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3/15/2005 11:05:15 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Ohio--Calls Needed to Protect Pastors

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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March 15, 2005


Ohio--Calls Needed to Protect Pastors


Dear HSLDA members and friends:

The Senate Judiciary Committee has heard testimony on Senate Bill 17,
which would require pastors to report evidence of child abuse. A
number of articulate individuals have helped the members of this
committee understand the problems with this attempt to protect
children. Making pastors agents of the state will not solve the
actual problems that Senate Bill 17 is designed to address.

HSLDA is in favor of legislative reform that would address the real
problems that prompted this legislation. When evil people do evil
things, they should be punished. If the Senate Judiciary Committee
amends this bill, HSLDA could support it. If the Senate refuses to
amend the bill, however, HSLDA will strive to defeat the bill for the
second year in a row.


ACTION REQUESTED

1. Please call your own Senator and urge him or her to amend Senate
Bill 17 by giving him this message, "Senate Bill 17 turns pastors into
agents of the state and does not protect children sufficiently.
Please amend Senate Bill 17 so that children are truly protected." To
find your Senator, please use HSLDA's legislative toolbox at
http://www.hslda.org/toolbox .


BACKGROUND

Senate Bill 17 is this year's version of last year's Senate Bill 100,
which was intended to solve problems relating to sexual abuse by
priests. Senate Bill 100 passed the Senate by 32 votes to 1, with one
Democrat voting "no" because he did not believe the church should be
controlled in this way by the state. When Senate Bill 100 reached the
Ohio House, however, it came to a halt. Ohio's Representatives
insisted on protecting the church from this new government mandate.

The simplest way to solve the real underlying problems is to extend
the Statute of Limitations so that pastors or priests who have abused
children in the past can be prosecuted in the present. If a child is
abused by a priest, he or she may not be able to demand justice until
he or she grows up. HSLDA would support a change in the Statute of
Limitations to enable children to see their violators brought to
justice.

There is a right way to protect children. Punishing evildoers is
appropriate. Turning pastors into government spies is not.

Please call your Senator and urge him or her to amend Senate Bill 17.

Sincerely,


Scott Somerville
HSLDA Staff Attorney


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