California’s Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom just signed Senate Bill 145 which lowers the penalties for adults who have sex will same-sex minors.
As Senator Melissa Melendez Tweeted, “Well what a shock. Newsom signed SB145, the bill that allows a 24 year old to have sex with a 14 year old and escape a felony conviction and requirement to be a registered sex offender. Absolutely disgusting.”
Well what a shock. Newsom signed SB145, the bill that allows a 24 year old to have sex with a 14 year old and escape a felony conviction and requirement to be a registered sex offender. Absolutely disgusting.
— Senator Melissa Melendez (@senatormelendez) September 12, 2020
Last year California Globe reported that State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Assemblywoman Susan Eggman (D-Stockton) introduced legislation “to end blatant discrimination against LGBT young people regarding California’s sex offender registry.” Wiener and Eggman are members of the California Legislative LGBT Caucus.
If there are any lingering doubts about Sen. Wiener’s intent, the bill analysis is much, more clear than Sen. Wiener:
“This bill states non-forcible sodomy, oral copulation, and sexual penetration with a minor do not require mandatory sex offender registration unless there is a ten-year gap between the minor and the other person. However, a court may still require registration if it deems appropriate. These offenses, when committed without force, where the minor was a willing participant and under the age of 14 are sometimes referred to as “Hofsheier offenses.” People v. Hofsheier (2006) 37 Cal.4th 1185 held that requiring mandatory sex offender registration for one such an offense – oral copulation – was unconstitutional if the state did not also require registration for a person convicted nonforcible sexual intercourse with a minor because it made an illegal distinction based on the sex act itself.”
“Non-forcible sodomy, oral copulation, and sexual penetration with a minor” is the first legal problem with this bill as it is against the law to have sex with a minor – gay or straight. The legal age of consent in California is 18 years of age. The age of consent refers to the age at which a person can legally consent to any sexual intercourse.
If there is a real inequity in the laws governing sex with minors, this bill is only undermining any sincere attempt to address that.
Of the hundreds of comments left by California Globe readers, “normalizing pedophilia” was repeated over and over: “This is a push to normalize pedophilia which has always been the aim of some in the homosexual community.”
This is absolutely false. #SB145 does not in any way change what the crime is or what the punishment is. You’re spreading false information. You should delete that tweet.
— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) September 12, 2020
But Sen. Wiener dug his heels in. “This is absolutely false. #SB145 does not in any way change what the crime is or what the punishment is. You’re spreading false information. You should delete that tweet,” he Tweeted back at Sen. Melendez.
Sen. Wiener is cherry-picking his facts.
As the Globe has reported, under SB 145, the offenders would not have to automatically register as sex offenders if the offenders are within 10 years of age of the minor.
After being shelved last year because it could not pass, the bill was quietly brought back at the last minute this year in August, without any new analysis or new amendments, and was voted on Aug. 20th in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it was passed 6-2.
On August 31st, the last day of the legislative session, SB 145 passed the Assembly 41-25, and 13 abstentions. No Republicans supported the bill, and 11 Democrats voted “No” along with the Republicans.
Sen. Wiener snuck a really bad bill back into the legislative docket, despite that the rule during the shortened session this year was the only bills which would be voted on were supposed to be COVID-related, or emergency economic help for the state.
SB 145 could not pass last year, and most Californians didn’t even know about it. By sneaking it back into the end of session docket, SB 145 did not receive a hearing or any real debate.
Lawmakers who voted for SB 145 who also claim to have concern for child sex abuse or child sex trafficking showed their true intentions.
Gov. Newsom knows all of this and signed this bill anyway.
A Globe reader asked: “Why the heck does Sen Scott Wiener care so much about protecting sexual predators and care so little about protecting California’s children? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?”