QAnon Conspiracy – Lawmaker Reveals Death Threats for Legislation Ending Discrimination against LGBT People

By Sahar Swaleh 

SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wiener introduced SB 145 in January 2020, proposing that all forms of intercourse be treated equally to end discrimination against LGBT people. The legislation has been endorsed by Quality California, California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and law enforcement.

For that, Wiener says he’s had death threats.

SB 145 does not change what statutory rape is or what the punishment is; rather it allows more accommodation for a judge to appeal to the case to see if the offender is to be added to the registry, said Wiener, who reveals he’s received death threats and harassment online, many deriving from QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy theory party.

“People have threatened to decapitate my head and send me to my mother,” Wiener said. “They identified this bill and started saying this was about protecting pedophiles which it is not. We are going to do whatever we can to help these kids and make sure we are not criminalizing them and destroying their lives,”

Currently, those aged 14 and over, with a partner within 10 years of age, that have consensual vaginal intercourse do not require the offender to immediately be on the sex offender registration. The judge is able to examine the case and assess the relationship.

However, if the two parties had any other forms of intercourse—anal, oral—the offender automatically goes onto the sex offender list. For example, if a 20-year-old man had vaginal intercourse with his 17-year-old girlfriend, he is guilty of the crime but is not required to register as sex offender.

But, if an 18-year-old boy has anal intercourse with his 17-year-old boyfriend, the 18-year-old automatically is required to sign their name on the sex offender registry.

The sex offender registration was for life, until Senator Wiener challenged it. In 2017, Senator Wiener introduced SB 384 which was passed and signed by Gov. Brown to be implemented in 2021. The legislature would allow petitions of a 10-year minimum sentence. No longer for life, but still harsh consequences.

Due to the fact that many LGBT people do not engage in vaginal penile intercourse, the law blatantly discriminates against the community that is already heavily marginalized and attacked and forces them to register as sex offenders immediately if brought to court, according to the bill’s supporters.

“We need to uplift our LGBT youth. Our young people are some of the most marginalized people in this country and world,” Wiener said in a Zoom press conference last week, noting that nearly 40 percent of LGBT are homeless because they’ve been kicked out and shunned by family.

They are at a heightened risk of suicide and mental health challenges because of the stigma pressed upon them. The current law blatantly discriminates against the youth and does not allow for their self-expression, according to 54th Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager, who said the issues are rooted in hypocrisy, fear and discrimination.

“The California penal code criminalizes class, race, gender and sexual orientation and weaponizes the sex offender registry to apprehend people [of whom] we are afraid,” Kamlager said. “For far too long that population has included the LGBT community.”

Supporters of the new measure explain the sex offender registry in California was created in the 1940s, where all other forms of intercourse were illegal under the anti-sodomy law. The anti-sodomy law was repealed in the 1970s, yet the sex offender registration continues to draw on the outdated ideal that anything other than vaginal sex is offensive, thereby disproportionalizing LGBT people. It registers them immediately as a sex offender, while giving those able to have vaginal penile intercourse leeway.

SB 145, said Wiener, is not removing or challenging any judicial law, it is simply extending the judicial discretion for sex offender registration to include other forms of intercourse alongside vaginal intercourse. It gives the judge the ability to evaluate the people involved and does not require immediate registration as a sex offender, he said.

Narrowing down the sex offender registration list is a primary goal, the lawmaker said, as it not only minimizes decriminalizing the LGBT community but helps law enforcement understand who and where viable threats to society are.

Los Angeles Police Dept. (LAPD) conducted a study of resources dedicated to sex offenders and found 60 percent of their resources were used to sit at a desk and register people who were at no or little risk of ever reoffending, according to Deputy Los Angeles District Attorney Bradley McCartt.

“There is a practical resource aspect to what we are doing. That is why there is a strong, unbelievable support from law enforcement of this bill,” McCartt said.

Bill supporters said the ability to better narrow down the sex offender registration list and allocate resources elsewhere will better the LGBT community as it will be one less factor in workplace, housing and employment discrimination. Also narrowing it down and signing those more likely to reoffend or be a menace to society will help with crime solving, as it will let law enforcement better locate those suspects.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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21 Comments

  1. Alan Miller

    who reveals he’s received death threats and harassment online,

    Online death threats against those taking a stand on emotionally-charged positions are becoming as ubiquitous as eggs with breakfast.  And then the ‘threats’ are weaponized by the so-far-not-dead ‘victim’ as a “see how bad the other side is!” thang.  Am I downplaying death threats?  Yes I am.  And for that I will probably receive death threats.

    A few years ago I attended an ASUCD meeting just after the Natalie Corona murder.  The conservative members were complaining about death threats they had received for supporting the ‘thin blue line’ flag that Natalie Corona had posed with.  Progressive members countered that they were receiving death threats from all over the country for supporting a campus group that had been critical of Corona for posing with that flag.  This was followed by accusations that the other group’s death threats weren’t real, and ‘our death threats’ were worse than ‘your death threats’.  Had it not been such a somber time, it would have been downright comical to the detached observer.  (OK, I admit, this detached observer found it comical, even in somber times.)

    Taylor Swift has the best advice on this:  “Shake it Off!”.  Death threaters gonna death threat, one might say.  An online social-media discussion regarding musician Wolfgang Van Halen (Eddie VH’s son) in March 2019 turned ugly when a misunderstanding between fans led to a death threat by one of the fans against another.  Wolfgang apologized to the fan who was threatened, to which the fan replied with the best response ever:  “I’ll let you know if that guy kills me“.

    many deriving from QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy theory party.

    The what now?

    1. Bill Marshall

      many deriving from QAnon, a pro-Trump conspiracy theory party.

      The what now?

      Alan… goes to your points… the quote (that you responded to) is a ‘conspiracy theory’ in its own right… might have ‘kernels of truth’, but still, there is a certain irony, which I believe you see also… just to be funky, I’ll share a ‘conspiracy theory’… that BOTH QAnon and the charge that is Trump driven, are both a combination of Russian, Chinese and Iranian plots to mess with America… [don’t believe it, but why not ‘stir the pot’ a tad more?] [Have to disclose I’m a Swiss secret agent, charged with disrupting the election, and American society in general… c’est vrai!  So if you see me carrying a Swiss army knife, I’ll be ‘outed’…]

      And like you, Alan, I’m expecting a plethora of death threats in writing that… but since Taylor Swift is cute, has a very good voice, I’ll “Shake It Off”… the other song of hers that seems pertinent is, “Mean”…

    2. Tia Will

      Alan

      I would agree with you if, in fact, all death threats were equal. They are not. I have received death threats for simply being a gynecologist who favors a woman’s right to determine her own medical choices. I did not consider these to be serious social media threats and am not living in fear, nor using them in a tit for tat spat.

      However, the same could not be said for Dr. George Tiller nor any of the others killed in the name of the Lord after being threatened as documented in this article:

      https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/11/29/us/30abortion-clinic-violence.html

      These providers and health care workers were not using threats as a political tool, they were all too real.

      1. Alan Miller

        I knew some one would bring up the exceptions.  I would be curious the number of death threats online compared to the number carried out.  I’d wager the rate of Murders/Threat is infinitesimally small.  And the abortion issue tends to bring out the crazies, so it is probably higher, maybe highest, on that issue.

  2. Alan Miller

    How is this issue even requiring legislation in the year 1980?  Why hasn’t this been challenged decades ago as a clear civil rights violation, straight to the Supreme Court if necessary?  This is clearly puritanical, stone-age bullsh*t.  Oh, it’s 2020 already?  Even worse.

    1. Alan Miller

      * “This” – the difference between different ‘types’ of sexual intercourse.  Similar to the sentencing differences between ‘crack’ and ‘coke’.

    2. Eric Gelber

      Why hasn’t this been challenged decades ago as a clear civil rights violation, straight to the Supreme Court if necessary?

      Good question and, in fact, it was successfully challenged in the 2006 California Supreme Court decision in People v. Hofsheier.  However, the Supreme Court reversed itself nine years later in Johnson v. Dept. of Justice. The history leading to SB 145 is thoroughly discussed in the Assembly Public Safety Committee’s analysis of the bill: http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billAnalysisClient.xhtml

      SB 145 would reject the reasoning of the Johnson case and restore the law as interpreted by Hofsheier.

  3. Ron Oertel

    O.K. – I read the rest of the article, but found that it (in fact) does NOT propose to treat all forms equally (e.g., underage laws would still be a factor).

    But sure, I see the point of the actual proposal.

    I like Alan’s “perversion” of a quote, though. 😉 Yeah, someone might not think that’s funny.

  4. Keith Olsen

    Sorry but any sexual relationship between an adult of 24 years of age and a minor of 14 should be treated as sexual assault and the older participant should be labelled as a sex offender.

    1. Bill Marshall

      Currently, those aged 14 and over, with a partner within 10 years of age, that have consensual vaginal intercourse do not require the offender to immediately be on the sex offender registration. The judge is able to examine the case and assess the relationship.

      I read that, as saying that, currently, a judge COULD require “sex offender registration”… feel free to get someone to draft and introduce a bill that would make it mandatory, in the example you posited… pretty sure you could find a sponsor in the State Assembly, and/or Senate.  If you don’t try that, don’t whine… I tend to agree with you, but not to the extent I’d put in the effort to try and change the existing law(s).

      1. Keith Olsen

        So anytime anyone has an opinion about something if they don’t try and get legislation passed they’re just whining?  I’ll remember that whenever you post your opinions.

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