California State Laws

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California State Laws & Some Local Laws

This section on the laws of California is provided with this caveat. There is no warranty that it is complete. It is not legal advice and I am not a lawyer. I am only trying to help people find resources that might help them. If you think you need legal advice consult an attorney in this jurisdiction. This section is a work in progress and laws do change. Web version of legal codes are not always updated as regularly as they should be. Be sure to check these laws at their original source before relying upon any information. If you have any information to add please write to me.

These California laws are all available at the State Senates web page. However, California does not at this time have an HTML version. Therefore links will not work and you must go there and do a WAIS search to reach each law. If you think this is stupid send a comment to your State Senators and State Assembly Members.

This is some background information on California Laws. Basically the penal code of California defines sex 3 ways. None of these 3 acts are illegal between consenting adults. The age of consent is 18 in California with varying penalties depending upon the relative ages of the participants. The penal code addresses these acts when committed against the will of another or upon a minor.

  • Sodomy is defined in section 286 as " between the penis of one person and the anus of another person."
  • Oral Copulation is defined in section 288a. as "...copulating the mouth of one person with the sexual organ or anus of another person."
  • Sexual Penetration is not very well defined in section 289.

The following are laws in the state of California that we feel restrict the consensual act of sex. These are victimless acts that are criminalized by someone trying to legislate their own morality.

Some of these laws are rarely and unevenly applied, but as long as they are on the books they can be used to persecute people. If you live in California ask your State Senators and State Assembly Members to change these laws.

An example of the uneven and arbitrary enforcement of these laws can be seen at this website describing the plight of some people in San Diego who attended a private party thrown by Club X. Even though this group of people was victorious in court they had to face a jury trial to be vindicated, at significant personal and financial risk and loss. If you have it help them out. When fighting for our freedom financial cost should not be an issue.

  • 266. Lying to get sex for a friend
"...and every person who aids or assists in such inveiglement or enticement; and every person who, by any false pretenses, false representation, or other fraudulent means, procures any female to have illicit carnal connection with any man, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by both such fine and imprisonment."
  • 266g. Letting your wife commit prostitution.
Any person who commits "...the placing or leaving of his wife in a house of prostitution, or allows or permits her to remain therein, is guilty of a felony."
  • 266h. Accepting money from a prostitute
"...any person who, knowing another person is a prostitute, lives or derives support or maintenance in whole or in part from the earnings or proceeds of the person's prostitution." is guilty of a felony.
  • 311.2. Selling obscene matter
"Every person who knowingly sends or causes to be sent, or brings or causes to be brought, into this state for sale or distribution, or in this state possesses, prepares, publishes, produces, or prints, with intent to distribute or to exhibit to others, or who offers to distribute, distributes, or exhibits to others, any obscene matter is for a first offense, guilty of a misdemeanor."
  • 311.6 Obscene live conduct
"Every person who knowingly engages or participates in, manages, produces, sponsors, presents or exhibits obscene live conduct to or before an assembly or guilty of a misdemeanor."
  • 315 Keeping a house of ill repute
"Every person who keeps a house of ill-fame in this state, resorted to for the purposes of prostitution or lewdness, or who willfully resides in such house, is guilty of a misdemeanor;..."
  • 316 Being messy or renting to prostitutes
"...who keeps any inn in a disorderly manner; and every person who lets any apartment or tenement, knowing that it is to be used for the purpose of assignation or prostitution, is guilty of a misdemeanor."
  • 318 Inviting someone into a house of prostitution.
"Whoever, through invitation or device, prevails upon any person to visit any room, building, or other places kept for the purpose of illegal gambling or prostitution, is guilty of a misdemeanor,..."
  • 647 Prostitution
"Every person who..., ...solicits anyone to engage in or who engages in lewd or dissolute conduct..., ...who agrees to engage in or who engages in any act of prostitution..." is guilty of a misdemeanor. "As used in this subdivision, 'prostitution' includes any lewd act between persons for money or other consideration."
  • 653.22. Loitering with intent to commit prostitution.
loitering "... in any public place with the intent to commit prostitution" is a misdemeanor.
  • 653.23. Watching out for or talking to prostitutes
To be a person who "Repeatedly speaks or communicates with another person who is..." loitering for prostitution is a misdemeanor.
  • 11225 Bathouses are a public nuisance.
"...bathhouse which as a primary activity encourages or permits...anal intercourse, oral copulation, or vaginal intercourse, is a nuisance which shall be enjoined, abated, and prevented,..."

The following are laws that we may not disagree with or may be ambivalent upon but you should be aware of in any case.

  • 311.8 Defense against obscenity charges for Internet Porn.
"It shall be a defense in any prosecution..." if the accused "Required payment by credit card before transmission of the matter."

Local Laws
Santa Monica has some laws that restrict the expression sexuality between consenting adults. These laws are listed below.

  • Adult Entertainment Uses
"...the prevalence of such forms of entertainment contributes to a social atmosphere which fosters increased violence against women." Santa Monica has some very progressive laws to do with sex and gender. You will find some of them below.
  • Discrimination On the Basis of Sexual Orientation
"Such discrimination poses a substantial threat to the health, safety and welfare of the community."
  • Domestic Partnership Registry
"The purpose of this Chapter is to create a mechanism for recognizing the intimate, committed relationships of domestic partners and thereby provide a means of eliminating the discrimination that domestic partners face."

In California, there are several organizations trying to throw out several laws concerning prostitution. One of the oldest and most vocal is COYOTE (Call Of Your Old Tired Ethics) founded by Margo St. James in 1973.

Please remember that the laws shown here are for California, and are not all inclusive. If you have questions, you should DEFINITELY consult an attorney in your local area. For another resource in California, I suggest you check Title 9 and 15 of the California Law Library online.

Finally, remember that laws vary from city to city; state to state,; and country to country!

Strange Sex Laws in California (But aren't always enforced!)

  • In Los Angeles, you cannot bathe two babies in the same tub at the same time.*
  • In California, animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.*
  • In Los Angeles, a man is legally entitled to beat his wife with a leather belt or strap, but the belt can't be wider than 2 inches, unless he has his wife's consent to beat her with a wider strap. Consent should be given prior to the event, as is carefully stipulated*
  • Prostitutes in San Francisco are not obliged to make change for bills larger than $50.
  • In Ventura County, California cats and dogs are not allowed to have sex without a permit.
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