California Governor Gavin Newsom, a
Democrat, on Friday signed a bill that ends discrimination against
LGBT people on the state's sex offender registry.
Since 1944, California has treated
same-sex sex offenses harsher than heterosexual ones. The law
currently treats penile-vaginal intercourse less harshly than oral
sex or anal intercourse.
A judge has the discretion on whether
to place an adult who has voluntary vaginal intercourse with a minor
over 14 (the adult may be up to 10 years older) on the sex offender
registry based on the facts in the case.
However, when the offense is oral or
anal intercourse, the adult must be placed on the sex offender
registry. Far-right conspiracy theorists have falsely claimed that
the legislation legalizes pedophilia in California.
“Why are Joe Biden Democrats working
in California to pander to the wishes of pedophiles and child
rapists?” tweeted Donald Trump Jr.
Out Senator Scott Wiener, a Democrat
from San Francisco, sponsored Senate Bill 145. He told the Los
Angles Times that he's received hundreds of death threats over
“It’s appalling that in 2020,
California continues to discriminate against LGBTQ people, by
mandating that LGBTQ young people be placed on the sex offender
registry in situations where straight people aren’t required to be
placed on the registry,” Wiener said in a statement. “SB 145
simply ends that discrimination by treating LGBTQ young people the
exact same way that straight young people have been treated since
“I am so grateful that Governor
Newsom – one of the LGBTQ community’s strongest allies ever –
once again has shown that he gets it and that he’s willing to
support our community even when it’s hard. And the politics here
are hard, with the massive Trump/QAnon/MAGA misinformation campaign
against the legislation. The facts are clear: SB 145 simply ends
anti-LGBTQ discrimination. Today, California took yet another step
toward an equitable society,” he said.
The legislation was co-sponsored by
Equality California, the state's largest LGBT rights advocate.
“Thanks to Governor Newsom and
Senator Wiener, California is one step closer to living up to our
shared values of fairness, equality and justice for all,” said
Equality California Director Rick Chavez Zbur.