Bill seeks to repeal Minnesota’s criminal penalties for HIV exposure

35 states have laws that "criminalize HIV exposure," with penalties ranging from less than a year in prison up to life. 

The Minnesota Capitol building in St. Paul, Minn. (MN Department of Administration/Flickr)

Left-wing DFL Rep. Leigh Finke is co-sponsoring a bill with four colleagues that would repeal Minnesota’s criminal penalties for intentionally spreading HIV/AIDS.

Finke, who represents House District 66A, made national news last year after becoming the first “transgender” elected official ever in the state of Minnesota. Finke previously worked for the radical American Civil Liberties Union and has been involved in a number of social justice initiatives.

HF 267 was introduced on Jan. 11 and will be sent to the House’s Public Safety Committee, where it is expected to be intensely debated. GOP Rep. Walter Hudson from Albertville told Alpha News via email that “you can bet I will have some things to say about it.”

The bill states that its aim is to repeal the “crime of the transfer of an infectious agent for a communicable disease from one person who knowingly harbors the agent to another.”

Current Minnesota law makes it a crime to knowingly transfer a communicable disease via sexual intercourse, blood, sperm, organ or tissue donation, and sharing needles.

If Finke’s bill is signed into law, Minnesota would be following in the footsteps of Illinois, which repealed its HIV criminal laws in 2021, and Texas, which did so way back in 1994.

In 2017, the Democrat dominated state of California lessened punishment for persons who knowingly expose their sexual partners to HIV. A handful of other states, including Iowa, have done the same.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35 states have laws that “criminalize HIV exposure,” with penalties ranging from less than a year in prison up to life.

“These laws were passed at a time when little was known about HIV including how HIV was transmitted and how best to treat the virus. Many of these state laws criminalize actions that cannot transmit HIV — such as biting or spitting — and apply regardless of actual transmission, or intent,” the CDC says.

“After more than 40 years of HIV research and significant biomedical advancements to treat and prevent HIV transmission, many state laws are now outdated and do not reflect our current understanding of HIV. In many cases, this same standard is not applied to other treatable diseases. Further, these laws have been shown to increase stigma, exacerbate disparities, and may discourage HIV testing,” it adds.

Last year, conservative congresswoman Lauren Boebert from Colorado called out Democrats who are weakening laws against spreading HIV.

“The same liberals that legalized knowingly spreading HIV are now pushing Americans to take COVID tests or show proof of vaccination to enter restaurants,” she tweeted.

In the years following the legalization of homosexual “marriage” in 2015, gay Americans have scored a number of political victories, including the ability to donate blood, which was previously outlawed by the Food and Drug Administration for 30 years.


Stephen Kokx

Stephen Kokx, M.A., is a journalist for LifeSiteNews. He previously worked for the Archdiocese of Chicago under the late Francis Cardinal George. A former community college instructor, Stephen has written and spoken extensively about Catholic social teaching and politics. His essays have appeared in such outlets as Catholic Family News and