Reading Tabled.

“City planners [in Grand Rapids, Michigan] want more legal advice before they approve or reject a private club for gay men above an adult bookstore on South Division Avenue. The Planning Commission on Thursday tabled a special land-use request for the Falcon Lounge. While the applicant’s lawyer compared the club to the Detroit Athletic Club he belongs to in his hometown, City Attorney Catherine Mish told commissioners she suspects something less upscale.” [The Grand Rapids Press]

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  • PearlsBeforeSwine

    This gets to a fundamental question: What business is it of mine if people practice unsafe sex and get infected with HIV (or practice safer sex and have ‘accidents’)? And what business is it of mine if people smoke and get lung cancer?

    Due to errors in case tracking, where I live they report a 251% increase in HIV infections last year, with estimates that 3-5% of the population is HIV positive. Just over half of new cases are in men who have sex with men. A new private gay club has opened as well. (I haven’t been inside. It is so private that the door is hidden.)

    It is a personal tragedy for someone gets lung cancer as well as their friends and family, but society has little sympathy for the smoker. After all, they know the risks and have chosen to start smoking. What should the attitudes be toward the HIV positive?

  • d8alterego

    Wow, this is my college town. I just moved from GR to Florida a year ago. The article is right at the end that there are a ton of gay people in conservative GR and West Michigan.
    If the owner of the store has had a sketchy past and then wants a private gentlemen’s club, I don’t blame the planning commisioners for being hesitant. The owner should recognize their nervousness as well and try to elleviate them. However, there shouldn’t be any discriminatory reason to deny the owner’s request either.

    Just so you know, GR is a beautiful city and has become more liberal each passing year. Us GR gays love our city and it has a decent track record of lgbt support.

  • Steve

    “What business is it of mine if people practice unsafe sex and get infected with HIV (or practice safer sex and have ‘accidents’)?”

    Most people who become infected with HIV end up on medicaid. The cost to provide that health care is enormous. And, it is paid by tax funds, which come from all of us. If we make public policy that minimizes HIV transmission, it saves money as well as lives.

    We know that most adults will find another person with whom to have sex. That’s human nature, and is not possible to change. The key to public policy that will minimize disease is to encourage monogamy and discourage promiscuity.

    Public policies that have those effects include denying zoning and business licenses to sex clubs, and encouraging couples to marry. Those policies don’t just save lives. They also save tax money.

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