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October 07, 2005

Sex Offenders Have a Friend in Sacramento!

His name is Assemblyman Mark Leno (D., San Francisco), best known lately for authoring the California gay marriage bill.

Mark Leno doesn't like being tough on sex offenders. Mark Leno and his pals oppose a bill that fixes a breathtaking stupidity in California's "Megan's Law." What's that stupidity?

Thanks to Cathy Seipp we now know:

Did you know that in California, child molesters and rapists are a protected class? It's true. Not only are California landlords banned from using the state's Megan's Law database to decline renting their properties to sex offenders, they're not even allowed to warn other tenants that these paroled criminals are now their neighbors. If they do the first, they can be fined $25,000 for housing discrimination. But if they don't do the second, they can be sued for failing to protect tenants against a known danger.

Curious to know more about Mark Leno? How about this:

...among Mark Leno's other worries are that since San Francisco is such a geographically small city, keeping sex offenders a mile-and-a-half away from schools would force them out of the area. You might think that stratospheric San Francisco rents would also discourage anyone just released from prison, but so far, at least, Leno hasn't backed an affordable-housing-for-paroled rapists measure.

He also once called a San Francisco police sting against Internet sex predators "mean-spirited" and "a waste of tax-payers' money." What, I wondered, does Leno consider a good use of taxpayers' money? Well, besides gay marriage, his projects have included hosting self-esteem conferences for young men, making sure the transgendered aren't denied medical insurance, and fighting anti-porn filters in public libraries.

Thank God I don't live in California!

Some followup by Cathy here.


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posted by Harry Callahan at 07:42 PM

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