San Francisco May Finally See Gay Bathhouses Return After 35 Years

Some good news for those who live in San Francisco! Gay saunas and bathhouses could return to Golden Gate City quite soon as the local authorities have finally relaxed an AIDS-epidemic era law, which banned them from the city. Earlier this week, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to abolish the restrictions on saunas. They hope this decision will also help to revive the economy after the coronavirus pandemic.

Gay bathrooms should exist

The story started in 1984 when San Francisco imposed restrictions on gay saunas, and bathhouses blocked them from having locking booths as well as rooms. The city viewed public bathhouses as a public health threat when AIDS overwhelmed the local LGBT+ community. At that moment, there were around 30 saunas in San Francisco, but they didn’t survive the strict regulations.

Luckily, it is time for a change. Thanks to LGBT+ activists, new legislation, allowing gay bathhouses to operate, was introduced back to February. COVID-19 modified the situation a bit, but finally, the restrictive rules were withdrawn. The falling number of HIV transmissions in the city has helped to lift the ban too.

Public bathhouses, which symbolize freedom for many LGBT+ people, could become focal points for gay social life nowadays.


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