State of Ohio v. Batista

Brief of Amici Curiae The Center for HIV Law and Policy, The American Academy of HIV Medicine, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, Human Rights Campaign, The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, The National Center for Lesbian Rights, The Office of the Ohio Public Defender, and Treatment Action Group on Behalf of Appellant Orlando Batista.

Brief filed: 12/27/2016


State of Ohio v. Batista

Supreme Court of Ohio; Case No. 2016-0903

Prior Decision

On Appeal from the Hamilton County Court of Appeals, First Appellate District, Court of Appeals Case No. 150341.


R.C. 2903.11(B)(1) ("The Act") violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection. Equal protection forbids arbitrary, irrational classifications. The Act singles out people living with HIV for differential treatment. The Act cannot survive rational basis review. The Act's classification is arbitrary because it is over-inclusive. HIV-specific criminal laws are empirically proven to have no effect on the spread of HIV. Criminalization of nondisclosure is counterproductive. The absence of any rational basis for the Act suggests unlawful animus. The Act violates prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of disability.

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Valerie Kunze, Office of the Ohio Public Defender, Columbus, OH; Lawrence S. Lustberg & Avram Frey, Gibbons P.C., Newark, NJ; Catherine Hanssens & Mayo Schreiber, Jr., Center for HIV Law and Policy, New York, NY.