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Maryland introduces bill to make HIV transmission a felony #HIV #AIDS

Maryland introduces bill to make HIV transmission a felony #HIV #AIDS

I’m sure this one is going to get plenty of people up in arms over the next few days

As LGBT groups focus on pending marriage legislation in Maryland, a Democratic Senator stands to potentially ignite a fight over HIV criminalization in that state.

Sen. Norman Stone Jr. has introduced a bill that would classify knowingly transmitting HIV from a misdemeanor to a felony, ThinkProgress has reported. The bill has no companion in the lower house, but at a time when HIV criminalization becomes a more divisive issue around the nation, LGBT advocates would likely rather avoid the distraction as they push for success on the marriage bill during Maryland’s short legislative session.

No word seems to be out there from Sen. Stone on why he feels that this existing law needs to be reclassified, and as of today there are no hearings scheduled on the bill.  Further, what’s probably going to get unreported (or glossed over) is the content of the bill itself:

Changing from a misdemeanor to a felony the classification of the crime of knowingly transferring or attempting to transfer the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to another individual; and increasing penalties.

Now, can you spot the key word in that sentence that keeps this proposal on the right side of being Draconian?  Hmmm…?

I’ll be curious to see how – or if – this one progresses.  LGBT advocates in the state would rather this bill not have even surfaced as they’d much rather fight for marriage as that’s coming up shortly.


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