California state bill SB 145 would end a form of discrimination against young LGBTQ+ people in the criminal justice system. Although California has a single age of consent, which is 18, those charged with having penile-vaginal intercourse with a 15, 16 or 17 year old partner are not automatically placed on California’s sex offense registry, while those who have anal and oral sex are. This disproportionately affects LGBTQ+ young people who have sex with similar-age peers.
SB 145 would fix this, by allowing judges the same discretion not to require registration by those convicted of having underage anal or oral sex, that they already have for those convicted of having vaginal sex. In both cases, this discretion only applies when the partners involved are within ten years of age—it will still be mandatory to register if the age gap is higher. SB 145 is sponsored by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office and LGBT rights group Equality California.