The Roman Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts are lobbying against legislation to give survivors of childhood sexual abuse more time to sue. Marisa Kwiatkowski and John Kelly at USA Today:
In an era when many advocates use social media and online petitions to garner widespread support, the Catholic Church instead focuses on the audience it already has. In Philadelphia, the archdiocese coordinated the distribution of letters to all 219 parishes that warned of "serious dangers" posed by the bill and urged people to pick up additional information at the exits after Mass – and contact their lawmakers.
Since 2009 alone, state lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have tried at least 200 times to extend the civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse cases, according to a USA TODAY analysis of legislation filed in all 50 states, part of a two-year look at model legislation in partnership with the Arizona Republic and the Center for Public Integrity.
The bills have borrowed from and built on each other, sharing common phrases and ideas.
Many special interests, including the insurance industry, oppose efforts to give survivors more time to sue. But two organizations are uniquely positioned to wield influence because of their deep ties to local communities: the Catholic Church and the Boy Scouts of America.