October 26, 2004

House Bill 207: Making Pastors Mandatory Reporters of Child Abuse

Representative Lance Mason (D), District 08

This bill would make pastors and priests mandatory reporters of child abuse.

06/03/2003 Introduced.
06/03/2003 To House Committee on Rules and Reference.
06/06/2003 From House Committee on Rules and Reference: recommended referral.
06/06/2003 In House. To second reading. Read a second time.
06/06/2003 To House Committee on Juvenile and Family Law.
06/11/2003 In House Committee on Juvenile and Family Law: heard in Committee.

Action Requested:
Please contact each member of the House Committee on Juvenile and Family Law. Say, "Please vote 'No' on House Bill 207. Pastors need to be able to counsel people with family problems. Don't make them agents of the state."

Juvenile And Family Law Committee Members:
Michael Gilb, (Chair) (614) 466-3819, district76@ohr.state.oh.us
Kathleen Walcher, (Vice Chair) (614) 466-9628, district58@ohr.state.oh.us
Nancy P. Hollister, (614) 644-8728, district93@ohr.state.oh.us
Linda Reidelbach, (614) 644-6030, district21@ohr.state.oh.us
John Widowfield, (614) 466-1177, district42@ohr.state.oh.us
John R. Willamowski, (614) 466-9624, district04@ohr.state.oh.us
Bryan C. Williams, (614) 644-5085, district41@ohr.state.oh.us
Sandra Harwood, (614) 466-3488, district65@ohr.state.oh.us
Todd Book, (614) 466-2124, district89@ohr.state.oh.us
Lance Mason, (614) 466-5441, district08@ohr.state.oh.us
Shirley A. Smith, (614) 466-7954, district10@ohr.state.oh.us

HSLDA's Position:
Oppose. Parents who sin against their children need to be able to confess those sins to their own pastors. Making pastors mandatory reporters of child abuse will keep people from seeking pastoral help.

The sex scandal in the Catholic Church has called a number of states to propose legislation to solve that problem. Unfortunately, most states have gone too far. Instead of permitting pastors to report child abuse, this law would require all pastors to report all suspicions of abuse. This means that the parents who most need pastoral help will be afraid to seek it out.

Homeschoolers across the country have managed to stop a number of bills just like this one. When legislators understand that families need pastoral help, but will not seek out such help if pastors are mandatory reporters, they have been willing to vote against such laws. Your call to your legislator is crucial at this time. Please call now to keep pastors from being turned into agents of the state.

 Other Resources

Ohio-New Bill Would Make Pastors Mandatory Child Abuse Reporters

Bill Text

Bill History