All government employees are protected by the U.S. Constitution against irrational discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In addition, some measure of protection already exists under Title VII based on gender, which has been held to include gender identity and expression.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and several courts have interpreted Title VII to protect LGBT employees. Lambda Legal maintains that the EEOC adjudications regarding Title VII’s coverage should supersede contrary authority that exists in some federal circuits.
NO, Rhode Island does not have a criminal statute that punishes people with an HIV diagnosis specifically for nondisclosure of HIV status prior to sexual conduct; however, all states have general criminal laws—such as reckless endangerment and assault laws—under which it is possible to prosecute an HIV-positive person for nondisclosure of HIV status prior to sexual conduct.
NO, there has not been a criminal prosecution in recent years of which Lambda Legal is aware; however, that does not mean that will not be one in the future.
NO, Rhode Island does not have laws that criminalize or enhance penalties for biting, spitting and/or throwing bodily fluids or substances (such as urine or excrement) if a person has been diagnosed with HIV, but that does not mean the state could not prosecute a person engaged in such activities under general criminal laws or argue for sentence enhancements based on the person’s HIV diagnosis.
NO, Rhode Island does not have laws that enhance penalties for HIV-positive people involved in commercial sexual transactions, but that does not mean that a prosecutor could not argue for an enhanced sentence in such a situation based on the defendant’s HIV-positive status, if the prosecutor has access to that information, or attempt to bring separate charges under an HIV-specific nondisclosure statute or the general criminal laws.
Any person. See R.I. Stat. § 15-7-4.
Approved in lower courts.
State supreme court has enforced agreement between lesbian partners for visitation after breakup. See Rubano v. DiCenzo, 759 A.2d 959 (R.I. 2000).