A concerned mother responded, “I cannot in my mind as a mother understand how sex between a 24-year-old and a 14-year-old could ever be consensual, how it could ever not be a registrable offense . . ."
The California State Senate passed a controversial reform to its sex offender registry Monday that would allow a young adult who has homosexual sex with a minor to escape registering in some cases, based on a judge’s discretion.
SB145 finally passed the 40-member state Senate by a vote of 23-10, after first being introduced by California state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) in 2019, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images for Lambda Legal
Wiener argued that the current law discriminates against sodomite youth because, as the Chronicle explained, “Under current law, a judge can decide whether to place a man who has vaginal intercourse with an underage teenage girl on the sex offender registry based on the facts of the case. But if anal or oral sex, or vaginal penetration with anything other than a penis is involved, the adult must register as a sex offender[.]”
Under SB145, if a young adult has sodomite sex with a minor 14 or older who is less than 10 years younger, a judge will have the discretion whether to place the individual on the sex offender registry.
“This eliminates discrimination against LGBTQ youth in our criminal justice system,” Wiener said.
The bill’s passage was a victory for Wiener, who had been trying in recent weeks to salvage it before the end of the legislative session. As The Daily Wire reported:
According to The San Francisco Chronicle, California state Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) is using the last few weeks of the legislative session to mobilize support for SB145, a bill he introduced last year that stalled in a key committee. The legislation would allow “judges discretion over sex-offender registration in all cases involving voluntary intercourse between teenagers ages 14 to 17, who cannot legally consent, and adults who are less than 10 years older.”
“It makes no sense,” Wiener told The San Francisco Examiner of the present statute. “It disproportionately impacts LGBTQ people because LGBTQ people are far less likely to be engaging in penile, vaginal intercourse.”
Wiener was also the state senator who introduced the bill that made knowingly exposing a partner to HIV no longer a felony in 2017, as reported by The Daily Wire.
Janice Bellucci, executive director of the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws (ACSOL) that supported the bill, said in a Monday press release, “Senate Bill 145 has been controversial since its introduction. Due to the dedication of its author, Senator Scott Wiener, Senate Bill 145 was passed over the objections of the Appropriations Committee chair and despite multiple threats of physical harm.”
Weiner singled out QAnon for sending many of the threats against him and accusing him of trying to legalize pedophilia. “I’ve been the subject of death threats and personal attacks, threatening to decapitate me and send my head to my mother,” Wiener said during an online news conference last month. “This kind of slander, not just against me but against my community, is outrageous and we have to speak out against it.”
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) said, “I cannot in my mind as a mother understand how sex between a 24-year-old and a 14-year-old could ever be consensual, how it could ever not be a registrable offense. We should never give up on this idea that children should be in no way subject to a predator.”
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