A lawmaker in California is claiming he has been doxed and threatened with “public execution” for his attempts to close a loophole in state law that discriminates against queer teens, according to Mother Jones. State Senator Scott Wiener received the threats after trying to change a law that treated straight and LGBTQ+ teens differently.
“The comments are gross,” Wiener told Mother Jones in a phone interview. “There’s a ton of them. They’re much, much nastier than what I’ve received before.”
Wiener told Mother Jones one Instagram user threatened him saying “You’re dead. Dead. Dead. Dead. I’ll publicly execute you. I’m gonna embarrass you. Pedophile.” He said another wrote he was going to “cut your head off and deliver it to your mom” if he introduced the bill.
Current state law allows for discretion when it comes to placing teens accused of statutory rape on the state’s sex offender registry. Judges have leeway to decide in certain cases that placement on the registry would be inappropriate if the disparity in age is relatively close and the minor is not younger than 14. The issue is that the law only applies to vaginal intercourse with a minor, while judges have no similar discretion on anal and oral sex or digital penetration.
Since word spread of Wiener’s efforts, the threats and bullying on social media have increased. In addition to being doxed, one user cryptically warned “judgement is coming.” As Wiener sees it, the problem is not just with the toxicity of the threats, but that there’s a platform for their dissemination.
“Social media platforms need to do a lot more to deal with toxicity that is so damaging to society,” Wiener told Mother Jones, saying he knows “it’s hard” and that “they don’t want to be thought police” but that some action is needed in his case. “What’s happening here is clear cut, when you have all these comments calling me a pedophile, when you have all these homophobic, anti-Semitic remarks.”