in Pennsylvania's First Congressional District's_1st_congressional_district
and the Central Garden State

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Federal and State updates....

On a federal level, we need sponsorship/ support of
  • HR 940 / S 1204,
  • HR 732 / S 32 / S 369, 
  • HR 1091 / S 583
  • HR 3133, 
  • HJ Res 51, 
  • HR 7 / S 946, 
  • HR 1797 / S 886, 
  • HR 301 / S 653, and 
  • HR 23.
We need to oppose HR1755/S815, which the USCCB believes "could be used to punish as discrimination what the Catholic Church teaches"

Health Care Conscience Rights Act - Support HR 940 / S 1204

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a special site (, to contact Representative Mike Fitzpatrick, Senator Bob Casey, and Senator Pat Toomey (all of whom self-identify as Catholics), as well as the president and the vice president, in support of HR 940 / S 1204 (While Fitzpatrick is a co-sponsor of HR 940, neither Casey nor Toomey is a co-sponsor of S 1204.).  The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has a similar site (, to contact Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey, as well as Speaker of the House John Boehner. Please consider adding this to your message:
    "In the interest of basic human dignity - particularly the welfare of children - we also need your sponsorship/ support of 
    • HR 732 / S 32 / S 369, 
    • HR 1091 / S 583
    • HR 3133, 
    • HJ Res 51, 
    • HR 7 / S946, 
    • HR 1797 / S 886, 
    • HR 301 / S 653, and 
    • HR 23."
    OPPOSE HR 1755/S815, which the US Conference of Catholic Bishops is concerned "could be used to punish as discrimination what the Catholic Church teaches"


    Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Support HR 732 / S 32 / S 369

    As per Priests for Life, "The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA) would make it illegal to take a minor across a state line to evade the requirements of a pre-abortion parental involvement law in the girl’s home state."  Kudos go to Mike Fitzpatrick for becoming one of the 111 co-sponsors of HR 732 on 10/9/13.  Neither Bob Casey nor Pat Toomey are among the 6 co-sponsors of S.32.  However, kudos go to Pat Toomey for being one of the 28 co-sponsors of S.369.

    Life at Conception Act - Support HR 1091 / S 583

    As per, "'The Life at Conception Act'... aims to employ the protections afforded by the 14th amendment in defense of the unborn." Mike Fitzpatrick is not among the 95 co-sponsors of H.R.1091.  Neither Bob Casey nor Pat Toomey are among the 16 co-sponsors of S.583. 

    Marriage - Support HR 3133 and HJ Res 51

    Lost in discussions about changing marriage/family law is the social justice truth that children need both a mom and a dad - the authentic rights of children are being ignored.  While Bob Casey openly opposes traditional marriage, (cf, "Respect for Marriage Act (the legislation that repeals the Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA])"),  Mike Fitzpatrick and Pat Toomey are NOT strong advocates for traditional marriage.  Phyllis Schafly may have best described the situation
      "Political support for traditional marriage seemed to evaporate in the summer of 2013.... Republicans in the House of Representatives had hired top legal talent to defend DOMA in court. After the Supreme Court decision, they quietly canceled their legal support for defending marriage and have said nothing since.  We hardly hear anyone standing up for the proposition that traditional civil marriage is essential"

    Pat Toomey and Mike Fitzpatrick - we need you gentlemen to find your backbonesTo claim or infer support for traditional marriage but to try to pass it off as simply a states' issue flies in the face of reality.  The USCCB supports H.R. 3133, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act.  Mike Fitzpatrick has NOT joined 82 of his colleagues (including Representative Chris Smith) as a co-sponsor of HR 3133, nor has he joined the 55 co-sponsors of H.J. RES. 51 (including Representative Chris Smith). The National Organization for Marriage has a special web site to send messages on HR 3133 and HJ Res 51:

    No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act - Support HR 7 / S 946

    As per Priests for Life, "The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act would prohibit the federal funding of abortion, except in cases of rape, incest, or life of the mother."  HR 7 was introduced by Representative Chris Smith.  There are now 137 co-sponsors of HR 7, but Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT among them.  Neither Casey nor Toomey are among the 23 co-sponsors of senate version S 946.  While Casey is the sponsor of S 142 (without any co-sponsors), it strikes this blogger as inferior to S 946.

    Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act - Support HR 1797/ S 886

    "Priests for Life believes this is the most significant legislative effort to date in bringing protection to unborn children. We have therefore already alerted every parish in America to inform and mobilize its congregation in support of this bill. We are also calling upon pro-life organizations large and small to give it their full support" (Fr. Frank Pavone, 5/21/13). Mike Fitzpatrick has yet to join 184 of his colleagues (including Representative Chris Smith) as a co-sponsor of HR 1797. Kudos go to Pat Toomey for being one of the 33 co-sponsors of S 886 (Bob Casey is NOT a co-sponsor.).

    Religious Freedom Throughout the World - Support HR 301 / S 653

    As per Bishop Pates' 5/20/13 letter to Senators Roy Blunt and Carl Levin, "As Chair of the Committee on International Justice and Peace of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I commend your tireless efforts to advance religious freedom as evidenced by your sponsorship of S. 653, a bill to establish a Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia." Neither Casey nor Toomey are among the 15 co-sponsors of S.653.  On 9/18/13,   Mike Fitzpatrick voted favorably on the House version, HR 301 - Bravo.

    The Sanctity of Human Life Act - Support HR 23

    As per Priests for Life, "The Sanctity of Human Life Act would declare that the right to life guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution vests in each human being at 'fertilization, cloning, or its functional equivalent, irrespective of sex, health, function or disability, defect, stage of biological development, or condition of dependency.'  Further, the measure states that 'the Congress affirms that the Congress, each State, the District of Columbia, and all United States territories have the authority to protect the lives of all human beings residing in its respective jurisdictions.'"  Fitzpatrick has yet to join 40 of his colleagues as a co-sponsor of HR 23.

On a state level, we need our representatives and senators to OPPOSE HB300/SB300, OPPOSE SB872, OPPOSE SB719/HB1647, and SUPPORT HB 1349. 

Oppose HB300/SB300

As per Brandon McGinley of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, "HB/SB 300 is being sold as a 'sexual orientation and gender identity' employment nondiscrimination bill, but in states and cities with similar ordinances the reach of the law always stretches to bathrooms, locker rooms, dorm rooms and any other public facility traditionally segregated by gender" ( Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/21/13).  The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference's statement on HB300/SB300 outlines more extensive concerns and describes it as "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith."  Yet from Bucks County, HB300/SB300 is being co-sponsored by 

  • Cardinal Dougherty/LaSalle University alumnus Tina Davis
  • Bishop Egan alumnus John Galloway
  • OLMC parishioner Chuck McIlhinney,
  • Bishop Conwell/St Joseph's University alumnus Marguerite Quinn,
  • Holy Family alumnus Steve Santarsiero, and
  • Villanova alumnus Scott Petri
  • (In last year's elections, it should be noted that the Pennsylvania Pro Life Federation identified Galloway, Quinn, and Petri as pro life, leaning pro life, and leaning pro life, respectively.  Across the state, as many as 18 co-sponsors of HB300 are identified as Catholic (i.e., Brendan Boyle, Thomas Caltagirone, Mike Carroll, Dominic Costa, Paul Costa, Tina Davis (???), Frank Dermody, John Galloway, Patrick Harkins, Joseph Markosek,  Michael McGeehan, Thomas Murt, Eddie Day Pashinski, John Sabatina, Mario Scavello, Thomas Killion, Robert Matzie, and Catherine Harper).  Across the state, as many as 10 senators co-sponsoring SB300 are identified as Catholic (i.e., Patrick Browne, Jay Costa, Chuck McIlhinney, Lisa Boscola, Wayne Fontana, John Blake, Mike Stack, Sean Wiley, John Yudichak, and Richard Kasunic). 
    The Pa Catholic Conference has a special web site to contact your own representative and senator on this matter:  

    Oppose SB 872

    Senators Anthony Williams, LeAna Washington, Judith Schwank, Jim Ferlo, Daylin Leach, Mike Stack, and Sean Wiley are co-sponsoring SB 872, "Prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age."

    Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons of Montgomery County is a psychiatrist, member of the Pediatric Psychosocial Development Committee of the American College of Pediatricians, and director of the Institute for Marital Healing.  Contrary to SB 872, Dr. Fitzgibbons maintains that "Youth have the right to be provided informed consent about the serious medical and psychiatric illnesses, and risks, of the homosexual lifestyle.  Pediatricians, mental health professionals, physicians, nurses and school counselors have a clear legal responsibility to do so, and parents, family members, educators, and clergy a grave moral responsibility" (Same-Sex Attractions in Youth and Their Right to Informed Consent, 5/21/12).

    Oppose SB719/HB1647 - Support HB 1349

    SB719/HB1647, would change the definition of marriage, while HB 1349 would uphold it.  The Pa Catholic Conference reminds us that,
    • "There are many ways to protect the basic human rights of all, but redefining marriage serves no one's rights, least of all those of children."

    You can email all of Bucks County's state representatives and state senators (Rep. Clymer, Rep. Davis, Rep. DiGirolomo, Rep. Farry, Rep. Galloway, Rep. O'Neill, Rep. Petri, Rep. Quinn, Rep. Santarsiero, Rep. Watson, Sen. Greenleaf, Sen. McIlhinney, Sen. Mensch, and Sen. Tomlinson) on these issues.

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