California lawmakers passed a bill Monday that would reduce penalties for adults who have oral or anal sex with a willing minor child if the sex offender is within ten years of the age of the victim.
According to SB 145, the legislation “would
exempt from mandatory registration” as a sex offender “a person convicted of certain offenses involving minors if the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor and if that offense is the only one requiring the person to register.”
The measure would allow a judge to decide if an adult who engages in oral or anal sex with a child must register as a sex offender if that person is within ten years of the age of the victim.
In January 2019, the San Francisco Examiner reported on the introduction of the bill by State Sen. Scott Wiener (D), who claimed the current law, which states oral and anal sex between an adult within ten years of the age of a willing minor requires the adult to be registered as a sex offender, discriminates against LGBT individuals.
The bill would put an end to “blatant discrimination against young LGBT people engaged in consensual activity,” Wiener said:
This bill is about treating everyone equally under the law. Discrimination against LGBT people is simply not the California way. These laws were put in place during a more conservative and anti-LGBT time in California’s history. They have ruined people’s lives and made it harder for them to get jobs, secure housing, and live productive lives. It is time we update these laws and treat everyone equally.
Currently in California, judges may decide whether adults who have “penile-vaginal intercourse” with minors close to their age must register as a sex offender.
Wiener said the current law targets LGBT individuals because they do not engage in penile-vaginal intercourse.
“This is such horrific homophobia,” Wiener said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “It’s irrational, and it ruins people’s lives.”
The Chronicle‘s report stated that, in 1975, California decriminalized oral and anal sex between consenting adults, but adults who engaged in these practices with minors were treated as sex offenders.
In a tweet, Wiener urged his followers to read an Associated Press “fact check” story about the controversial bill that minimizes its impact with the headline, “Bill Would Not Legalize Pedophilia in California.”
“The bill is the subject of a massive misinformation campaign by MAGA/QAnon,” Wiener posted.