A bill that would require clergy members to report child abuse or neglect in Washington state has cleared the Senate.
The state Senate passed Senate Bill 5280 unanimously Tuesday.
Sponsored by Sen. Noel Frame, D-Seattle, the measure would require clergy to report sexual abuse allegations to authorities unless the information was received in a context protected by clergy-penitent privilege, such as a confessional setting.
MORE NEWS: Poland plans to send MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine following urgent requests from the war torn country
CHURCHES DEFEND LOOPHOLE FOR CLERGY TO NOT REPORT CHILD SEX ABUSE
Washington is one of only a handful of states in the U.S. that do not list clergy as mandatory reporters of child abuse or neglect.
Frame has been open about being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. She said the abuse ended only after she told a teacher who was a mandatory reporter. The Associated Press does not publish the names of sexual abuse survivors without their consent.
“This subject is personally very important for me,” Frame said. “Mandatory reporters play an important role in protecting children, which is why teachers and others who have close relationships with children have to take on that reporting responsibility. Faith leaders have similarly trusted relationships with children in their communities and should share the same responsibility.”
Frame told KUOW that she was at least the third generation in her family who was sexually abused by a family member.
“It takes really smart public policy to interrupt those cycles of violence,” she told the news outlet.
The bill passed Tuesday contains the exemption for clergy-penitent privilege and would not require mandatory reporting of abuse discussed in confession. Frame said she expects tough conversations on that point as the measure heads over to the House.
FORMER UTAH CITY MAYOR AND MORMON BISHOP ARRESTED FOR SEXUALLY ABUSING CHILDREN
H/T Fox News (read more at FoxNews.com)
The opinions expressed by contributors and/or content partners are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Support Conservative Causes. Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own commentary.
Leave a comment
COMMENTS POLICY: We have no tolerance for messages of violence, racism, vulgarity, obscenity or other such discourteous behavior. Thank you for contributing to a respectful and useful online dialogue.