Bathhouses, Sex Clubs Oppose New Health Regulations
Nine bathhouses and sex clubs in Los Angeles County have filed a lawsuit seeking exemption from new county regulations on commercial sex venues, the Los Angeles Times reports. The regulations, which took effect this month, require commercial sex venues to obtain a county license, pay an annual fee, allow inspections of the facilities and provide on-site testing and counseling for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections for at least 20 hours per week.
A commercial sex venue is defined by the county as a business that "as one of its primary purposes allows, facilitates and/or provides facilities for its patrons or members to engage in any high-risk sexual contact while on the premises."
The nine bathhouses and sex clubs claim in the lawsuit that they "are not commercial sex venues at all" because they have "always sought to prevent high-risk sex." The suit is asking a county Superior Court judge to void the regulations or exempt the nine businesses.
However, John Schunhoff, county chief of operations for public health, said a commercial sex venue "doesn't mean that they are promoting high-risk sex; it just means it does occur" (Lin, Los Angeles Times, 3/12).