In California, Infecting Someone With HIV Isn't a Crime, Using a Wrong Personal Pronoun Is

I'm exaggerating. But not by that much.

The war on plastic bags has been all but won in California. To be shortly followed by the way on driving to the supermarket. But fortunately infecting someone with HIV has been decriminalized.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill Friday that lowers from a felony to a misdemeanor the crime of knowingly exposing a sexual partner to HIV without disclosing the infection.

The measure also applies to those who give blood without telling the blood bank that they are HIV-positive.

Modern medicine allows those with HIV to live longer lives and nearly eliminates the possibility of transmission, according to state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), authors of the bill.

That's a significant overstatement. And not at all the point.

“We are going to end new HIV infections, and we will do so not by threatening people with state prison time, but rather by getting people to test and providing them access to care,” Wiener said.

And by decriminalizing exposing others to HIV. Because that is what's really happening here beyond all the energetic arm waving.

Republican lawmakers including Sen. Joel Anderson of Alpine voted against the bill, arguing it puts the public at risk.

“I’m of the mind that if you purposefully inflict another with a disease that alters their lifestyle the rest of their life, puts them on a regimen of medications to maintain any kind of normalcy, it should be a felony,” Anderson said during the floor debate. “It’s absolutely crazy to me that we should go light on this.”

It's okay. California is going after more serious crimes. Like using the wrong personal pronoun.

The California state Senate is considering a bill that would punish health care workers up to a year in jail if they “willfully and repeatedly” decline to address a transgender resident with their “preferred name or pronouns.”

The bill, SB 219, proposed by San Francisco’s Democratic state Sen. Scott Wiener, is aimed at protecting transgender and other LGBT groups in health care sectors such as hospitals, retirement homes and housing institutions.

And yes, that's the same Scott Wiener. Who wants to decriminalize exposing others to HIV, but criminalize using the wrong personal pronoun.

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