Priest: Calif. pedophilia law anti-gay

March 8, 2007 at 8:34 PM

LOS ANGELES, March 8 (UPI) -- A defrocked Roman Catholic priest charged with molesting teenagers says a California pedophilia law is unfair to gays.

The law removes the time limits for sexually assaulting a child. But it only applies to forcible heterosexual sex, while it applies to consensual homosexual sex, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Michael Stephen Baker's lawyer challenged the law at a hearing Wednesday.

Baker is charged with molesting two teenagers for four years during weekend trips. Lawyer Donald Steier argued that under California law Baker could not have been charged if the teens had been girls.

Steier also pointed out that another provision of the law, which required same-sex molesters to register for life as sex offenders while setting shorter limits for those molesting children of the opposite sex, was thrown out by a judge.

Baker's argument appears unlikely to get support from California's gay community.

"People don't have the right to abuse children regardless of their sexual orientation," said Tara Borelli, a staff attorney for the Lambda Legal Defense Fund. "Abuse by a gay priest isn't a gay issue; it's about abuse of power."

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