California Governor Signs Bill to Amend Sex Criminal Law

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The SB-145 bill that California Governor Gavin Newsom signed will eliminate automatic sex offender registration and give the judge discretion in whether to place an adult who has had oral or anal sex with a minor, who is 14 or older, with the consideration that the adult isn’t 10 years older than the minor, on the sex offender registration list. Before this bill, an adult in the same circumstance, instead having vaginal sexual intercourse, was not automatically registered as a sex offender however, those who were having anal or oral sex were. The author of the bill, Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), said in a Twitter post, “SB-145 simply ends discrimination by treating LGBTQ+ young people the exact same way that straight people have been treated since 1944.” 

That was the motive behind Gov. Newsom and the supporters of the bill in signing the bill. Many of those who were criticizing the bill claimed that it legalized pedophilia. Many far-right conspiracy theorists and Republicans as well criticized the 10-year gap provision. Though that provision was in the state’s sex offender registry for decades, none of the lawmakers pointing out this provision in the SB-145 have tried to change it at all. According to the LA Times, “Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey helped draft the bill, which was supported by the California District Attorneys Assn., the California Police Chiefs Assn. and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault.” Although Newsom and lawmakers in support of the bill received criticism, many believe that it’s a step towards equality for all.