevent a businessperson from opening a bathhouse catering to gays in the City.

The injunction shutting down gay bathhouses in the 1980s pertained only to specific bathhouses at certain location and didn't outlaw bathhouses from opening at other locations, as best I can recall.

Since there is no bathhouse ban statute in San Francisco, owners of massage parlors or related venues have applied for bathhouse licenses.

I emailed Lt. Troy Dangerfield, who used to work in the police department's public information office and is now in charges of the permits division, to ask him about the pending bathhouse permits. My interest was piqued after reading a story earlier this week in the SF Examiner by Chris Roberts about the massage parlors seeking the bathhouse permits.

This matter will be discussed next month, according to Dangerfield, who also states department policy regarding basic bathhouse equality:

There are 8 Baths on the Hearing Calendar for July 17, 2013. The San Francisco Police Department does not differentiate between gay or straight baths. Our goal is compliance with the law. [The hearing takes place at] 1:00pm in Room 551, at 850 Bryant Street Fifth Floor. That is all the information about the hearing that is needed.

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