Sex/Power/Law

Marc Spindelman, Essay, Sexuality's Law, 20 Colum. J. Gender & L. (forthcoming 2011). Robin West Marc Spindelman's essay Sexuality's Law, forthcoming in the Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, is one of the most extraordinary pieces of legal writing on the interrelations of law, culture and sexuality to appear in a law journal in well over a decade, perhaps much longer. Professor Spindelman begins his essay with a legal puzzle: why is it that out of the thousands of men who have been infected with HIV through consensual sex with another man who failed to disclose his HIV status, almost none have sought to use the law's tools so as to seek redress for the injuries done to them? The transmission of disease through sex might be intentional, reckless, or negligent, and in any event, occasioned without the informed or knowing assumption of the risk by the person infected. Yet we see virtually no criminal prosecutions for homicide when this occurs intentionally, and almost no civil awards of damages when it occurs recklessly or negligently. Why? Why have gay men not turned to the law to seek redress against other gay men who harm them, and often kill them, by not disclosing their HIV status in the course of consensual sex? Continue reading "Sex/Power/Law"

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