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

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Harrisburg & DC....


Support Admitting Privileges legislation
Representatives Bryan Cutler and Bryan Barbin are co-sponsoring "Admitting Privileges" legislation, similar to H.B. 1314 in the 2011-2012 term.  Urge your House representative to become a co-sponsor.

Support Marriage / Family and HB 1349 - Oppose HB1647/SB719
"A Marriage Protection Amendment to the Pennsylvania State Constitution may be the only way to preserve the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman" (Pa Catholic Conference)The Pa Catholic Conference has a web site, to facilitate a message to Governor Corbett, in support of marriage and Pa's DOMA (

Oppose HB300/SB300, as it is “intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith” 

While the Pa Catholic Conference calls HB 300 / SB 300 "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith", as many as 28 original co-sponsors are identified as Catholic!
Six original co-sponsors of HB 300 / SB 300 are from Bucks:
  • 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.
While HB 300 / SB 300 is "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith", Governor Corbett has said that he would be willing to sign it (cf., Courier Times, 12/19/13)!  

The Pa Catholic Conference has a special web site to ask Gov Corbett, Lt Go Cawley, your representative and your senator to oppose HB300/SB300:

Oppose SB 872, "Prohibiting mental health professionals from engaging in sexual orientation change efforts with an individual under 18 years of age" - Pa's Version of NJ's S2278
In contrast to philosophies behind SB 872 and S 2278, eminent Catholic psychiatrist Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons of Montgomery County 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).

Please copy/paste the following into a message for Senator Casey, Senator Toomey, and Congressman Fitzpatrick (
  • People of good will need their senators to oppose ardently pro abortion judicial nominess. It is deeply troubling that Senator Casey was among those who voted on November 21, "to take away the use filibusters against judicial nominees, including those pro-life groups oppose" (  We have seen the immediate, deleterious impact in the confirmation of Georgetown law professor and abortion extremist Cornelia Pillard to the D.C. Federal Court of Appeals.  As reported by the Catholic News Agency, she   has a record of advocating strongly for an unqualified right to access abortion and contraception, against the ability to teach abstinence education....Her views have also sparked religious freedom concerns....The confirmation was...celebrated by Reproductive Health Reality Check, a contraception and abortion advocacy group which predicted that ‘the impact of Pillard’s confirmation could last for decades.’
It is also deeply troubling that Senators Casey and Toomey voted for S 815, which the US Conference of Catholic Bishops says "could be used to punish as discrimination what the Catholic Church teaches."  We need Representative Fitzpatrick to OPPOSE the house version, HR 1755.

In the interest of basic human dignity - particularly the welfare of children - please CO-SPONSOR/ SUPPORT HR 3279 (the Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act), HR732/S32/S369 (the Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act), HJRes51 (an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage), HR940/S1204 (the Health Care Conscience Rights Act), HR3133/S1808 (the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act), HR7/S946 (the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act), HR1797/S1670/S 886 (the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act), and HR301/S653 (To provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia).

Please work to de-fund Planned Parenthood and to achieve what the USCCB has called a "just and fair Farm Bill" and "compassionate immigration reform."  

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)."  Why is our “pro life” congressman Mike Fitzpatrick NOT one of the 121 co-sponsors of H.R. 3279 ?

Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act - Support HR 732 / S 32 / S 369
As the USCCB previously explained, "a mother in Pennsylvania, where parental involvement is required, testified before Congress that her daughter was taken without her knowledge to New Jersey for a secret abortion by the parents of her daughter's boyfriend.... 'We urge Congress to pass this law to help protect vulnerable girls from this kind of exploitation'" (USCCB, 4/27/05).  

Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for being among the 112 co-sponsors of HR 732.  NEITHER of our “pro life” senators – NEITHER Bob Casey NOR Pat Toomey - are among the 6 co-sponsors of S.32.  However, kudos to Pat Toomey for being one of the 28 co-sponsors of S.369.

De-Fund Planned Parenthood
In a 4/13/11 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Daniel Cardinal DiNardo, then chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called for de-funding Planned Parenthood.  As per the American Life League's 2013 Study on Planned Parenthood Federation of America, "neither the American taxpayer nor healthcare in general benefits by funding an organization dedicated (by choice) to abortion."  As they each identify themselves as “pro life,” we need Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey to work to de-fund Planned Parenthood.

Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013 (ENDA) - Oppose HR 1755 / S 815
As S 815 has already passed the Senate (with votes from BOTH Casey and Toomey), it is all the more vital that Mike Fitzpatrick opposes HR 1755. While Casey was a co-sponsor of S 815, the Pennsylvania Family Council notes that "It is deeply disappointing and troubling that U.S. Senator Pat Toomey broke his promise to Pennsylvania voters that he would oppose the 'Employment Non-Discrimination Act' (ENDA) should it come before the Senate."  The Pa Family Council set up a  web site to facilitate contacts to Toomey ( 

As per the USCCB's 10/31/13 letter to the U.S. Senate, "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."

Farm Bill
As per an 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. Senate's Farm Bill Conference Committee from Bishop Stephen E. Blaire (Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development), Bishop Richard E. Pates (Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on International  Justice and Peace), and others:  "A just and fair Farm Bill will put poor and hungry people first, serve small and medium-sized family farms, promote sustainable stewardship of the land, and help vulnerable farmers and rural communities at home and abroad."

Federal Marriage Amendment - Support HJ Res 51
On 6/28/13, Representative Tim Huelskamp introduced H.J. RES. 51, Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage. As per the Administrative Committee of the USCCB, "We offer general support for a Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as we continue to work to protect marriage in state legislatures, the courts, the Congress and other appropriate forums" (Reaffirmed on 3/14/06).  Mike Fitzpatrick has not joined the 57 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 HJ Res 51:

Health Care Conscience Rights Act - Support HR 940 / S 1204
As per the USCCB, "All House and Senate members should be urged to support and co-sponsor the Health Care Conscience Rights Act, so our First Freedom can regain its proper place as a fundamental right protected in our health care system."  Kudos go to Mike Fitzpatrick for being among the 190 co-sponsors of HR 940.  However, NEITHER of our “pro life” senators – NEITHER Casey NOR Toomey - are among the 15 co-sponsors of S 1204.  The Pennsylvania Catholic Conference has a special site (, to contact Fitzpatrick, Casey, and Toomey, as well as the president and the vice president, in support of HR 940 / S 1204

Immigration Reform
The USCCB has a web site to facilitate this message to Senators Casey and Toomey and Representative Fitzpatrick (
"I agree with the U.S. Catholic bishops that now is the time to pass just and compassionate immigration reform. I ask that in the 113th Congress you support immigration reform that
- Provides a path to citizenship for undocumented persons in the country;
- Preserves family unity as a corner-stone of our national immigration system;
- Provides legal paths for low-skilled immigrant workers to come and work in the United States;
- Restores due process protections to our immigration enforcement policies;
- Addresses the root causes (push factors) of migration, such as persecution and economic disparity.
I look forward to monitoring your public position on this vital issue to our nation. Our nation can no longer wait."

Marriage and Religious Freedom Act - Support HR 3133/S1808
"Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, expressed strong support for the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (S. 1808) the U.S. Senate by Senator Mike Lee. Both archbishops previously endorsed the companion Marriage and Religious Freedom Act introduced by Rep. Raúl Labrador in the U.S. House of Representatives on September 19, 2013 [i.e., HR 3133]" (USCCB Chairmen Praise Introduction of the ‘Marriage and Religious Freedom Act’ in the Senate, 12/12/13).  NEITHR Casey NOR Toomey has joined with Senator Mike Lee and the 13 co-sponsors of S. 1808.  Fitzpatrick has NOT joined Rep. Raul Labradour and the 93 co-sponsors of HR 3133!  The National Organization for Marriage has a special web site (, to contact Casey, Toomey, and Fitzpatrick - with copies to Lee and Labradour.

No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act - Support HR 7 / S 946
In his 11/1/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Cardinal O'Malley notes the USCCB's support for HR 7 (introduced by Representative Chris Smith).  Why is our “pro life” congressman Mike Fitzpatrick NOT one of the 139 co-sponsors of HR 7?  NEITHER of our “pro life” senators – NEITHER Bob Casey NOR Pat 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 6/14/13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives from Cardinal O'Malley, "I urge you to support the common-sense reform offered by H.R. 1797." Kudos to Mike Fitzpatrick for his favorable vote on 6/18/13.  Kudos to Pat Toomey for being among the 40 co-sponsors of S. 1670 and the 34 co-sponsors of S. 886.  Our “pro life” senator Bob Casey is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 1670 and is NOT a co-sponsor of S. 886.

To provide for the establishment of the Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia - 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.  On 12/19/13, Pat Toomey signed on as a co-sponsor of S.653, but Casey is NOT among those 20 co-sponsors.  Bob, have you lost appreciation for religious freedom? 

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