Florida City Regulates Massage Parlors With New Ordinance

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — One Florida city voted to adopt a revised bathhouse ordinance from the 1980’s aimed at cracking down on illicit services offered in massage parlors.

Tampa city councilors agreed to a permit application process for massage parlors that offer bathing, a common precursor to sex acts, and require them to follow more stringent regulations.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that the measure was criticized as oppressive and hailed as a measure to help the city fight human trafficking.

Officials told a sex worker solidarity group they are working with other agencies to make sure women would be protected.

Once the new ordinance takes effect, the penalty for operating a bath house without a permit will be a fine of up to $500 and 60 days in jail.