Screenshot: 60 Minutes

The Justice Division has filed a lawsuit towards the state of Tennessee over its aggravated prostitution legislation, claiming that it violates the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

The legislation, handed in 1991, imposes harsher legal penalties on prostitutes who have interaction of their line of labor whereas knowingly contaminated with HIV.

The aggravated prostitution legislation raises the aforementioned act from a misdemeanor to a felony “when, realizing that such particular person is contaminated with HIV, the particular person engages in sexual exercise as a enterprise or is an inmate in a home of prostitution or loiters in a public place for the aim of being employed to interact in sexual exercise.”

It additionally requires the responsible get together to register for all times as a “violent intercourse offender,” they usually might withstand 15 years in jail and a high-quality of as much as $10,000.

The DOJ’s lawsuit contends that the legislation violates the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

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DOJ Suing Over Tennessee Aggravated Prostitution Legislation

Going after the Tennessee aggravated prostitution legislation from a incapacity angle is definitely fascinating.

“The enforcement of state legal legal guidelines that deal with folks in another way based mostly on HIV standing alone and that aren’t based mostly on precise dangers of hurt, discriminate towards folks dwelling with HIV,” stated Assistant Legal professional Normal Kristen Clarke of the Justice Division’s Civil Rights Division.

“Individuals dwelling with HIV shouldn’t be subjected to a unique system of justice based mostly on outdated science and misguided assumptions,” Clarke added. “This lawsuit displays the Justice Division’s dedication to making sure that individuals dwelling with HIV aren’t focused due to their incapacity.”

They’re not being focused due to their incapacity: they’re being focused for an already legal act that occurs to be heinous in that it has the potential to vary the lifetime of the opposite get together engaged in such legal acts.

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The Distinction With This ‘Incapacity’

In america, HIV is thought-about a incapacity beneath the Individuals with Disabilities Act (ADA). That stated, not all disabilities are the identical. You’ll be able to’t transmit being blind to a co-worker. Nor are you able to transmit listening to loss or autism.

What you’ll be able to transmit is HIV, which, whereas nice strides have been made within the medical area on this illness, would nonetheless be a life-altering analysis.

The DOJ lawsuit towards the Tennessee aggravated prostitution legislation comes after the division discovered that the legislation was discriminatory in December, however the state declined to enter into negotiations.

This isn’t the primary time that the legislation has been challenged, as a number of organizations filed a federal lawsuit in Memphis final yr on behalf of 4 “Jane Doe” plaintiffs and OutMemphis, a neighborhood nonprofit that serves the LGBT neighborhood.

The ACLU argued that the legislation disproportionately impacts black and transgender prostitutes who knowingly have interaction in sexual acts for pay whereas being HIV+.

The DOJ lawsuit cites one explicit “sufferer” of the Tennessee prostitution legislation, a “black transgender girl” who was engaged in prostitution in 2010 regardless of knowingly being HIV optimistic in 2008.

The complainant additionally occurred to be arrested, the Daily Wire reviews, for “prostitution close to a church or faculty.”

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