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Western Queens Assemblymember to Introduce Bill to Decriminalize Sexual Activity of People With STDs

NY Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas (Photo Instagram @votejgr)

Dec. 5, 2022 By Christian Murray

A western Queens assemblywoman plans to introduce a bill that would decriminalize the sexual activity of people living with a sexually transmitted disease.

Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas, who represents Jackson Heights and nearby areas, said she will be introducing a bill that aims to repeal the New York State Public Health Law 2307, a 76-year-old law that makes it a misdemeanor for any person with a STD to have intercourse with another. The bill would also expunge any prior convictions should it become law.

The law currently has no exceptions, including for cases when a person discloses that they have an STD or uses protection. The law broadly criminalizes all sexual activity.

A total repeal, however, would mean that an individual could no longer be charged under the law should they have an STD and not disclose it prior to intercourse. However, civil remedies would still be able to be taken.

“Our laws should reflect modern-day science,” said González-Rojas, who made the announcement on Dec. 1, which was World AIDS day. “We know that increasing access to testing, treatment and other resources helps to curb the transmission of STIs [sexually transmitted infections], not criminalization. This archaic part of New York’s Public Health Law belongs in the trash heap of history, and I urge my colleagues in Albany to support this bill in the upcoming legislative session.”

González-Rojas also notes that the law, while seldomly enforced, does put undocumented immigrants at risk of deportation and a conviction could make it difficult for someone to adjust their immigration status.

Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas represents the 34th Assembly District. The district currently covers Jackson Heights and nearby areas (left). Next year, as a result of redistricting, her district will be more Astoria focused (Maps: RedistrictingandMe)

Many non-profit leaders support Gonzalez-Rojas bill.

“New York has reduced HIV and STI transmission through progressive public health approaches, yet archaic laws that criminalize people living with STIs remain on the books. It is past time to repeal these stigmatizing laws, which disincentivize disclosure, ignore current science, and subject LGBTQ+ people, young people of color, and Black and brown cisgender women to unnecessary policing,” said Jared Trujillo, Senior Policy Counsel at the New York Civil Liberties Union.

González-Rojas, however, is likely to face opposition when she introduces the bill, according to reports.

Assemblyman Jarett Gandolfo (R-Long Island) told The NY Post that he opposes it.

“Common sense dictates that the person you’re [having sex with] should know if you are HIV-positive, so they can decide if they are comfortable with it,” he told the publication.

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22 Comments

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Deez

Certainly, common sense is no longer common. People like Gonzalez-Rojas need to be removed from office. Continually citing various minority groups as the rationale for passing asinine laws/policies that inevitably have a very negative impact on all of us, is unacceptable.

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Bill

Gee, I bet this is something that affects Blacks and Hispanics. Like anything is going to stop them from having sex! Then their leaders will complain that Blacks and Hispanics will most likely be affected by the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

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Anonymous

Unbelievable! These progressives are truly risking the lives of honest, hardworking residents in Western Queens with every issue. First crime and now a possible life-threatening disease, and she thinks she is doing a good thing time and time again?

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Anonymous

I agree. Soon everyone citizen who believes in and follows laws will be moving out of New York City with the new leaders being elected into office who change laws for the perpetrators. I never thought in my lifetime that being a good citizen and raised with my family’s morals would be the opposite of what is considered acceptable today in New York City! I am a life-long Democrat and I am ashamed of the direction this political party has taken with the new progressive movement.

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sunnysider

Its not the whole party just like treasonous insurrectionist are the whole Republican party.

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Brandon Magoo

they dont care because they dont live here and they are rich so it doesnt affect them. it’s everyone’s job to make sure that it does. that’s the only way they will understand what we go through.

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JoeBama Magoo

the deep mental illness of these democrat politicians is incredible. they will go to the farthest lengths to destroy humanity and reduce any safety measures left.

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Foolish

Who among our population is clamoring for change? Always citing the poor, sex workers, or in this case, undocumented immigrants, as the reason for the need for new law makes no sense. Is there a 100% guarantee that an STD is no longer communicable? No. No matter how manageable some STDs have become, potential sexual partners need to know and make up their own minds.

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Fire and brimstone

Can democrats sink any lower into the cesspool of depravity and debauchery? They never cease to amaze me just how vile they can get.

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question?

Even if that potential law is silly how does that endanger people’s lives? Letting people who are HIV+ have sex without disclosing their status to their partner should obviously be criminal…please stop with the false equivalency arguments. This is not a partisan issue…progressives have lost their minds.

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The law was written well before HIV identified

“New York State Public Health Law 2307, a 76-year-old law that makes it a misdemeanor for any person with a STD to have intercourse with another.” Please read article before commenting.

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what is your point?

If it was written 76 years ago so what?…She is trying to repeal it today when people currently have HIV and can spread it to others…because the law was written before HIV somehow that means HIV is not covered as an STD under the law?…maybe you should use common sense before commenting.

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Somebody has their head in Republican sand

Point is laws should be reviewed especially after 76 years. You really don’t want to see a point if you missed that point . Isn’t that just common sense?

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Legalize it.

Make roosevelt avenue a red light district . It is already,
just not legally.
If you legalized it there would be less disease, less crime,
it would be safer. It would be good for men, women, gays, lesbians, and transgender,and whatever else is out there.
Less Mexican gangs running the avenue.

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Legalize it.

Make roosevelt avenue a red light district . It is already, just not legally. If you legalized it there would be less disease, less crime, it would be safer. It would be good for men, women, guys, lesbians, and whatever is out there. Less Mexican gangs running the avenue. Make roosevelt avenue a red light district . It is already, just not legally. If you legalized it there would be less disease, less crime, it would be safer. It would be good for men, women, guys, lesbians, and whatever is out there. Less Mexican gangs running the avenue. j

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Anonymous

If everyone arrested that did not have valid New York State or Federal ID had to go through the system (no desk appearance tickets without positive ID), and anyone illegally in the country gets turned over to the feds Roosevelt Ave could be cleaned up right quick.

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