In a shocking move that has alarmed conservatives and parents alike, California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom has put pen to paper on a deeply controversial bill that provides judges with the discretion to decide whether or not individuals who have committed sodomy with minors should be added to the state’s sex offender registry.
As a parent I’m appalled that last night our governor signed a law maintaining a 24-year-old can have sex with a 14-year-old and it not be considered predatory.
An adult who commits ANY sex act on a minor 10 years younger must be registered a sex offender. Law must be changed.
— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) September 12, 2020
The bill, known as SB 145, was forced through by the Democratic-controlled state legislature and signed into law by Newsom without so much as a comment. It broadens the already lenient discretion awarded to judges in statutory rape cases, exposing vulnerable minors to further risk.
Existing California law granted judges the choice to put a man on the sex offender registry if he had consensual intercourse with someone aged 14 to 17, provided he was not more than 10 years older than the other person. The caveat? This rule only applied to vaginal intercourse, a restriction that LGBT advocates, including the author of the new law, considered discriminatory.
DISGUSTING: Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed SB 145 to allow 24-year-olds to have sex with 14-year-olds without being required to register as a sex offender.
— Carl DeMaio (@carldemaio) September 12, 2020
The bill’s sponsor, San Francisco Democratic state Rep. Scott Wiener, hailed the legislation, claiming, “This eliminates discrimination against LGBTQ youth in our criminal justice system.”
Wiener’s alarming justification was that “SB 145 ends discrimination against #LGBTQ young people on the sex offender registry. Currently, these youth are forced onto the registry for consensual sex — even if a judge doesn’t think it’s appropriate — in situations where straight youth are not.”
But this shocking move has understandably led to a torrent of criticism, with many arguing that sexual acts between a teenager and someone 10 years older can never be truly consensual, and should unequivocally result in placement on the sex offender registry.
Even Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez expressed horror, saying, “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. We should never give up on this idea that children should be in no way subject to a predator.”
Conservative politicians and commentators took to social media to denounce Newsom’s decision.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, expressing the outrage of parents everywhere, tweeted, “As a parent I’m appalled that our governor signed a law maintaining a 24-year-old can have sex with a 14-year-old and it not be considered predatory. An adult who commits ANY sex act on a minor 10 years younger must be registered a sex offender. Law must be changed.”
California politician Carl DeMaio, himself a member of the LGBT community, didn’t mince words: “DISGUSTING: Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed SB 145 to allow 24-year-olds to have sex with 14-year-olds without being required to register as a sex offender.”
This unsettling piece of legislation shines a spotlight on the twisted priorities of California’s Democratic leadership, who seem more concerned with pandering to extreme agendas than protecting the safety and innocence of children.