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Bill to end California laws that criminalize HIV clears legislative hurdle

A bill that would end California laws that criminalize HIV cleared its first legislative hurdle in Sacramento. Photo: iStock

SACRAMENTO — A bill that would end California laws that criminalize HIV cleared its first legislative hurdle in Sacramento.

The Senate Public Safety Committee approved SB 239 by a vote of 5-2 on Tuesday.

The bill moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The bill, authored by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) is co-sponsored by ACLU of California, APLA Health, Black AIDS Institute, Equality California, Lambda Legal and Positive Women’s Network – USA.

In addition, it is supported by Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform, a broad coalition of people living with HIV, HIV and health service providers, civil rights organizations and public health professionals: the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the Los Angeles HIV Law and Policy Project, the Transgender Law Center, Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Free Speech Coalition, Sex Workers Outreach Project and Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education, and Research Project.

About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBTQ community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBTQ students.

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