In Pennsylvania's

Sunday, November 10, 2013

ADDENDUM to Washington & Harrisburg Updates, re: Legislation Impacting the Recognition of the Sanctity of Life and Marriage

WASHINGTON

Please consider copying/pasting the following into a message to Senator Casey, Senator Toomey, and Congressman Fitzpatrick (https://www.votervoice.net/NCHLA/Campaigns/30688/Respond):
    "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.'  In the interest of basic human dignity - particularly the welfare of children - we also need your CO-SPONSORSHIP/ SUPPORT of HR 3133, HJ Res 51, HR 3279, HR 732 / S 32 / S 369, HR 940 / S 1204, HR 1091 / S 583, HR 7 / S 946, HR 1797 / S 1670 / S 886, HR 301 / S 653, and HR 23. 
    "This coming week, the National Pro Life Alliance anticipates that the nominations of ardently pro abortion Cornelia Pillard, Robert Wilkins, and Patricia Millett (to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals) will come before the U.S. Senate; We ask that you oppose those nominations.
    "As per the American Life League's 2013 Study on Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 'Tax funding PPFA is too often debated as an ''either-or'' proposition, as if healthcare for underserved women and the poor depended on the decision....With other choices available, neither the American taxpayer nor healthcare in general benefits by funding an organization dedicated (by choice) to abortion."  Please work to de-fund Planned Parenthood."

Marriage - Oppose HR 1755 / S 815; Support HR 3133 and HJ Res 51

      "We write to you regarding S. 815, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA). Our purpose is to outline some of the serious concerns we have with this legislation and why we oppose it....the USCCB continues to promote the dignity of both work and marriage and to oppose unjust discrimination on any grounds, including those related to homosexual inclination or sexual identity. But we cannot support a bill, like ENDA, that does not justly advance the dignity of all workers and authentic non-discrimination, but instead:
      • Lacks a BFOQ exemption. ENDA does not include an exemption for a 'bona fide occupational qualification' (BFOQ)....
      • Lacks a status/conduct distinction. ENDA’s vague definition of 'sexual orientation' would encompass sexual conduct outside of marriage, thus legally affirming and specially protecting that conduct.
      • Supports marriage redefinition....
      • Rejects the biological basis of gender. ENDA’s definition of 'gender identity' lends force of law to a tendency to view 'gender' as nothing more than a social construct or psychosocial reality, which a person may choose at variance from his or her biological sex. This provision also fails to account for the privacy interests of others....
      • Threatens religious liberty. ENDA could be used to punish as discrimination what many religions – including the Catholic religion – teach, particularly moral teaching about same-sex sexual conduct. Moreover, the bill’s religious freedom protection, which is derived from Title VII, covers only a subset of religious employers, and as a result of recent litigation, is uncertain in scope. Recent experience also shows that even exempted employers may face government retaliation for relying on such exemptions.
      While we must oppose ENDA for the above stated reasons, the Conference stands ready to work with leaders and all people of good will to end all forms of unjust discrimination."

    "U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-PA) and Bob Casey (D-PA) voted today in favor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)” (Bucks Local News, 11/7/13).  Toomey's favorable vote came after the defeat of his own proposed amendment to add a religious exemption!  Huh???

    HR 3133 and HJ Res 51 - Tell Fitzpatrick to Co-Sponsor and Support

    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: http://capwiz.com/nationformarriage/home/.

Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2013 - Support HR 3279

As per Cardinal O'Malley's 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, "I am writing to ask your support for Rep.Chris Smith's Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act' (H.R. 3279)."  Mike Fitzpatrick is NOT one of the 109 co-sponsors of H.R. 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 (https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/campaigns/30694/respond), 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 1204.  While 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 CatholicVote.org, "'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 100 co-sponsors of H.R.1091.  Neither Bob Casey nor Pat Toomey are among the 16 co-sponsors of S.583.

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

In his Cardinal O'Malley's 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Cardinal O'Malley notes the USCCB's support of HR 7 (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 1670 / S 886

As per a 6/14/03 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives from Cardinal O'Malley, "As chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities, I am writing today to urge your support for the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act (H.R. 1797).....the proposed ban on abortions at 20 weeks after fertilization is a place to begin uniting Americans who see themselves as 'pro-life' and as 'pro-choice.'On behalf of our country and the children whose lives are at stake, I urge you to support the common-sense reform offered by H.R. 1797." This blogger failed to previously note Mike Fitzpatrick's favorable vote on 6/18/13.  Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick!

"Sen. Lindsey Graham introduced a bill...that would ban most abortions nationwide after 20 weeks of pregnancy [S. 1670] ....Mr. Graham said advancements in science and technology have shown that unborn children can feel pain after about six months and that he is speaking up on their behalf by pushing the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act....A similar proposal passed the House in June by a vote of 228-196" (Washington Times, 11/7/13).  Neither Senator Casey nor Senator Toomey are co-sponsors of S. 1670.  However, kudos go to Pat Toomey for being one of the 34 co-sponsors of S. 886 (Bob Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 886.). 

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." On 9/18/13, Mike Fitzpatrick voted favorably on the House version, HR 301 - Bravo.  Neither Casey nor Toomey are among the 19 co-sponsors of S.653

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.


HARRISBURG

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.

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." Bucks County's own Paul Clymer is already on board as a co-sponsor. 

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

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 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]. HB 1647 and its companion 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.”

Oppose HB300/SB300 

The Pa Catholic Conference has a special web site to ask your representative and senator to oppose HB300/SB300: https://www.votervoice.net/PACC/Campaigns/33451/Respond

Oppose SB 872 

In contrast to SB 872, "Prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age," Dr. Rick 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). 

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