Golden Gate University Law Review


This analysis of the state's authority to limit sexual behavior in gay bathhouses will begin by examining the precedents involving the use of quarantine and nuisance statutes to control the spread of communicable diseases. A discussion of common law limitations on the use of those statutes will follow. The constitutional analysis begins with the right to privacy embodied in the United States and California Constitutions, and its relationship to gay sexual intimacy generally. The application of rational basis and strict scrutiny standards will be analyzed and arguments presented in favor of applying strict scrutiny. The state's compelling interest in stopping the spread of AIDS will be analyzed under strict scrutiny with appropriate attention to achieving the state's interest without broadly infringing on the individual's privacy. Discussion of enforcement of a limitation on bathhouse sexual activity and the fourth amendment issues it raises will conclude the Comment.