West Hollywood Condom Distribution Ballot Measure Fails
Voters in West Hollywood, Calif., on Tuesday rejected by a 53% margin a measure that would have required bars and nightclubs to supply free condoms to patrons, the Los Angeles Times reports (Chavez/Martin, Los Angeles Times, 3/8). The ballot initiative, known as Measure A and sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, would have required 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." The city already sponsors a $400,000-a-year "voluntary" condom distribution program at gay bars, coffee houses and bookstores ( Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 3/2). AIDS Healthcare Foundation President Michael Weinstein said that the foundation promoted the initiative because the voluntary program had "failed," according to the Times. Speaking of the defeat, Weinstein said, "There is an underlying prudishness that came out in this" (Los Angeles Times, 3/8). He "blamed" the defeat on a "scare campaign," saying that he believed that opponents felt that the measure would put "sexuality in people's faces." The Times reports that some opponents said that the voluntary condom distribution program was "sufficient" (Martin/Olivo, Los Angeles Times, 3/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.