Gavin Newsom late Friday evening. The measure, Senate Billwill amend existing state law that allows judges to decide whether an adult convicted of having vaginal sexual intercourse with a minor should register as a sex offender in cases in which the minor is 14 years or older and the adult is not more than 10 years older than the minor. SB will eliminate automatic sex offender registration in those cases and give judges discretion to make that decision.
Along with opposition from Republicans in the state Legislature, supporters of President Trump and far-right conspiracy theorists have seized on the bill in an attempt to use the measure as a political wedge issue and rallying cry, with some falsely claiming on social media that California is legalizing pedophilia.
Assemblyman Chad Mayes, an independent from Yucca Valley, warned fellow lawmakers about the potential political consequences just moments before he voted in favor of SB on Aug. This is the time to step up.
The intent of SBhe said, is to address cases in which two people close in age — an year-old and year-old dating in high school, for example — are in a sexual relationship. The year-old can still be convicted of a sex offense but should not automatically be registered as a sex offender, a lifelong deation that is an impediment to finding employment, a place to live and other necessities of life, Wiener said.
Republican Sen. Nathan Ballard, who worked as an aide to Newsom when he was mayor of San Francisco, had said Newsom may have been wise to veto the legislation and recommend that state lawmakers change the provision with the year age gap, given how the Republicans were weaponizing the issue politically. Dana Williamson, a Democratic political strategist and Cabinet secretary to then-Gov. Jerry Brown, said sex offender registry laws discriminating against the LGBTQ community have been a long-standing problem in California, and she had urged Newsom to the bill into law despite the attacks.
Williamson said Newsom will probably come under fire, but she doubted ing the bill would harm him politically given his history of support for LGBTQ rights. Newsom has been an outspoken champion of LGBTQ rights since he was mayor of San Francisco and directed the city to issue marriage s to same-sex couples in That defiant act became a catalyst for a nationwide political battle over the issue that ended when the U. Republicans pounced on the issue, and some Democrats feared same-sex marriage would energize social conservatives during the election.
Dianne Feinstein D-Calif. Wiener said opponents have deliberately distorted what the legislation will do in order to exploit anti-LGBTQ sentiment for their own political gain.
He noted that police chiefs and prosecutors supported the bill, something he said they would not do if it put children at risk. Los Angeles County Dist. Wiener called those arguments grossly disingenuous. Wiener and others who voted for the legislation said weathering such attacks was worth it in order to change a law that they argue discriminates against LGBTQ people.
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