A new bill that the governor of California signed has been creating a lot of controversy. Supporters state that the bill’s intention is to protect the LGBTQ community, while the opposition says it is a way to legalize pedophilia.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the governor signed Senate Bill 145 into law, which will allow judges to have discretion on putting people on the sexual offender list instead of making it automatic in some instances.
This bill will change a previous law regarding vaginal sexual intercourse with a minor ages 10 to 14. The old law allows judges to decide about sex offender registration. However, in cases of anal and oral sexual contact with a minor in this age group, the old law makes registration automatic.
The concern over the old law and the reason for the change are because there is a feeling it discriminates against LGBTQ individuals by making oral and anal sex offenders an automatic registration while vaginal intercourse is up to the judge. With the change, it gives judges discretion in all cases to determine if someone will go on the sexual offender registry.
Lawmakers supporting this bill say that the change is for those who face conviction of sexual relations with someone close to their age. If the individual is part of the LGBTQ community, then he or she would face automatic labeling as a sex offender, while someone who is heterosexual would likely walk away without the designation. The clear discrimination in instances such as this is what drove many lawmakers in California to vote in favor of the bill.