The Truth & Transparency Foundation

2,057 supporters

The Truth & Transparency Foundation (TTF) is a non profit newsroom founded on the belief that increased transparency results in fewer untruths, less corruption, and less abuse within religious institutions. The organization was originally founded to provide sources and whistle-blowers the technical ability to anonymously submit sensitive documents for use by professional and citizen journalists for starting and expanding news reporting, public commentary, and criticism related to various religious organizations. It’s mission has since expanded to contribute to said news reporting.

Started 2 petitions

Petitioning California State Senate, California State House

Remove Clergy Exemption from California's Mandatory Reporting Laws by Passing SB 360

California State Senator, Jerry Hill has proposed California Senate Bill 360 removing a sweeping clergy exemption from the State’s mandatory reporting laws of child abuse and neglect. The proposal comes after discussions between the Senator’s staff and the Truth & Transparency Foundation (TTF) in the months of November and December of 2018. The TTF made many California legislators aware of the gaping hole in the law. Senator Hill is the only one able to find the priority to propose the bill. Currently, California Penal Code § 11166(d)(1) states the following: “A clergy member who acquires knowledge or a reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect during a penitential communication is not [required to make a report].” It goes on to define “penitential communication” and effectively creates a total exemption in which all California clergy are excused from reporting child abuse and neglect, a duty otherwise lawfully required of them by California Penal Code § 11165.7(a)(32)-(33). SB XXX proposes § 11166(d)(1) be entirely removed, requiring all clergy in the State of California to report all instances of child abuse or neglect made known to them to the appropriate authorities. The TTF unequivocally supports California SB 360. It both protects survivors of abuse and holds religious institutions accountable while respecting the constitutional right to religious freedom. Religious repentance should always include restitution, and, in all criminal situations like that of abuse, restitution can only be made when justice is served by the laws of the land. If you are a resident of California, please also consider contacting your legislators and telling them you support SB 360.

The Truth & Transparency Foundation
333 supporters
Petitioning Utah State House, Utah State Senate

Remove Clergy Exemption from Utah’s Mandatory Reporting Laws

According to Utah Code 62A chapter 4a section 403, “members of the clergy” are not required to report child abuse if it is confessed by the perpetrator. Various documents released by the Truth and Transparency Foundation (TTF), via MormonLeaks and FaithLeaks, show that clergy typically and intentionally avoid reporting abuse to law enforcement except in states where they are required to do so, including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We, at the TTF, believe that any exemption of clergy members in mandatory reporting laws is an affront to the safety and well-being of abuse survivors and provides an environment where predators are enabled. Thus, we are proposing the exemption be removed entirely and that clergy members explicitly be required to report child abuse reported to them by any individual regardless of the reporter’s role in the abuse. Some may claim this is an attack on religious liberty. We ask you to reconsider that argument and realize that the proposal does not oppress members of any religious denomination. In addition, some of the states with the highest rates of religious affiliation do not make any exemptions for clergy.  According to the Child Welfare Information Gateway, all 50 states have similar mandatory reporting laws, yet only 12 make absolutely no exemption for clergy. These 12 states include Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas. Like Utah, each of these states have majority populations who, according to Gallup, identify as religious. We encourage all of our supporters to place continual pressure on their Utah representatives by signing this petition, as well as contacting them and asking them to sponsor the amendment. When doing so, please feel free to utilize scripts we have prepared here. You can find your representatives and their contact information here. Our press release and communication with the Utah State Legislature can be found here.

The Truth & Transparency Foundation
1,724 supporters