Equality California to Co-Sponsor Tiered Registry Bill

Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization, announced today that it has agreed to co-sponsor the Tiered Registry Bill (SB 695). The organization joins the California Sex Offender Management Board, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault as co-sponsors of that bill.

“Equality California is a powerful and welcome ally in the creation of the state’s first tiered registry,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “ACSOL looks forward to working together to revise the state’s lifetime registry which significantly harms members of the LGBTQ community.”

The Tiered Registry Bill was introduced on February 17 by co-authors Senators Ricardo Lara and Holly Mitchell. The bill is expected to be referred to the Senate Public Safety Committee for consideration in April although a firm date for that hearing has not yet been announced.

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Yeah….this bill is going to pass.

This is great news!

There are some serious logical fallacies in this three tier strategy. The most glaring one is the belief that this is somehow “chipping away” at the registry. How silly! If that were true, then the 40-odd states with tiered systems should already be light years ahead in terms of abolishing the registry.

When you say you are chipping away, is the goal to shatter the rock or turn it into a monument?

WOW, we didn’t see this coming…surprised and Thankful. Many Gay related RC’s out there. EQ has listened. Thanks Janice for adding this important backer to SB-695.

everything you said is spot on chris..theres so many issues and ways to attack the registry and this tiered bill just makes one more hurdle for the next big case..but its a very weak argument and doesn’t come close to negating all the other issues…

Wait a minute. Equality California, the largest LGBT organization is supporting this terrible tiered registry. Yet do they not realize that it is going to use the flawed STATIC-99/R test? The STATIC-99 increases “risk factors” / points for those with male victims. The inference being that those with male victims are likely gay.

it seems as though common sense is completely absent when it comes to sex offender laws…

Below is an explanation from the Equality California website today regarding why they have chosen to support the Tiered Registry bill:

SB 695, authored by Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) and Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), replaces California’s existing universal lifetime registration requirement for sex offenses with a tiered system based on the seriousness of the crime, the risk of reoffending and criminal history. There are over 100,000 registrants in California, far more than any other state, and California is one of only four states with a universal lifetime registry. Equality California is cosponsoring this bill to address the unfair circumstance of LGBT people who were targeted and often entrapped on charges that required registration when their actual actions hurt no one, including for simply engaging in same-sex contact when that action was criminalized in the past. These members of the LGBT community were required to register as sex offenders for life even though their convictions are now decades old and the law and its enforcement have changed, and the basis for many of these arrests was due to anti-LGBT discrimination and police entrapment. This bill would remove these people from the registry along with others in similar circumstances and put a new, efficient, risk-based system in place.

Other states have adopted the tiered registry been labeled “punishment” and continue to get more droconian every year amounting to banishment. And alas you need deep pockets for Any type of appeals process. Retroactive in nature and post ex facto in purpose.

I’m so glad Janet and company have decided to support this bill that is a step in the right direction instead of listening to all of the my-way-or-the-highway comments that inevitably come up in these discussions.

Here is a REALITY CHECKLIST for idealistic Californian RC armchair critics who refuse to work with ACSOL to support California Senate Bill 695:

REALITY CHECK #1: This bill is not perfect–especially Static-99R and the potential costs–BUT it’s NOT like we get a lot of chances to support a bill that stops all RCs from leaving the registry. It took YEARS to get legislators to seriously back a tiered registry bill! Politicians didn’t want to touch it!

REALITY CHECK #2: Your refusal to write letters in support of this bill may mean IT COULD BE YEARS BEFORE ANOTHER BILL IS BROUGHT UP. Won’t you feel great being the cause of tens of thousands of RCs and their families suffering on the registry when they could have gotten off? The same goes for level 3 RCs who don’t want level 1 and 2 RCs to have a chance to get off until 3’s can.

REALITY CHECK #3: Banishing the registry today IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN, despite the long intellectual legal arguments I have read by some people on this website. Tiers are a necessary, imperfect first step in bringing sanity to how sex offenders are treated. We have to start with something concrete and then lobby for incremental improvement.
Consider this historical parallel: Should black slaves have not wanted the civil war to end slavery because they expected continued discrimination even after being freed? Of course not! They wanted whatever freedom they could get. They then fought for a century to gain basic civil rights in in the 1960s.

REALITY CHECK #4: We didn’t write the bill. We don’t get to choose what we want in it. This isn’t a menu you can pick and choose from.

REALITY CHECK #5: Just because the tiered registry that almost all other states have is not being incrementally improved at a rate we would like to see does not mean the registry in California is fated to do the same, because ACSOL will continue to lead the fight! And remember that California strongly influences other states, so an incrementally-progressive registry here could help RCs in other states.



California RCs and supporters, please join us in writing letters and making calls in support of this bill. Ideally, they need to reach the legislators BEFORE March 10. That will support our lobbying efforts.

That’s for your support. We are all in this together. Divided, we fail. United, we can make awesome change.

If some of us choose to “intellectualize” whether this is a terrible bill, then it is a good sign.

Many of us are in the position of being labeled a “sex offender” not only because of our own past failures and bad decisions, but also because the politicians did not ‘intellectualize’ our current law in the first place. The tiered registry is an intellectually dishonest bill! It relies on a potentially expensive petitioning process without guarantees, with minimum time periods that aren’t backed by evidence, as well as the Static-99R scam.

In regard to Roger’s comment: since you bring up the slavery analogy, I do *not* remember Abraham Lincoln or Frederick Douglass believing the South should split blacks into three tiers so that they can be “divided and conquered.” In case it isn’t clear to you, that is what this law intends to do. As Abraham Lincoln said: “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Since you brought up the slavery analogy, here is another quote; this time by Frederick Douglass: “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”

By accepting this ridiculous tiered registry, you are giving our lawmakers the message that a registry is acceptable when it is not. When a person completes parole or probation, there should be no registration scheme that follows! (As is true for those who are discharged after committing robbery, murder, or more egregious crimes.)

H.P. and M, your basic premise is INCORRECT. You assume that the problems with this bill cannot and will not be modified, and that its previsions are set in stone.

EVEN IF FEW RC’S GET OFF THE REGISTRY in the first version of this law, it doesn’t matter, because we CAN and WILL have success in modifying it! Other states didn’t have ACSOL!

Your desire to only support a perfect solution ignores human nature! There is so much fear about RCs that getting ANYTHING passed to start us on the road to eliminating the registry is a miracle. California has had a registry since the 1940s, so it is a whole lot tougher to change it.

You try to push my slavery analogy to ridiculous extremes by bringing in the tiers. My point is this: LINCOLN WAS A PRACTICAL MAN WHO DID AS MUCH AS HE COULD GIVEN THE POLITICAL CLIMATE.


What viable alternatives are there? Abolish the registry today? NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

Are you as knowledgeable and experienced as Janice?

Armchair intellectual dissension is destructive to getting tens of thousands of RCs off the registry.

Please write the letters even as you get more information on why imperfect SB 695 is our ONLY hope right now to build a better future.

We need your support.

The tiered system would be far more effective in weeding the overburdened registry currently in use and eliminating those that have had a clean record for decades, when one uses the word ‘decades’ it carries with it a denotation of persecution thats gone way beyond the scope of ‘time served’ and presents a world of ostrasizim spanning ‘ decades ‘, what ever happened to the words so long ago uttered by our forefathers, ‘ justice for all ‘, where did that meaning evaporate to ?

Put lipstick on a pig and its still a pig!

I live in a state that has a Tiered system.. and it uses that BS Static99R (life is not static). But guess what…. even with that Static99R I scored a Level II with a Risk management level of B (that is for probation). But the government is going to do what it wants to do. My conviction happened in a little podunk town that when I was being released from prison I didn’t have any family there or many friends left in that town so I requested to release to a larger City so I could have better chance of finding housing, job and schooling. The lovely Department of corrections granted my request but since I was releasing to a county of non-conviction and I didn’t have a “support system” in the city I was releasing to they arbitrarily raised my level to a Level III. I thought oh well I will show them and they will lower my level again and I can work towards getting off. I went back to school got my Bachelors of Science degree, got a job maintained housing developed a support group oh and did 10 years of Probation without one single violation.
It’s now 15 years later and guess what? I am still a Level III. Good luck getting anyone to sign their name on a piece of paper supporting a lower level classification let alone to ever being released of the obligation to register.
But like I said I don’t live in Cali so what you feel you need to do for your state I can only say good luck but I just gave you a real life example of what they can do and will do.

I also have a hard time understanding how an organization who’s goal is to abolish the registry can support a modification of it. That is like saying it is ok to have it. Just doesn’t make since.