District officials are considering guidelines that would prohibit police from using rubber gloves at demonstrations like one at the White House where 64 protesters, many of whom had AIDS, were arrested in early June.

But the guidelines would not prohibit police from using gloves when they might be exposed to body fluids.

"Everyone believes the use of protective equipment such as gloves is appropriate in situations where it is likely that blood and bodily fluids will be involved, but city officials believe that this was not the case during the demonstration outside the White House," said City Administrator Thomas M. Downs.

Downs and Police Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr. said in a statement yesterday that "the use of the gloves and the extent to which they were used during the demonstration {were} inappropriate and unnecessary."

The proposed guidelines brought praise from the gay community, which had protested the use of the yellow vinyl gloves at the White House demonstration and at a raid at a gay bar in March.

Jeff Koenreich, gay liaison to the D.C. police, said, "I think these regulations are going to mandate a more appropriate use of gloves, because the biggest problem is that the existing guidelines allow discretion by the individual officers."

Public Health Commissioner Reed V. Tuckson said the proposed guidelines are an attempt to be sensitive to police who deal with a broad range of circumstances. He cited two aims: "to protect emergency personnel who are frequently confronted with unusual and unpredictable circumstances and to prevent the government from acting inappropriately."

But Gary Hankins, Fraternal Order of Police labor committee chairman, called the proposed policy "an absolutely and pure political decision" and said the mayor's office was reacting to pressure from the gay community.

"Any time a police officer is in an arrest situation, no matter how calm it appears, the potential for violence and confrontation exists," he said.

Hankins said the proposal also is at odds with a police department general order under study by the FOP that if implemented would provide for "the wider availability of {gloves} and for {them} to be used more often."

"We'll spend a million dollars in court before we lay down and take this," Hankins said. Staff writer Douglas Stevenson contributed to this report.