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HomemediaACLU sues Tennessee for 'criminalizing HIV' with strict prostitution laws

ACLU sues Tennessee for ‘criminalizing HIV’ with strict prostitution laws

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the state of Tennessee over a law that it claims violates the rights of HIV-positive people engaged in prostitution.

On Tuesday, the organization released documents for a federal lawsuit against Gov. Bill Lee, Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director David Rausch and Tennessee Department of Correction Commissioner Frank Strada over what it considered an “unconstitutional” law that violates the American with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The lawsuit specifically targets “Aggravated Prostitution” which it defines as “a person commits aggravated prostitution when, knowing that such person is infected with HIV, the person engages in sexual activity as a business or is an inmate in a house of prostitution or loiters in a public place for the purpose of being hired to engage in sexual activity.” Violating the law is considered a Class C felony, and those who violate it are required to register as “violent sex offenders” for life.

ACLU logo

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced a new lawsuit against Tennessee on Monday. (KAREN BLEIER / Staff)

The ACLU along with the Transgender Law Center and the ACLU of Tennessee allege that the penalties wrongfully discriminate against HIV-positive people.

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Lindsay Kornick is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to and on Twitter: @lmkornick.


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