REVOLTING: California Legislature Passes Bill To Lessen Penalties for Child Sex Offenders Less than 10 Years Older Than Victims

The California legislature passed a bill that would lessen criminal penalties for adults convicted of sexual activity with minors on Monday night, potentially keeping those who engage in some forms of intercourse with minors less than ten years younger than them off the state’s sex offender registry.

SB 145 would apply existing criminal standards for vaginal sexual intercourse between an adult and a minor to oral and anal sexual acts. Currently, those convicted of engaging in vaginal intercourse with minors less than 10 years younger than them are not required to enroll in the state’s sex offender registry at the judge’s discretion.

San Francisco state senator Scott Weiner has spearheaded the legislation. Weiner claims existing state law “disproportionately targets LGBT young people for mandatory sex offender registration since LGBT people usually cannot engage in vaginal intercourse.

Weiner previously made himself a target of criticism when he pushed legislation that reduce the criminal penalty for willfully exposing one’s sexual partners to HIV to a misdemeanor. Such sexual activity was previously a felony in the state of California.

California Republicans are pushing for Governor Gavin Newsom to veto the legislation, which may be the first of its kind in any state in the country. If he doesn’t, criminal sanctions on sex acts between adults and children in the state of California will be significantly reduced.