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

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Holy Ghost Prep and HB300/SB300

A Courier Times editorial rhetorically asked how Holy Ghost Prep could fire a teacher who announced that he was marrying his same sex partner.  The Courier Times responded that the teacher had given the Catholic school no choice but to dismiss him, as he was in violation of Catholic doctrine and his employment contract (Courier Times, 12/10/13).  In the following items, Daylin Leach and the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference are both relating this incident to HB 300 in the Pennsylvania House and SB 300 in the Pennsylvania Senate:
  • "Michael Griffin was dismissed from his job at Holy Ghost Preparatory School last week after informing officials at the Catholic school of his intention to wed.  Had pending Pennsylvania legislation to prohibit discrimination based upon sexual orientation been in effect, Griffin would still be teaching, said state Sen. Daylin Leach. Griffin would have been covered even if had he signed a school contract that mandated school employees follow teachings of the Catholic Church, Leach contended" (Newsworks, 12/9/13).
  • "Legislation introduced in Pennsylvania to prevent discrimination could end up prohibiting Catholic schools from requiring teachers to abide by Catholic teaching, religious freedom advocates in the state are warning....Supporters of the bill are using controversy over the firing of Michael Griffin, a French and Spanish teacher at Holy Ghost Preparatory School, to advocate for the bill’s passage....The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference said in an action alert that the legislation is 'intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith.'  The legislation will 'jeopardize many churches and their charitable outreach,' the alert said, warning that similar laws have closed Catholic adoption agencies and 'trampled religious liberty'" (Catholic News Agency, 12/13/13).

The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a special web site to ask your representative and your senator to oppose HB300/SB300:
  • "Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith....There are many examples of the impact this law can have, namely, the shuttering of Catholic adoption agencies. It is clear that our religious liberty will be trampled by HB/SB 300 - Catholic charitable ministries will no longer be able to make contributions to the common good of Pennsylvania without violating their religious beliefs.  To make matters worse, the law could also cause conflicts for private business owners with legitimate religious and moral concerns."
Across Pennsylvania, as many as 18 of the original House co-sponsors of HB 300 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 MarkosekMichael McGeehan, Thomas Murt, Eddie Day Pashinski, John Sabatina, Mario Scavello, Thomas Killion, Robert Matzie, and Catherine Harper).  Across Pennsylvania, as many as 10 of the original Senate co-sponsors of SB 300 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).  Are these representatives and senators aware that the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference describes HB 300 / SB 300 as "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith"?  From Bucks County, original co-sponsors of HB 300/SB 300 are

  • Cardinal Dougherty/LaSalle University alumnus Rep. Tina Davis 
  • Bishop Egan alumnus Rep. John Galloway,
  • OLMC parishioner Sen. Chuck McIlhinney,  
  • Bishop Conwell/St Joseph's University alumnus Rep. Marguerite Quinn, 
  • Holy Family alumnus Rep. Steve Santarsiero, and
  • Villanova alumnus Scott Petri.

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