More than 40 people today participated in a peaceful protest held outside the federal district court in Oakland. Participants included registrants and supporters from California as well as several other states, including Florida, Missouri and Oregon. Today’s protest included the burning of sex offender registration cards by six registrants led by CA RSOL Treasurer Frank Lindsay.
Today’s protest was a tremendous success,” stated CA RSOL President Janice Bellucci. “We effectively communicated to the public and to the media our position that the International Megan’s Law (IML) violates the U.S. Constitution.”
The protest immediately followed oral arguments made in support of, and in opposition to, the federal government’s motion to dismiss the case. During the court hearing, the government argued that the federal government needs to notify foreign countries when registrants intend to visit in order to prevent child sex tourism and child sex trafficking. The government also argued the need to add a “conspicuous unique identifier” to the passports of hundreds of thousands of registrants in order to stop them from visiting multiple countries during a single trip.
Registrant attorney Bellucci argued that notifications sent to foreign countries have a “chilling effect” upon registrants, many of whom are now afraid to travel overseas. She also argued that notifications are harm registrants’ ability to travel overseas in order to meet with family members, conduct business and pursue cultural interests. She further argued that they place registrants and anyone who travels with them at risk of physical harms.
During today’s hearing, Bellucci asked Judge Hamilton to deny the government’s motion to dismiss the case and instead to allow registrants to amend the complaint. The judge did not issue a decision today, however, a decision is expected within the next 30 days.