Last edited: November 21, 2004

GLAA Joins Groups Calling for Deletion of Unnecessary Proposed Alcohol Regulations

January 25, 2003

Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration Board
941 North Capitol Street, NE, 7th Floor Washington, DC 20002

Dear Members of the Board:

We are groups, organizations and businesses who write to express our great concern—indeed, outrage—at the proposal to adopt Regulation 905, which would unjustly and needlessly prohibit a broad range of social conduct on licensed premises. We oppose this Regulation—as does the City Council—because it is wholly inconsistent with modern mores and standards of behavior, because it is unnecessary to include this regulation when other laws already address such conduct, because it would unjustly harm some businesses, because it is so broad and vague that it could be read to prohibit myriad common forms of conduct, and because it would in fact be counterproductive, in that it would eliminate important opportunities for much-needed sex education.

In opposition to this wrong-headed proposal, we want to make succinctly the following points:

There is no need for this regulation. D.C. criminal law provisions already cover any public conduct that should be regulated. Indeed, this entire area of conduct is appropriately regulated by laws adopted by Congress and the City Council, not by regulations of a Board created to address entirely different issues.

Regulation 905 would prohibit numerous types of non-offensive erotically charged conduct that are entirely consistent with today’s societal mores. One has only to turn on MTV or HBO or go to a play or movie to confirm this fact.

This Regulation would have a severe economic impact on numerous law-abiding businesses. This includes not only bars and nightclubs, but also hotels that could not host meetings or conventions that include safe sex educational programs and demonstrations.

 The vagueness and excessive breadth of this proposed Regulation is appalling. It could be interpreted to prohibit many popular forms of dancing or private sexual activity in a hotel room, or even demonstrations in safe sex educational meetings.

Finally, this Regulation would be severely counterproductive. Clubs and bars are important venues for the types of sex education most effective in promoting safe, sane and consensual sex practices. Safe sex programs are a primary element of events held in hotels by many social groups and organizations.

For all of these reasons, we urge in the strongest possible terms that the Board delete proposed Regulation 905. DC City Council members have already taken the position that the Regulation should be dropped in its entirety. Our representatives would be happy to meet with you to discuss this matter in more depth.

Respectfully submitted,

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC
Kevin Davis, President

SigMa (of Washington, DC)
Jim Plante, President

The Woodhull Freedom Foundation
Melinda Chateauvert

District of Columbia Sexual Minority Advocates
Jonathan Krall, Spokesperson

National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
Susan Wright, Spokesperson

Black Rose (of Washington, DC)
Greg L., Chairman

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