West Hollywood Ballot Initiative Seeks to Expand Condom Distribution
Voters in West Hollywood Tuesday will decide in a municipal election whether to expand the city's condom distribution program to as many as 152 bars, clubs and restaurants, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ballot initiative, known as Proposition A and sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, would require businesses that derive "more than half of their revenue from the sale of alcohol for on-site consumption" to offer and display free condoms as well as "safer sex literature." If passed, the measure would call for "no fewer" than 500,000 condoms to be handed out annually. The city already sponsors a $400,000-a-year "voluntary" condom distribution program at gay bars, coffee houses and bookstores, but proponents believe that the program should be mandated and expanded "in light of escalating numbers of cases of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases in the Los Angeles area." Opponents of the measure object to placing condoms in places "patronized by families" and call the idea "unwholesome." Mayor Jeffrey Prang, who is running for reelection, has remained "neutral" on the issue (Pool, Los Angeles Times, 3/1).