A California bill that could have prevented homosexuals from having to register as sex offenders for having sex with consenting minors has been blocked.
Senate Bill 145 would have allowed judges to avoid placing adult homosexuals on California’s sex offender registry list if the sex was with a minor who consented to the act. California judges already have that discretion if the sex act occurred in a heterosexual relationship.
Voice News explained the current law:
If an adult is convicted of consensual vaginal intercourse with a minor between 14 and 17 years old, and the adult is within 10 years of the minor, a judge has the discretion during sentencing to decide if the person should be listed on the sex offender registry.
For example, if a heterosexual man, who is 18, has vaginal intercourse with his girlfriend, 17, he can be arrested, charged, and convicted of a crime, but is not required to register as a sex offender. The judge makes that determination.
On the other hand, if a gay man, who is 18, has sex with his boyfriend, who is 17, the judge’s hands are tied because the law says he must place the adult on the sex offender list, regardless of the facts in the case.
The author of the bill, Sen. Scott Wiener, said the current law is “such horrific homophobia. It’s irrational, and it ruins people’s lives.”
The bill was blocked by Committee Chairwoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego). The bill won’t be eligible for consideration until next year.