Opinion: New California Law Protecting Pedophilia is Vile

A couple weeks ago, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a law that would allow judges to decide whether or not to list someone as a sex offender for having oral or anal sex with a minor.

This bill has appalled many, as it should, and yet some have failed to realize that it was simply meant to expand the discretion that was already granted to judges in the past. In a previous bill passed in California in 1944, judges were allowed to make this call, but it only applied to vaginal intercourse with a minor. Now, this new bill allows judges to expand the law, adhearing to homosexual actions. This means that an already existing evil has been turned into an even bigger one. 

Although some are saying this bill does not equal the legalization of pedophilia, in a sense, it very well represents a step closer toward that heinous reality. This bill was passed in the name of “equality,” claiming that LGBTQ+ minors deserve the right to consensual sex, too. Yet, truly, the only people benefiting from this bill are those who should be charged as offenders, but are instead, being defended by the state. 

A child is defined as an individual under the age of 18, as stated by UNICEF. According to their Convention on the Rights of the Child, the government should protect children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse. This includes people forcing children to have sex for money or making sexual pictures or films of them. In passing this bill and the one passed over 50 years ago, government officials in the state of California are failing to protect minors from sexual exploitation, which is their duty as elected government officials. 

According to the bill, it only applies to consensual sex (whether it be vaginal, oral or anal) between a minor 14 years or older. But at 14 years of age, a minor is still just that – a minor. Most laws recognize individuals younger than 18 as minors, which is the case with U.S. law, and yet, most scientists are agreeing that individuals don’t really reach full maturity until the age of 25. 

At age 18 any American citizen is allowed to vote, enlist in the army and move out on his or her own. All of these things require a lot of responsibility and emotional maturity. Other things, such as drinking alcoholic beverages, are only allowed after an individual is 21.

Clearly, the law understands that there are certain things in life that require a citizen to be older and more mature, given that they entail actions that could potentially harm the individual or other individuals. 

Why then, does the government believe a 14-year-old girl or boy is mature enough to consent to sex with someone who is up to 10 years older than they are? The truth is, they are not. In passing this bill, not only is the government once more stripping children of the protection they need to have, but they are also opening doors for sex offenders to continue to go unprosecuted and uncharged. This is no longer a world children are safe to grow up in. 

Rosa Elias is an Opinion Writer. Follow her on Twitter at @rosaeliasnajri.

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