SB 131 – The California Child Victims’ Act – is scheduled for a floor vote in the Assembly soon. And the Archdiocese of LA is pulling out all of the stops.
The Archdiocese, in its attempt to defeat the bill, has created a website that allows ordinary folks to send mass emails to legislators. They hope that low-information Catholics – those who aren’t following the issue and don’t understand the legislation – will just march lock-step with Archbishop Gomez.
I would include the link, but I don’t want to send them traffic. Once you fill out the form, the website automatically generates emails to your particular legislators.
Here is the text of the emails that the website generates (with my notes):
I am your constituent and I respectfully urge you to vote “No” on SB-131.
This legislation does not protect all victims of child sexual abuse. In fact, it offers no protection to the 92 percent of children who attend public schools or for children in foster care or in other public settings.
The only way to be able to protect students in public schools would be to eliminate sovereign immunity, an entirely different issue. In addition, SB 131 is a “first step” bill. We will never be able to fight abuse in the hugely powerful public arena until we build public awareness. To defeat the powers that be who control public entities, we need to prove that the problem is huge. SB131 is the only way to do that. And to imply that public school victims are “jealous” is infantile. Exposing ANY perpetrator is a huge step towards exposing ALL perpetrators.
This bill discriminates against Catholic schools and other private employers. It could lead to reductions in the educational and social services provided by the Church and other nonprofits.
What they don’t say is that a majority of the funding for the church’s social services come from contracts with local governments – using tax dollars. Besides, if there is enough sexual abuse to cause a reduction in spending for social services, shouldn’t the church stop offering social services and fix the problem FIRST?
Any legislation that seeks to deal with this grave problem should be applied to protect victims in all institutions in society — public and private— equally.
See my above argument.
Then the site allows you to add other “shortcomings.” Letter writers are, however, unable to change the subject line of the email.
If the Archdiocese spent as much time and money releasing documents, punishing wrongdoers and helping victims as they do trying to fight this bill, we wouldn’t need SB131 in the first place.
We can only wonder what else they are hiding.
What can you do? Follow this link to write your legislators NOW and tell them you support SB131.