OH: LGBTQ+ advocates worried about vague language in Ohio’s new ‘grooming’ bill

Source: ohiocapitaljournal.com 12/4/23

A new bill in the Ohio House aiming to punish sexual grooming may have vague enough language that it harms LGBTQ+ youth, some advocates worry.

Community is essential for many LGBTQ+ teens. Kaleidoscope Youth Center (KYC) aims to provide that by holding educational programming and discussion groups.

“They’re looking for those mentorship-type relationships that all of us need,” said Erin Upchurch, KYC executive director.

But now, Upchurch fears a new bill in the Ohio House may target her organization.

“The whole idea of it being so vague — it’s so dangerous and irresponsible,” Upchurch said.

The bill repeals the prohibition on a civil registrant for living within 1,000 feet of any school premises

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seems like this bill could be helpful to Ohio residents.

This will start with LGBTQ+ harassment and criminalization, but will spread. The Reich will criminalize all adult/Child interactions they dont like, by calling it grooming.

LGBTQ+ Education is just the low hanging fruit they will start with. Any adult that dares to suggest that being LGBTQ+ is anything other than immoral and wrong will be subject to Reich “Justice”.

“Wokeness” will be next. They’ll just say it is “Grooming” and call it a sex crime.

There is already thought in the Far Right that “wokeness” is an attempt at indoctrination to hating America so kids will be more open to, “Transgender brainwashing” to “Groom” kids for exploitation by a Socialist Pedo State. Not making this up… Elements of the Far Right believe groups like BLM are grooming kids to be Transgendered Slaves to a Socialist state run by Pedo Elites.

Soon, any transfer of knowledge/thought/idea that is not approved Reich dogma will be subject to criminalization.

The more you look at these people making these laws, the scarier they get. There seems to be no limit on who they hate, and what they want to do about them.

“If an individual involved in a civil case fails to comply with registration, notice and verification requirements, there is a penalty of up to $2,500, instead of a fifth-degree felony, which was the original punishment”

Well ain’t that kind of you! It wouldn’t seem right charging a felony for something that suppose to be “civil.” Although you charge people with felonies for failing to register under a civil administrative scheme.

I understand the purpose of this legislation, but it can be so easily weaponized by some bigoted, right-wing Christian district attorney to prosecute LGBTQ+ organizations who inform similarly-oriented teens about the birds and the bees. If that possibility exists, and it seems to if I read the article correctly, the legislation is unconstitutional in that it tramples upon legitimate First Amendment-protected speech. Being void for vagueness is just icing on the cake.

What these, inevitably, Republican-authored laws do is to give general suspicions the force of law. “We think we see a pattern of behavior that could lead to sex with a minor.” And with those perceived “patterns,” comes down the weight of the law.

What do you want to bet that these lawmakers have much to hide, themselves?

This reminds me of a time in Arizona where the law was written to make changing a baby’s diaper and act of molestation. One unfortunate person was prosecuted successfully for doing just that and ended up on the registry. The idiot DA in that case said he only prosecuted to show how absurd the law was and expected it to be overturned on appeal, which it was not.

I remember another story a couple of years ago where a neighborhood busybody in England thought the crossing guard was “grooming” because he had the audacity to high-5 children when they arrived at his corner.

I for one am not comfortable with a legislator claiming opponents of this bill are seeing ghosts where none exist. Nor am I appeased by their assurances that this proposal wouldn’t be abused, should it become law. I guaran-damn-tee there will be one DA in Ohio that will successfully convict someone under this law for something innocuous like complimenting one’s clothes.

Good Lord, can you say “Unconstitutionally Vague!”???

Legislators have a history of writing vague bills. Some of that is intentional to allow wiggle room because each criminal circumstance is unique. Some of the ambiguity is due to plain incompetence in drafting bills. It is nearly a certainty that prosecutors will push the limits of the language in order to obtain more convictions. The term “grooming” is itself fraught with uncertainty, and a “reasonable” adult is hard to find or even define when it comes to sex abuse issues.

Also the law is unnecessary. One proponent states, It also has to be conduct that would cause a reasonable adult person to believe that the person is communicating with the minor with the purpose to entice, coerce, solicit, or prepare the minor to engage in sexual activity with the person in question or a third party”. Soliciting sex from a child or a cop pretending to be a child is already a federal crime, as it is in most states.

The original Ohio law was deemed unconstitutional (I presume by the state Supreme Court) because it originally prescribed a felony punishment for a civil offense.To simplify a complicated situation, it was ruled unconstitutional since it prescribed criminal penalties to a civil offense.” Hmmm, criminal penalties to a civil offense. Sound familiar? That is one legal data point for the argument that civil registries are punishment.