California Legislature passes bill to soften criminal penalty for LGBT adults who have sex with underage teens

Pride flag by Quinn Dombrowski is licensed under Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
The California General Assembly — comprised of a Democratic supermajority — has advanced legislation that could ease the criminal punishment for LGBT adults who have sex with underage teenagers.

The bill — SB 145 — was introduced by state Sen. Scott Wiener (D), an openly gay man, and seeks to prevent gay adults who sodomize or perform oral sex with underage teenagers from being automatically assigned to California's sex offender registry.

The legislation calls for a judge to use discretion on assigning an individual to the sex offender registry if their victim was between the ages of 14 to 17 and the age difference between the offender and the victim is less than 10 years.

The bill passed the California state Senate by a 23-10 vote and passed the Assembly by a 41-18 vote, the San Fransisco Chronicle reported.