By: Kyle James | 10-10-2017 | News
Photo credit: The Goldwater

You Can Keep HIV Secret From Your Partner But Don't Use The Wrong Gender Pronoun In California

A new California law set to take effect in 2018 will impose harsher penalties for health care workers who refer to a senior transgender patient by the "wrong" pronoun than those who knowingly infect others with HIV. The legislation was signed into law last Friday which made the maximum penalty for infecting someone with HIV by intentionally hiding that you are HIV positive and engaging in sexual activity punishable by up to six months in prison.

That number is a mere fraction of the current maximum sentence of eight years which The Goldwater reported on last week.

Add that on top of the fact that the same judge also signed into law that anyone who "willfully and repeatedly" uses the "wrong" gender pronouns when referring to a senior transgender patient may be jailed for up to a year. Both pieces of legislation were sponsored by Democratic state senator Scott Weiner who said, "The most effective way to reduce HIV infections is to destigmatize HIV. To make people comfortable talking about their infection, get tested, get into treatment. Weiner also dismissed concerns that the new laws could infringe on religious freedom.

Weiner went on to say, "Everyone is entitled to their religious view. But when you enter the public space, when you are running an institution, you are in a workplace, you are in a civil setting, and you have to follow the law."

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