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

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Human Life and Marriage/Family Under Assault in Harrisburg and D.C....

Many of us in Bucks County sent representatives and senators to Harrisburg, as well as two U.S. senators and a congressman to D.C., with the hopeful anticipation that they would fight in defense of vulnerable human lives and our vulnerable institution of marriage.  Thus far, results are quite mixed.  Yet come election time, they will no doubt be again looking for our support!  This is what we need to tell them....

    Support Admitting Privileges legislation

    As per the Pa Pro Life Coalition, "The Republican and Democrat leaders of the Pa. House Pro-Life Caucus...are preparing to re-introduce 'Admitting Privileges' legislation.  This bill would require an abortionist to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of an abortion chamber where he is committing abortions.  This legislation would reduce the killing done by the approximately four circuit-riding abortionists who commit approximately 60% of our state's abortions....The lead sponsors of this legislation are seeking to gather additional co-sponsors before introducing it....[It] has the same language as H.B. 1314 in the 2011-2012 term....Please urge your State House members to co-sponsor Admitting Privileges legislation in the 2013-2014 term."  While Bucks County's own Paul Clymer is already on board as a co-sponsor, it appears that Bucks County's John Galloway has yet to return as a co-sponsor

    Support Marriage / Family and HB 1349 - Oppose HB1647/SB719

    The Pa Pro Life Coalition reminds us that on 6/26/13, the U.S. Supreme Court "issued two decisions on marriage. These decisions were bad with the only 'silver lining' being that they were not as bad as proclaimed by the secular media....
    "The U.S. Supreme Court...declared unconstitutional part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Thus, the federal government now recognizes same gender marriages in states that have legalized these arrangements....Justice Kennedy's majority opinion, while denying a constitutional right to same-gender marriage, declared that the only reason for opposition to such 'marriages' is 'invidious discrimination' (i.e. hatred)....This reasoning is being used to attack state DOMAs, including Pa.'s law....
    "Although Gov. Corbett eventually announced that his attorneys would defend Pa.'s DOMA, his initial tepid response...emboldened 'same-sex marriage' supporters.... passion persuades and zealous action rallies supporters of a position, while timidity causes doubts and discourages supporters."  
    The Pa Pro Life Coalition asks us to urge our representatives in Harrisburg to have their leaders intervene on behalf of Pa's own DOMA, in the ACLU lawsuit. 
    On 5/8/13, Bucks County's own Representative Paul Clymer joined Representative Daryl Metcalfe and 25 other representatives, in introducing HB 1349, which absolutely deserves our support.  HB 1349 seeks to  strengthen Pennsylvania's Constitution, by adding this: "Marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."  
    In a 7/12/13 memo, Representative Mark Cohen claimed that "With the U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v Windsor invalidating the federal Defense of Marriage Act, and the decision of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane not to defend the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage Act, it is obvious that the Pennsylvania act will be overturned and declared unconstitutional by the federal courts.  It is possible that the federal courts will also mandate that the state recognize same sex marriages as equal to traditional marriages.  I am introducing a bill to repeal the Pennsylvania Defense of Marriage Act and to recognize all same sex marriages made in other states and other countries" [
    HB 1647]. 
    In an individual meeting with this blogger, Representative Steve Santarsiero maintained that there is NO difference in children being raised by a mom and dad or by two same sex individuals!  While Cohen and Santarsiero may argue that HB 1647 (as well as the Senate's SB 719) is about civil rights, HB 1647 and SB 719 they would negate the fundamental right of children to both a mom and a dad!
    As per the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference, "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. Treating different things differently is not unjust discrimination. Quoting the U.S. Bishops, the Pa Catholic Conference reminds us that, “The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.”  
    We need our state representatives and senators to oppose HB1647 / SB719.

      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 can be noted with some irony 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."  To the best of this blogger's knowledge, none of those co-sponsors is a qualified mental health professional.
      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).

    Click here, to email 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, asking them to Co-Sponsor / Support Admitting Privileges legislation and Support Pa's DOMA, as well as to Oppose HB 300 / SB 300 and Oppose SB 872.

    Background on Federal Bills

      Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013 - Support HR 3279


      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.

      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, as well as the president and the vice president, in support of HR 940 / S 1204While Fitzpatrick is a co-sponsor of HR 940, neither Casey nor Toomey are among the 15 co-sponsors of S 1204

      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.1091Neither Bob Casey nor Pat Toomey are among the 16 co-sponsors of S.583.

      Marriage - Support HR 3133 and HJ Res 51

        "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"

      For a federal official to claim or infer support for traditional marriage but to try to pass it off as a states' issue (or vice versa) flies in the face of reality.  The USCCB supports H.R. 3133, the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act.  Mike Fitzpatrick has NOT joined 85 of his colleagues (including Representative Chris Smith) as a co-sponsor of HR 3133, nor has he joined the 56 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 138 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 NOT joined 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 16 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 is NOT among the 40 co-sponsors of HR 23.

      HR 1755 and S 815 - Oppose

    The National Committee for a Human Life Amendment has a special HR 940 / S 1204  web 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 3279
      • 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."
      We need you to 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'" 

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