It never fails to amaze me the types of state-level legislation that local chapters of Religious Right organizations will mobilize to defeat – things like a $10 tax on marriage licenses to fund domestic violence shelters:
A bill that would have made a $10 donation to domestic violence shelters automatic when people apply for a marriage license failed in a House committee vote Monday, after the measure was opposed by the Utah Eagle Forum.
Utah Eagle Forum Vice President Dalane England called Johnson’s proposal “an undue burden on marriage.”
But that is nothing compared to this report on the fact that Religious Right groups are mobilizing in Georgia to fight a bill that seeks to offer young sex trafficking victims therapy instead of prosecuting them as prostitutes:
A state lawmaker and hundreds of child advocates are calling for young girls to be treated as victims and not criminalized as prostitutes.
Sen. Renee Unterman is proposing a bill that would set the minimum age at 16 for prosecuting sex-for-hire … Unterman says the bill does not decriminalize prostitution but aims to make people aware that young children are not responsible for sexual acts and need rehabilitation and therapy, not jail time.
But conservative and Christian groups banned together to oppose the bill. They say it would lead to more prostitution.
“All we would do is be inviting into our state pedophiles and panderers looking for children,” says former state Sen. Nancy Schaefer, now president of Eagle Forum of Georgia.
She says correction can also turn a child around and that discipline should not be removed when it comes to children engaging in illegal activity.
For the record, it’s not just the Eagle Forum which thinks that the state should be prosecuting 10 year-old sex trade victims because failure to do so would be akin to decriminalization and a boon to pedophiles – so do the Georgia Christian Alliance, the Georgia Christian Coalition, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, and the Georgia Baptist Convention.