California lawmakers recently passed a new law that will lighten sentences for transgender people and other members of the LGBT community who have “consensual” sexual relations with minors within ten years of their age.
The bill passed by sweeping margins in both the California House and Senate and is now off to California’s Governor Gavin Newsom for a signature, Faithwire reports.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, The bill makes being registered as a sex offender for engaging in voluntary sex with minors between the ages of 14 and 17, optional, depending instead on the discretion of the judge, whereas before it was mandatory.
Existing California laws regarding pedophilia also assert that anal or oral sex with a voluntary minor is not necessarily grounds for being registered as a sex offender.
The rationale came from a California Supreme Court decision which said it would be “stigmatizing” for a father to do his job or support his child if he was labeled a sex offender for having anal or oral sex with minors.
California Senator Scott Wiener also argued that the legislation “eliminates discrimination against LGBTQ youth in our criminal justice system.”
According to current law, since anal or oral sex cannot lead to pregnancy, it is different from vaginal sex and therefore, offenses of either of those natures are considered “optional” information for sex offender databases.
The recent law, however, will even make even regular sex offenses optional if the minor is a “willing participant” thus treating all sex acts the same way.
According to the Department Of Justice, convicted sex offenders have a 40% chance of committing another crime and even have a rearrest rate that is 4 times higher than the rate for other crimes. This means that a sex offender is more likely than other offenders to commit the same act over again.
Editor's Note: The headline of this article was updated on September 8, 2020.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Matthew Starling
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.