Governor Gavin Newson Passes the SB 145 Bill

Vivian Sanchez, Staff Writer

Did Governor Gavin Newson decriminalize pedophilia? No, rather the Californian Governor passed a bill that equalizes the same penalties of certain sex offenses with minors given to same-sex relationships similar to that of heterosexual relationships involving a minor.

On Sept. 14 Governor Gavin Newson passed the SB 145 bill created by Democratic California State Senator Scott Wiener. The bill essentially equalizes the same penalties of certain sex offenses with minors of same-sex sexual relationships. Critics believe that the bill decriminalizes pedophilia, but it is aimed at making statutory rape, a nonforcible sexual activity in which one of the individuals is below the age of consent, laws the same for all defendants. 

Why is the SB 145 bill important? The LGBT community has a history of being labeled as rapists or predatory due to their sexual identities and sexual orientations. By signing the law Governor Newson was able to give the LGBT community the same right to trial as heterosexual people do. 

The SB 145 bill deals with statutory rape cases in same-sex relationships in which the judge is able to decide whether the adult shall register as a sex offender. However, homosexual defendants did not get this opportunity until the bill was passed. Before, it was mandatory for the adult within a same-sex relationship to identity as a registered sex offender. 

Those who oppose the bill believe it decriminalizes pedophilia. The bill states those convicted, “shall not be required to register if, at the time of the offense, the person is not more than 10 years older than the minor.” The “10 years older than a minor” portion of the bill is troubling to critics because they believe that the bill justifies pedophilia. However, within California state law, California is extremely strict with salutary rape cases and the 10 years older than a minor clause has been in place since 1994.

The only thing the bill does is it allows people charged with statutory rape in a same-sex relationship the same rights as anyone else. retrial. The bill does not condone pedophilia, and democratic California State Senator Scott Wiener bill has stated that the SB 145 bill will not justify a 24-year-old having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old; this is still considered predatory and abusive. 

Governor Gavin Newson did a phenomenal job at passing the SB 145 bill equalizing the same rights to the LGBT community. California should not be discriminatory against LGBT youth just because of their sexual orientation or gender. The bill does not decriminalize pedophilia rather gives the LGBT community the same rights as heterosexual people do.