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

Monday, January 20, 2014

Harrisburg Update

Support Admitting Privileges legislation

A 1/15/14 piece from Philadelphia Weekly was largely a call to arms AGAINST common sense: "A funny thing happened before the state legislature broke for winter recess: A bipartisan pair of state representatives, Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) and Bryan Barbin (D-Cambria)...started looking for co-sponsors for a bill that would require abortion providers to obtain 'admitting privileges' at hospitals within 30 miles of the clinic where they practice....The problem is, it would stymie the work of clinics whose only nearby hospital doesn’t perform abortions."  The Pa Pro Life Coalition has asked that we urge our House representatives to become co-sponsors of Cutler's and Barbin's "Admitting Privileges" legislation, which is similar to H.B. 1314 from the 2011-2012 term.

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 SB 872

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 S2278, eminent 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). 

Oppose HB300/SB300

"House Bill 300/Senate Bill 300 would add 'gender identity or expression' and 'sexual orientation' to Pennsylvania's non-discrimination law. Changing the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) to protect people based on sexual attraction and behavior will jeopardize many churches and their charitable outreach.  In other states, this law has shuttered Catholic adoption agencies and trampled religious liberty. HB/SB 300 could mean that Catholic agencies would no longer be able to make our contributions to the common good of Pennsylvania without violating our religious beliefs.

"The law has also caused conflicts for private business owners with legitimate religious and moral concerns.  A bakery in Oregon was investigated by the state because their religious beliefs dictated that they not bake a wedding cake for a same sex couple and other examples include photographers, a t-shirt printer and a cookie shop. All are given the unfair choice: close your business or violate your beliefs.

"In reality, HB/SB 300 exposes even more Pennsylvanians to discrimination. Simply put, this legislation is intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith. Send a message to the legislature urging them to vote "no" on HB/SB 300 " (Pennsylvania Catholic Conference).
From Bucks County, HB300/SB300 is being co-sponsored by Rep. Tina DavisRep. John Galloway, Sen. Chuck McIlhinneyRep. Marguerite Quinn, Rep. Steve Santarsiero, Rep. Scott Petri, and Rep. Katherine Watson (cf. and  Though the Pa Catholic Conference calls HB/SB 300 "intolerant and prejudiced against people of faith," as many as 28 original co-sponsors are "Catholic" (i.e., Reps 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. Sens Patrick Browne, Jay Costa, Chuck McIlhinney, Lisa Boscola, Wayne Fontana, John Blake, Mike Stack, Sean Wiley, John Yudichak, and Richard Kasunic). 

Though he also identifies himself as "Catholic," Governor Tom Corbett has indicated that he would sign this legislation.

What can you do?

Email Gov. Corbett and all of Bucks County's representatives and senators in Harrisburg (i.e., 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 that they OPPOSE HB 300 / SB 300 (as well as SB 872) and SUPPORT Pa's DOMA and Admitting Privileges legislation.

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