FFRF lauds passage of Ky. bill supporting sexual abuse victims

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FFRF Action Fund is generally pleased with the signing of Kentucky House Bill 278 removing the statute of limitations on childhood sexual assault victims. 

The measure gets rid of a previously standing statute of limitations for childhood sexual assault, allowing survivors to pursue justice in court against the perpetrator at any time. In many other parts of the country, similar pieces of legislation have exposed the Catholic Church’s fear of being held accountable for their role in abuse. The bill is a bipartisan victory, as it was sponsored by a majority of Republicans with the inclusion of one Democrat and was signed into law by Gov. Andy Beshear, also a Democrat. 

Unfortunately, the new law is not perfect, as it was amended at the 11th hour to include an unrelated issue, the newest iteration of a right-wing campaign to limit the access of children to LGBTQIA-plus material, misnamed the “Kids Online Safety Act.” FFRF Action Fund, of course, agrees that minors should not have access to pornography, but religious extremists are attempting to redefine LGBTQIA-plus media as “pornographic.” Many civil rights groups have pointed out that such bills endanger children more than they protect them.

The new law applies to any “material harmful to minors,” which is defined very broadly and vaguely, including anything “designed to appeal to, or pander to, the prurient interest,” according to “contemporary community standards,” and also includes what the law calls “exhibitions.” In addition to actual pornography, religious ideologues might argue that this could include depictions of drag shows, or even nonpornographic depictions of same-sex couples.

Nevertheless, the Action Fund actively supported this legislation as introduced and commends Kentucky lawmakers for removing the harmful statute of limitations on child sexual assault.

“This is a major win for childhood sexual assault survivors in Kentucky”, says FFRF Action Fund President Annie Laurie Gaylor. “Those who abuse children should be held accountable, no matter how much time has passed or whether or not they wear a black collar.” 

FFRF Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) organization that develops and advocates for legislation, regulations and government programs to preserve the constitutional principle of separation between state and church. It also advocates for the rights and views of nonbelievers, endorses candidates for political office, and publicizes the views of elected officials concerning religious liberty issues.