Florida court asked to decide if gay sex constitutes ‘intercourse’

Feb 7, 2015
HIV/AIDS
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Florida court asked to decide if gay sex constitutes 'intercourse'

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday on the definition of sexual intercourse in a test of a law requiring HIV-positive people to tell partners of their status.

Florida court asked to decide if gay sex constitutes 'intercourse'

The case arose in Key West where Gary Debaun was charged in 2011 with falsely telling a man he did not have the virus before they engaged in sex acts. Monroe County Circuit Judge Wayne Miller dismissed the case, saying state law defined “sexual intercourse” as between men and women.

The state appealed, arguing that the 1986 law Debaun violated, which requires HIV-infected people to inform their partners, was intended to cover all sex acts, both homosexual and heterosexual, even if it did not precisely define the nature of sexual intercourse.

In large part that was because the law was written in gender neutral language, the state argued.

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