Governor Gavin Newsom signed a controversial law late Friday ending the discriminatory treatment of young LGBTQ adults who are required to register as sex offenders.
Senate Law 145 author, gay Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), faced death threats and for months after months of anti-Semitic harassment by supporters of the QAnon conspiracy theory due to the policy change. He has also been falsely accused of promoting pedophilia not only by online trolls but also by his colleague Senator Melissa Melendez (R-Lake Elsinore).
Near 8 p.m. Tonight (September 11th), Newsom's office announced that it had signed the bill along with 22 other bills. He made no comment on the laws, and his office's press release made no mention of the SB 145 controversy. The bill was simply labeled "Sex Offender: Registration".
In a Facebook post, Wiener thanked Newsom, former San Francisco mayor and longtime LGBTQ advocate, for signing the law despite the lies and homophobic reactions it had sparked.
"Governor Newsom has once again proven that he is a true advocate of the LGBTQ community – even if it is difficult – by signing Senate Draft 145 that ends discrimination against LGBTQ youth in California's Sex Offender Register," wrote Wiener. "Thank you Governor for reviewing the QAnon lies about this equality legislation."
Wiener noted that he has faced "a tidal wave of anti-Semitic, homophobic death threats, doxing and defamation from QAnon / MAGA regarding this legislation. # SB145 is now supported, equality and justice won by law enforcement agencies, civil rights groups and sexual assault survivors groups."
On Twitter, Melendez attacked Newsom for signing the legislation.
"Well, what a shock. Newsom has signed SB145, the bill that allows a 24-year-old to have sex with a 14-year-old and escape a convicted crime and obligation to be a registered sex offender. Absolutely disgusting, "she wrote.
The bill does not change any criminal law. Indeed, Vienna legislation ensures that LGBTQ young people are treated in the same way as their heterosexual peers if there is an opportunity to be included in the state register for sex offenders. He's been pushing for it to be passed for several years.
Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), Chairwoman of the Assembly's Funds Committee, held it last summer to allay her concerns about the bill. This led to a rare public reprimand from statewide LGBTQ advocacy group Equality California, a bill lead supporter whose leadership noted Gonzalez on her annual state lawmaker scorecard, resulting in her receiving a less than perfect score.
Even so, Gonzalez had pledged to work with Viennese and LGBTQ advocates to push legislation forward this year. However, the delay resulted in Wiener exposed to online harassment in the spring and summer.
Unimpressed, Wiener was able to gather support for his legislation. It grants the judges a discretion as to whether persons over the age of 18 who have been convicted of oral or anal intercourse with persons between the ages of 14 and 17 should be included in the sex register, provided that the person convicted is within 10 years of their consent Sexual partner. Under current law, these people must automatically register as sex offenders.
EQCA jointly sponsored the bill with the Los Angeles Attorney's Office. A broad coalition of groups had endorsed the legislation, including the California District Attorneys Association, California Police Chiefs Association, American Civil Liberties Union, Anti-Defamation League, California Public Defenders Association, Children Now, and the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault , Lambda Legal and the National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Rick Chavez Zbur, EQCA Executive Director, welcomed Newsom for passing the SB 145 Act.
"We are incredibly grateful to Governor Newsom for his relentless dedication to LGBTQ + civil rights and social justice. Dr. King said," The time is always right to do the right thing. "The signing of SB 145 was that Right, "explained Zbur. "It was right for LGBTQ + youth, it was right to protect our communities, and it was right for California."
Zbur added, "If we want a California for everyone, we need a justice system that treats all Californians fairly and equally – regardless of who they are, what they look like or who they love. That goal is at the heart of SB 145 Thanks to Governor Newsom and Senator Wiener, California is one step closer to our shared values of fairness, equality and justice for all. "
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