Washington, D.C., Council Member Recommends Eliminating HIV, Syphilis Test Requirements for Marriage Licenses
May 29, 2008
Washington, D.C., council member Phil Mendelson (D), head of the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, recently recommended eliminating a provision from a marriage bill that would require couples applying for marriage licenses to be tested for HIV/AIDS and syphilis, the Washington Post reports. The Safe Marriage Amendment Act -- proposed in December 2007 by council members Yvette Alexander (D), Marion Barry (D) and Harry Thomas (D) -- would add a test for HIV/AIDS to the already required syphilis test, the Post reports.
Alexander said she stands behind the original bill, adding, "Accepting the report is not necessarily accepting [Mendelson's] amendments." An HIV/AIDS test could save lives, Alexander said. She added, "You may still marry that person. I think it is for both of you to take. ... Especially with the [HIV/AIDS] epidemic in the district, we would set a precedent" (Stewart/Davis, Washington Post, 5/29).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.