California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed the controversial SB 145 into law, allowing for adults who are less than 10 years older than a minor, who are convicted of having anal or oral sex with that minor, to not be added to the sex-offender registry automatically.
Old law held that adults must register as sex offenders if they are convicted of having anal or oral sex with a minor, although a judge had the discretion to not place an adult male less than 10 years older than the minor on the registry if the adult is a male and the minor is a female.
Judges do not have the same discretion when both the adult and minor are males. California State Senator Scott Wiener (D) who introduced SB 145 last month, calls that discrepancy “horrific homophobia.”
Republicans, and even some Democrats vehemently opposed SB 145.
“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,” Democratic California state Rep. Lorena Gonzalez said. “We should never give up on this idea that children should be in no way subject to a predator.”
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski