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

Saturday, October 26, 2013

In Harrisburg and in Washington, D.C.....

In Harrisburg....

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....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...declared unconstitutional [only] part [emphasis added] 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."   

"As Ryan T. Anderson, Sherif Girgis and Robert P. George ask in their brilliantly argued polemic 'What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense,' 'If marriage is primarily about emotional union, why privilege two-person unions, or permanently committed ones? What is it about emotional union that requires these limits?' Personal happiness and fulfillment are frequent benefits of marriage, but they are not its purpose. Marriage is the institution that provides social stability because it attempts to ensure, insofar as possible, that the mother and father who create a new life commit to caring for that child until adulthood. No other adult arrangement has ever been shown to benefit children as much....And if sexual complementarity is dispensable, by what logic are the other aspects of traditional marriage — exclusivity and permanence — to be maintained?" (Mona Charen, Jewish World Review, 10/25/13).

The Pa Pro Life Coalition asks us to urge our representatives to have their leaders intervene on behalf of Pa's own DOMA, in the ACLU lawsuit

On 5/8/13, Bucks County's own Paul Clymer joined Daryl Metcalfe and 25 others, in introducing HB 1349, which absolutely deserves our supportHB 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 announced that he was "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].  While he may argue that HB 1647 (as well as the Senate's SB 719) is about civil rights, HB 1647 and SB 719 would negate the fundamental right of children to both a mom and a dad!  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.  We need our state representatives and senators to oppose HB1647 / SB719.

Oppose HB300/SB300

Pennsylvania's HB300/SB300 has been likened to California's AB 1266 (cf., Brandon McGinley, Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/21/13).  "NOM California has joined the coalition of Privacy For All Students to qualify a referendum to overturn this law" [AB 1266] (National Organization for Marriage, 10/24/13).  The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference's statement on HB300/SB300 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 Univ. alumnus Marguerite Quinn,
  • ·         Holy Family alumnus Steve Santarsiero, and
  • ·         Villanova alumnus Scott Petri

  • The Pa Catholic Conference has a special web site to ask your representative and senator to oppose HB300/SB300

    Oppose SB 872

    To the best of this blogger's knowledge, none of those co-sponsoring SB 872, "Prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age," 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).

    ACTION NEEDED: Contact Our Elected Officials in Harrisburg....

    In Washington, D.C….

    Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013 - Support HR 3279

    "A bill newly introduced in the House of Representatives would enable individuals to determine if they are paying a surcharge for abortion under the health care exchanges available under the Affordable Care Act” (Catholic New Agency, 10/11/13).  Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT one of the 104 co-sponsors of Representative Chris Smith's HR3279, the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013.  

    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 97 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

    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. 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 United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has expressed concern that HR 1755 and S 815 "could be used to punish as discrimination what the Catholic Church teaches" (letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions from Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, Archbishop William E. Lori, and Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone).  To his credit, Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT a co-sponsor of HR 1755; to his credit, Pat Toomey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 815.  Bob Casey has been a co-sponsor of S. 815, since 5/16/13. 

    ACTION NEEDED: Contact Our Elected Officials in Washington, D.C.....

    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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