I need you to read this! Senate Bill 613

For more than 20 years, Pennsylvania Family Council has raised concerns to lawmakers, our fellow citizens and ministry partners like you regarding proposals to create special classes in the law based on “sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.”  This is not unique to us; pro-family groups in Washington and all across the nation have also opposed such legislation because of the threat it poses to personal privacy and religious liberty.

 

Given these threats, and confusion about the issue here in Pennsylvania, I am sending you this important message:

 

Does the Bill that Sen. Wagner and Gov. Wolf Support Open Up Bathrooms, Showers & Locker Rooms to the Opposite Sex?

Is it a Bathroom Bill?

 

We’ve been receiving a lot of questions about Senate Bill 613, sponsored by Sen. Scott Wagner and strongly supported by Gov. Tom Wolf.  The bill is sometimes referred to as the “bathroom bill.”

 

Statements by the bill’s supporters – whether in public or social media have brought serious confusion about whether the proposal would put personal privacy in bathrooms, showers and locker rooms at risk.  Sen. Wagner, for example, has said “I am not supportive of boys and girls sharing bathrooms,” but continues to back the bill which many national and state groups say would jeopardize privacy, and allow the opposite sex into privacy facilities like bathrooms.

 

Let’s look at the facts:

 

Background:

SB 613 would add “sexual orientation and gender identity or expression” to the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act. Currently, there are 18 sponsors of the legislation in the State Senate, including 14 Democrats and 4 Republicans. Laws using essentially the same language elsewhere have opened up bathrooms, showers, dressing rooms, and locker rooms to persons of the opposite sex.

 

Here’s How:

Under the concept of “gender identity or expression,” a person’s gender is determined solely on the basis of what they think they are –not their anatomy. Thus, a person who is in every way physically/anatomically a male, but “identifies” as a female, under SB 613 cannot be denied entry into a women’s locker room, dressing room, shower or bathroom.

 

Others with significant expertise on the issue agree: 

 

“If sexual orientation and gender identity were added to anti-discrimination law, then public accommodations couldn’t exclude transgender people from the restrooms that correspond to their gender identity ‘any more than you could exclude Muslims’ from an establishment.”  Mariah Passarelli, a lawyer at Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC who specializes in employment and anti-discrimination law. (This firm also lobbied for this proposal).

 

“Prohibiting individuals from using restrooms consistent with their gender identity would likely be interpreted to be discrimination based on gender identity in violation of the law.” Christy Mallory, of the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, a think tank that researches sexual orientation and gender law and public policy. (March 12, 2018 Philadelphia Inquirer)

 

Based on all the evidence and experience in other states with similar laws, SB 613 (and its companion bill in the House) would result in opening up showers, locker rooms, dressing rooms and bathrooms to members of the opposite sex that identify or express themselves otherwise.  Those that care about personal privacy must oppose this legislation.

 

Additional resources:

  • Philadelphia Inquirer, Gender, bathroom wars and the Pa. GOP governor’s race: What are the issues?, March 12, 2018.
  • Citizen Action Center: Tell your State Senator and State Representative to oppose SB 613: tinyurl.com/dontharmpa

Did Netflix show kill Anna Bright?

Did Netflix show kill Anna Bright?

Monday, April 9, 2018

The hugely popular Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why, has become a lightning rod for critics who say it glorifies suicide and might even make it an attractive option for teenagers who are enduring difficult times in their lives.

Description: Image removed by sender.Watch the heartbreaking video about Anna Bright, a 14-year-old who committed suicide after binge-watching 13 Reasons Why. Anna’s parents contacted the American Family Association, asking us to help get the word out about the dangers of 13 Reasons Why. They shared their story with our film division.

On March 25, I sent a private letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, respectfully asking for a short meeting to discuss our concerns. The letter was ignored.

Season 1 was hugely popular. While it was airing last year, the web site for Teen Vogue said the series was Netflix’s most popular show on social media. Netflix plans to release a second season soon.

Read the AFA Journal feature about this series and its impact on the family of Anna Bright and others.

Even the mainstream media has publicized the potential dangers of 13 Reasons Why, and some schools here in America and abroad have sent home letters to warn parents about the series.

Those dangers are very real. The American Academy of Pediatrics says that suicide has risen to become the second-leading cause of death among teenagers.

Asking Netflix to drop this dangerous television series is the right thing to do. Please sign this petition, then share it as a way to warn other friends, family, and church members about the dangers of 13 Reasons Why.

Sign the petition demanding that NNetflix pull Season 1 of the series and cancel plans to air Season 2.

 

TAKE ACTION: Down Syndrome bill passes first hurdle. Now it’s our turn.

Moments ago, the first legislative step was taken in the Down Syndrome Protection Act – House Bill 2050 – with a passing vote out of the PA House Health Committee (17-9 bipartisan unofficial vote) chaired by State Representative Kathy Rapp. House Bill 2050 could come up on the House floor for debate as early as this Wednesday.

 

Know this: extreme abortion-on-demand advocates like Planned Parenthood were active today lobbying against this reasonable measure. Several misconceptions about this legislation are being spread through the Capitol and in the media. Your help to combat these attacks is vital to the success of the Down Syndrome Protection Act.

 

Here are three ways you can help this week to support the Down Syndrome Protection Act:

 

  1. Contact your State Representative (and State Senator) – visit their district office, call and/or email.

 

  1. Utilize our online resources to educate and share with others.  

 

 

  • Read the bill yourself – it’s a really short bill because it simply adds “a prenatal diagnosis of Down syndrome” to the Pennsylvania Abortion Control Act as a sole reason a woman cannot have an abortion. The law already states that a woman cannot have an abortion on the basis of sex selection. Passing the Down Syndrome Protection Act simply adds this additional reason. Here’s exactly what the bill states:

 

House Bill 2050“No abortion shall be deemed necessary if sought exclusively for either or both of the following reasons: (i) The sex of the unborn child. (ii) A prenatal diagnosis of, or belief that the unborn child has, Down syndrome.”

 

  1. Write a letter to the editor of your newspaper.
  • Use these resources to help craft a short response pointing to the importance of this legislation. For some tips on writing these letters, click here.

 

Thank you for taking action this week to help bring protection to unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome.

World Down Syndrome Day: A 3-minute must-watch video

Today is World Down Syndrome Day and to celebrate, would you take five minutes for the following action steps?

 

Three minutes: Watch this video.

Karen Gaffney is perhaps the most eloquent and effective advocate for protecting the rights of people with Down syndrome. She came to Pennsylvania in support of the Down Syndrome Protection Act (House Bill 2050 & Senate Bill 1050) and delivered a powerful message. We just published the following video highlighting her rally speech – click here to watch.

 

One minute: Share this video.

Gaffney’s message is one we want all of Pennsylvania to know. Whether it’s forwarding this email or sharing it on Facebook, please help us spread this message.

 

In addition, if you would request your church or small group to play this video, click here to download the video.

 

One minute: Call your State Representative in support of the Down Syndrome Protection Act.

House Bill 2050 (and Senate Bill 1050) would prohibit an abortion of any child solely due to a prenatal diagnosis of possible Down syndrome. Lawmakers won’t act on this legislation unless they hear from you and me so would you please take a minute to call your State Representative today with this simple message (and leave a message if you get their voicemail):

 

“My name is Michael and I ask for your support of the Down Syndrome Protection Act – House Bill 2050.”

 

By our records, your State Representative is John T. Galloway 215-943-7206.

 

###

 

Just as Karen Gaffney put it during the Down Syndrome Protection Act rally:

 

“It was a wave of humanity that lifted us out of institutions, brought us home, got us into schools, and included us in the community of life, ladies and gentleman. And it will require another wave of humanity to STOP the targeting of Down syndrome around the world. It requires people like you to stand up for us and with us to help us show the world that Down syndrome is a life worth saving.”

 

Archdiocese Announces the Appointment of John P. Delaney, Jr., Esq. as the New Director of The Office of Investigations

 

announcement74.pdf

announcement74.pdf

ACTION ALERT: Urge Congress to Enact the Conscience Protection Act

Call to Action
Dear Friend,

Congress will decide soon (most likely during the week of March 12) whether to include the Conscience Protection Act (CPA) in must-pass government funding legislation.    In a statement issued today, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, and Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty urge the faithful to flood Congress with emails and calls asking for enactment of the Conscience Protection Act as part of the 2018 funding bill and to pray for this outcome.  Their statement can be read here.

Your help is needed to get the word out far and wide to urge the faithful to do three things:

  1. Pray that Congress will enact the CPA and activate other prayer warriors, chains, groups, etc.

 

  1. Email and call your Senators and Representative and urge them to include the CPA in the FY 2018 appropriations omnibus bill. You can do that easily here. Calls and emails can be made/sent anytime before March 16 but sooner is better and a particular focus for action is urged on Monday, March 12. For those who don’t have access to email, Members of Congress can be reached by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asking to be connected with their Representative or Senators.

 

  1. Share this alert on social media to raise awareness and prompt action.

Thank you for all you can do to help spread the word! Sincerely, Brian Duggan Executive Director  NCHLA/HLA bduggan@nchla.org 240-478-0794 mobile Greg Schleppenbach Associate Director Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities United States Conference of Catholic Bishops

 

Archbishop Chaput’s Q and A with Crux–“Coercion in American Culture is ‘Soft’ but Real”

Earlier today Crux published the text of a Q and A with Archbishop Chaput, “Coercion in American Culture is ‘Soft’ but Real.” You can read the full text of the Archbishop’s exchange with Crux contributor Charles Camosy at the following link https://cruxnow.com/interviews/2018/02/28/chaput-coercion-american-culture-soft-real/.

 

Renewed Push + Harmful Legislation = We Need You

There is a renewed push for harmful legislation here in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, 18 State Senators and 74 State Representatives are cosponsors to legislation with dangerous consequences to your religious freedom and privacy rights – Senate Bill 613 & House Bill 1410.

 

That’s more than one third of both the State House and State Senate sponsoring a bill jeopardizing your fundamental freedoms. That is too close for such problematic legislation. Don’t let this continue.

 

So I ask: Can I count on your help?

 

  1. Will you contact your State Senator and State Representative about the harms of SB 613 & HB 1410?
  2. Will you use our free eBook [more below] to share and defend against this dangerous legislation?

 

  1. Take Action

Please contact your State Senator and State Representative and tell them to oppose SB 613 and HB 1410. We’ve made it easy to email both through our Citizen Action Center.

Click here to contact your elected officials.

 

  1. Free eBook

There have been misunderstandings circulating about on this legislation that we want to help resolve, which is why we have created an eBook containing valuable facts and insights to help inform and educate on SB 613 and HB 1410.

 

Ironically, not only would SB613 and HB1410 jeopardize your fundamental freedoms but it would also add the following line to our existing law:

 

Public policies, reflecting an open and welcoming environment and ensuring equal opportunity, foster economic growth and prosperity which benefit the inhabitants of this Commonwealth.

 

Public policies that are truly “open” and “welcoming” would provide space for all people to live and work in the public square according to their conscience. But SB 613 and HB 1410 would do the exact opposite, potentially treating good people as enemies of the state.

 

What you’ll find in this new eBook:

 

1) SB 613 / HB 1410 IS UNFAIR TO HARD-WORKING PENNSYLVANIANS.

 

FACT #1 –  SB 613 & HB 1410 would force good people to either participate in events or messages contrary to their beliefs or face crippling fines and penalties. No one should be forced to choose between their business or their faith.

 

See what’s happened around the country when states pass laws like SB613 and HB1410.

 

FACT #2 – SB 613 & HB 1410 would make it illegal for religious schools and churches to hire employees that agree with their teachings on sexuality, marriage and gender.

 

Read the eBook for more about what one State Senator says should happen to a school here in Pennsylvania.

 

2) SB 613 / HB 1410 ALLOWS MEN IN WOMEN’S RESTROOMS.

 

FACT #3 – Laws like SB 613 and HB 1410 have been used to force employers and schools to open sex-specific locker-rooms, showers and restrooms to those of the opposite biological sex.

 

While the bill does not specifically say “bathroom” it does discuss “facilities” and “privileges,” which have been read elsewhere to include restrooms, locker rooms and showers. And states like Washington have made it clear that these types of laws are vehicles to forcing open such facilities to members of the opposite biological sex.

 

Find out exactly how SB613 & HB1410 would affect bathrooms, locker rooms and shower facilities.

 

The state officials that are sponsoring this harmful legislation may certainly be driven by good intentions.  But they are now taking a law intended to prevent discrimination and amending it in a way that it can be used to punish many good people in Pennsylvania.

 

Thank you for reading this eBook and putting it to use in helping to defend religious freedom and privacy rights here in Pennsylvania.

 

One final note – the only reason this dangerous legislation has not become law yet is because of people like you getting involved. We were told in 2016 that it was a “done deal” yet you joined thousands in teaming up with Pennsylvania Family Council to make your concerns loud and clear to elected officials. And we stopped it.

 

If we are going to continue to protect religious freedom and to defend privacy rights here in Pennsylvania, it’s going to be because individuals and families came together and committed themselves to doing something about it.

 

I know with your continued partnership with us that I’ve been able to count on you as an advocate for pro-family values and I’m glad to have your help as we continue this ongoing battle. Thanks for your continued support.

 

Sincerely,

Michael Geer, President

Pennsylvania Family Council

SFC Parish Designer Bag Bingo, February 24, 2018

Designer Bag Bingo FLYER 2018

Archbishop Chaput’s Statement Regarding Shooting at High School in Parkland, Florida

 STATEMENT OF MOST REVEREND CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. CAP. 

REGARDING SHOOTING AT MARJORY STONEMAN DOUGLAS HIGH SCHOOL IN PARKLAND, FLORIDA

 

“Nineteen years ago I sat with the parents of children murdered in the Columbine High School massacre, and buried some of their dead. Nothing seems to change, no matter how brutal the cost. Terrible things happen; pious statements are released, and the nation goes back to its self-absorbed distractions.

 

The latest massacre in south Florida requires two things from all of us. We need to pray for the victims and their families because — as I witnessed firsthand at Columbine — their suffering is intense and long lasting. And we need to be angry: angry at our lawmakers for doing so little to prevent these catastrophes; angry at our news and entertainment media for simultaneously feeding off these tragedies and fueling them with a steady stream of sensationalism and moral incoherence; angry at ourselves for perversely tolerating these things, and then forgetting them until the next round of violence.

 

This is Lent. As a people, we have a lot to repent and confess. And let’s not lie to ourselves that tighter gun restrictions — as vital and urgent as they now are — will solve the problem. We’ve lost our respect for human life on a much broader scale, and this is the utterly predictable result.”

 

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.

Archbishop of Philadelphia

 

newsrelease25.pdf

newsrelease25.pdf