Another Gay Rights Victory: Sentence for Man Who Exposed Other Man to HIV Thrown Out

"HIV transmission should not be criminalized—ever."

I'm not sure how a ruling that frees gay men to expose their sex partners to a deadly virus is a gay rights victory, but clearly I'm not keeping pace with the frenzied rush of liberalism through the gates of madness.

If gay marriage was marriage equality, what's this? Viral equality?

State Sen. Matt McCoy of Des Moines cut off Nick Rhoades' ankle bracelet at a gathering in Grinnell. The crowd was cheering. People were crying.

"It was totally moving and made all the work worthwhile," said Terry Lowman, who attended the event. "To me, the drama played like Jesus washing the feet of the poor. I was so totally moved."

Sure. Except the "poor" in this case was a man with HIV who had sex with another man without telling him he had it. In his defense, the other man didn't actually come down with it.

So clearly he's the innocent victim here.

In Cedar Falls, Rhoades and A.P. engaged in consensual unprotected oral and protected anal sex. Several days later, A.P. learned Rhoades was potentially HIV positive. A.P. contacted the police, and subsequently the State charged Rhoades with criminal transmission of HIV in violation of Iowa Code section 709C.1

Rhoades knew he had HIV since 1998 but he described himself as HIV-negative on the social network website where he met A.P. in 2008.

Any jury in the case would have heard evidence that "A.P. performed unprotected oral sex on Rhoades, that there was a possibility of failed protection during anal sex, and that Rhoades later apologized to the victim," he added.

The complaint was made by a gay man against Rhoades. Rhoades was not the victim here, he was the perpetrator.

The Des Moines Register stories on this are a mix between propaganda and crazy lies.

In 2009 Rhoades pleaded guilty to criminal transmission of HIV, and while his 25-year prison sentence was later reduced to probation for five years, he still has a felony criminal record and is required to be on the state's sex-offender registry. In the meantime, advocates of equal rights for gays and lesbians took up his cause, the Iowa Legislature this year changed the state law on which he was convicted and Gov. Terry Branstad recently signed the bill into law.

Good news for gay men with HIV. Not so much for gay men without HIV. But the latter category should probably rethink their HIV-free privilege.

This Iowa man had consensual sex with another adult who didn't contract HIV, yet he was prohibited from being around minors without supervision. The punishment imposed on Rhoades was horrific, and state lawmakers knew it.

That's not a horrific punishment. A horrific punishment is knowingly exposing someone else to a deadly virus.

Liberals are obsessed with rape culture. They have defined rape down quite a bit. But when it comes to gay men, suddenly this is considered consensual sex.

But gay activists are still unhappy with any legal ban for knowingly infecting someone else.

HIV transmission should not be criminalized—ever. HIV criminalization laws do absolutely nothing to prevent the spread of the virus. They stigmatize HIV-positive people, dissuade people from getting tested, and undermine public health goals. They are exceedingly difficult to enforce and based on junk science. They should all be repealed, entirely, immediately.

There you have liberalism in all its glory.

All of this is certainly progress. But LGBTQ activists should resist the urge to ballyhoo Iowa’s new law as a model for the other 34 states that criminalize HIV exposure or transmission. The revised Iowa law may have removed the bizarrely harsh, unscientific penalty that Rhoades initially faced, which slapped him with a 25-year prison sentence for theoretically exposing a partner to HIV without actually transmitting the virus. But an HIV-positive person who knows he’s positive and transmits the virus to a partner “with reckless disregard” still faces five years in prison.

When there's real progress, then gay men will be able to spread AIDS as much as they like without ever being prosecuted. Disagreeing will be a hate crime... because this is liberalism.

Tags: gay rights