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CA: In effort to change sex-crimes law, Newsom’s LGBTQ rights record faces a test

[ – 9/11/20]

SACRAMENTO — A California bill intended to prevent discrimination against LGBTQ people in sex crime convictions has captured the attention of Republicans and far-right conspiracy theorists, who are demanding a veto from Gov. Gavin Newsom and say state Democratic leaders are putting teenagers at risk.

The measure, Senate Bill 145, would amend existing state law that allows judges to decide whether an adult convicted of having vaginal sexual intercourse with a minor should register as a sex offender in cases in which the minor is 14 years or older and the adult is not more than 10 years older than the minor.

Currently, adults who are convicted of having oral or anal sex with a minor under those circumstances are automatically added to the state’s sex offender registry. SB 145 would eliminate automatic sex offender registration in those cases, and give judges discretion to make that decision.

Newsom’s decision to sign or veto the legislation promises to have both a state and national political impact. Along with opposition from Republicans in the state Legislature, supporters of President Trump and far-right conspiracy theorists have seized on the bill in an attempt to use the measure as a political wedge issue and rallying cry, with some falsely claiming on social media that California is legalizing pedophilia.

Assemblyman Chad Mayes, an independent from Yucca Valley, warned fellow lawmakers about the potential political consequences just moments before he voted in favor of SB 145 on Aug. 31, the final night of the state legislative session.

“This is one of those bills you will take a political hit for,” said Mayes, who left the Republican Party in 2019. “But we also know that it’s righteous and just. This is the time to step up.”

The bill’s author, state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), said the disparity in current state law that SB 145 would address is a remnant of California’s old anti-sodomy laws, many since repealed, that were intended to criminalize sex between gay men.

The intent of SB 145, he said, is to address cases in which two people close in age — an 18-year-old and 17-year-old dating in high school, for example — are in a sexual relationship. The 18-year-old can still be convicted of a sex offense but should not automatically be registered as a sex offender, a lifelong designation that is an impediment to finding employment, a place to live and other necessities of life, Wiener said.

“We need to stop criminalizing teenagers for having sex,” he said.

Read the full article


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It’s incredibly annoying hearing even allies like Senator Wiener explicitly state how punitive and debilitating the registry is, yet seemingly nothing being done about it, and in fact, all too often, have everything further compounded. I hope Newsom does the right thing and signs this.

If it walks like punishment, if it talks like punishment, chances are it is punishment. You know it, Senator!

“lower penalty”

Since this senator cites it is a penalty that is lowered when not put on the registry, then the scheme is no longer regulatory as its intent is to punish.

Anyone else find it funny that no one said anything of this fervor for the tiers? But make the law even and all the wolves come out.

I guess no one said this would be easy.

The main problem is there will always be circumstances where one or more teenagers engage in “sexual” conduct that one or more other people their age or older will disagree with. Sometimes these disagreements will reach authorities. Unfortunately no simple solution exists because regardless of the age gap as long as one minor is under eighteen at the federal level anyone doing anything with them can be prosecuted. In certain States the age of consent is eighteen, in others it is seventeen, and the rest it is sixteen. When referring to interactions between people from different countries laws are even… Read more »

Divide and conquer. Make it look like Kalifornia democrats want to “improve” the situation for RSOs, and then play off the republican opposition.

The game is rigged. Just more proof that the ones running the system are good at hiding their true intent. Just liberally (lol) sprinkle a little BLM or LGBTQ and poof! Biden wins again.

Newsom signed the bill into law today!

Please consider thanking Scott Wiener and Gavin Newsom via the state email forms or on social media: @Scott_Wiener @GavinNewsom

Congratulations on SB145 being signed into law today! Your courage in standing up for LGBT equality is commendable and this law will help many LGBT youth in years to come. Thank you!

Thank You Sonny, We have given a small donation every quarter taken out from HRC & EQ CA .org and you found out before we did and we have donated before 2008 for our Marriage here. Been working on SB145 with The Senator’s Office for quite sometime before the 1st Loss of this thoughtful bill for our LGBTQIA youth. Things might of been different during JC over thirty seven years ago for Our Community having not to even hide back then to stay alive, sound familiar RC’s? Not pretty back then when we were NOT even Tolerated let alone despised… Read more »

It seems odd for people to contest “a civil scheme”. This law doesn’t absolve the criminal act. It just doesn’t enhance it with this “civil scheme”. Therein lies the Public Relations crux. For those registered, we do not want to wish this “enhancement” to anyone. For the public, they see it as relieving punishment and crime. The new law doesn’t relieve the act of the crime, though statutory in nature. It makes all sexual acts equal with respect to the enhancement of their crime as written in the law. Having sexual intercourse between a male and a female does not… Read more »

“ we need to stop criminalizing teens for having sex.” Did you just remember biology or your youth lawmaker, teens are sexual by nature and there’s no law you could pass to stop it. Umm you need to stop criminalizing sex between adults and get out the bedroom.

In an effort to change sex crime laws now whoever had the forthought to write this article had good intent. One can’t tell a person what color of hair to die if one dye’s their hair nor can one tell them today how much jewelry to wear but they can inform them of the truth which is written in the bible. Sure one’s viewpoint is just as wrong as the others and thats why one has to get inspiration, learn wisdom and understanding. Many things in this nation have their pro’s and con’s and many folks are upset at the… Read more »

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