In Florida, and almost three dozen other states, it is a crime to have intercourse without disclosing a sexually transmitted disease.
So prosecutors thought they had a solid case when they charged a Manatee County woman who failed to tell her female partner that she was HIV-positive. A Tampa appeals court, however, threw out the case, ruling that “sexual intercourse” could take place only with a penis and a vagina — in other words, between a man and a woman.
But last month, a South Florida appeals court issued a conflicting opinion, upholding charges against a Key West man whom police had accused of lying about being HIV-positive to his male partner. The ruling more broadly defined intercourse, finding that it did not require opposite genders or specific body parts.
The Florida Supreme Court is likely to end up resolving the clashing opinions, which are being closely monitored by gay-rights advocates.