Friday, December 19, 2008

AFA of PA Action Alert: Allegheny County Update; Obama's Choice for Secretary of Ed; The Soldier's Christmas Poem



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December 18, 2008


1.)     You Tube Video – The Soldier’s Christmas Poem

2.)    Allegheny County Update

3.)    Information on Obama’s Secretary of Education Choice

4.)    Passing of Paul Weyrich, Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation


1.)     Pray for our soldiers as they will soon be under the command of a new Commander-in-Chief with a different concept of the military than President Bush.  Warning – don’t try to watch this video without tissues nearby -- lbH0YqrCqY&feature=related  

2.)    On Tuesday night, at the end of a 4 ½ hour Allegheny County Council meeting, between eight and ten of us testified in opposition to Ordinance 4201-08.   (My testimony is at the end of this alert.  Each of the County Council members has received a copy of this testimony and the documentation.)  I want to thank each who took the time to attend the meeting and a special thanks to each who spoke. 


During the meeting Councilwoman Green, the sponsor of the ordinance, said that her district was entirely within the City of Pittsburgh and her constituents wanted this ordinance.  The problem with that statement is  . . . the City of Pittsburgh already HAS a human rights ordinance with the ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ language.  Apparently Pittsburgh homosexuals are not satisfied with this and are demanding that these special rights be available throughout the county.


Councilman Nicholas Futules said that he was listed as a co-sponsor of the ordinance, but had been receiving feedback from constituents and the additional information was causing him to have second thoughts about his co-sponsorship.


A special called hearing for public comment on this ordinance will take place on January 15th at 5:00 p.m. at the Allegheny County Courthouse, 436 Grant Street, Pittsburgh.  The meeting will be held on the fourth floor in the Gold Room.  Numbers are important here and we need to have more in attendance and speaking against this ordinance than those pushing for passage of this ordinance. 


3.)     President-elect Barak Obama has chosen the CEO of Chicago Public Schools as his next Secretary of Education.  Very disturbing news about  Mr. Arne Duncan includes the following: 

a.)  He approved a ‘gay high school’ in Chicago.

b.)  In 2006 under his leadership, Chicago Public Schools adopted comprehensive sex ed.  Here’ a list of ten things one sex educator believes all
     children should know before engaging in sexual activity.   Comprehensive sex education usually includes discussions about condoms,
     abortion, masturbation, homosexuality and other ‘sexual orientations’, abstinence, values neutral decision making, and sexually transmitted
     diseases.  The premise is that all teens will be sexually active and need to know what to expect.


c.)  Only 17% of eighth graders in the school system he’s been in charge of since 2001 read at grade level! 


          Barak Obama believes this man is a reformer, the question is how will he reform our nation’s schools?


4.)     Around 1:00 a.m. this morning the conservative movement lost one of our greatest leaders – Paul Weyrich, Chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation.  He has been a tremendous voice of reason in Washington, D.C. for over forty years.  He has mentored many of our current conservative leaders like Congressman Mike Pence and Congressman Roy Blunt.  Paul held a weekly Free Congress luncheon for political leaders in D.C. I knew Paul had been in poor health for the past few years and when he was in meetings I attended in Washington, D.C. his body showed the ravages of his health issues, but his mind was ever sharp and many times a calming voice during some of our more contentious meetings.  He was the conservative political leader who could tell us so much of the history of our movement and the need to maintain social and fiscal conservatism to keep our nation on the right track.  This morning I received Paul’s commentary as usual, so was shocked when later in the morning I received word of his passing.  Please keep his wife Joyce and their five children and grandchildren in your prayers. 

If there is one lesson Paul leaves behind, it is to never give up the fight!




1.)    --Please contact your Allegheny County Council member and two At-Large members.  Ask them not to support Ordinance 4201-08

From the Allegheny County home page:  “Every Allegheny County resident resides in a Council District and is represented by a Council Member from that district. They are also represented by 2 Council Members elected At Large (countywide).” 


If you don’t know who your County Council member is, click here to find that person listed by municipality.  After you find out what district number you live in, click on the “Council Members” button on the left sidebar of that page.  Here you will find the phone number of your council member. 


Don’t forget to also contact your two Council-at-Large Members  -- John DeFazio (412) 350-6516 and Chuck McCullough (412) 350-6520


== Mark January 15th 5:00 p.m. on your calendar and plan on attending this all important County Council public hearing.


2.)  Don’t forget you can now listen to Diane Gramley’s weekly radio program ‘American Family Focus on PA Issues’ on our website.  Click here


3.)  Feel free to forward this alert to other concerned Pennsylvanians.  If this alert is being forwarded to you by a friend, please feel free to sign up by clicking here.  


4.)  Please consider supporting the ongoing work of the American Family Association of Pennsylvania.  Make an online donation.


In His service,


Diane Gramley


American Family Association of PA


P.O. Box 1048

149 Summit Drive

Franklin, PA   16323

Phone:  1.814.271.9078   FAX:  1.814.437.5432


AFA of PA encourages Christians, through education, to become involved in pro-family issues in their community, state and the nation.


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Testimony -- Allegheny County Council
Diane Gramley, President, American Family Association of Pennsylvania
814.271.9078 or 814.437.5355
re Ordinance 4201-08; (12.16.08)


The American Family Association of Pennsylvania is a statewide pro-family organization, affiliated with the American Family Association, headquartered in Tupelo, MS.   I am here to lay out concerns over the proposed Ordinance 4201-08 which would amend the Allegheny County Code of Ordinances, Division 2 entitled “County Government Operations” and create a new Article V, entitled Human Relations Commission.  


This ordinance would create a human rights ordinance which deals with employment, housing, real estate practices and public accommodations.   Our concern is the definition of ‘discrimination’ which contains ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation.’  I do not believe you realize the full ramifications, if such an ordinance passes. 


Let me give you a few examples:  The inclusion of ‘sexual orientation’ would negatively impact the Boy Scout troops  in the county.   In Philadelphia the Cradle of Liberty Scout Council is facing  eviction from the headquarters they built and have maintained since 1929 on property the 1928 City Council gave them free use of ‘in perpetuity’ – forever.  Why are they facing this eviction? Because the Boy Scouts prohibit open homosexuals from being Scout leaders or members – a right the United States Supreme Court has upheld because the Scouts are a private organization.   In the 80’s Philadelphia added ‘sexual orientation’ to their ordinances.  It was almost two decades before they began making the attempt to evict the Boy Scouts based on that ordinance change.  Changes you propose would probably not have an immediate impact on the Boy Scouts of the county, but what will happen two decades down the road? 


In a February 4, 2004 Scranton Times News article Stephen Glassman, chairman of the PA Human Relations Commission, whom I understand testified in favor of this ordinance last month, agreed with the AFA of  PA’s interpretation that the passage of human rights ordinances with the ‘sexual orientation’ language would affect the Scouts ability to use government buildings, parks and facilities.   Do the people of Allegheny County want Boy Scout Troop 527 and the other troops throughout the county targeted because of the passage of this ordinance? 


There are actually many more sexual orientations – once this language is in your county laws, where does it stop - incest, bestiality, sado-masochism, where does it stop? 


“Gender identity’ laws in other areas have permitted men who think they are women to use the women’s restrooms, fitting rooms,  and, in Cleveland, OH there’s a man who thinks he is a woman who is demanding to use the women’s locker room at the city pool.  Needless to say the women who frequent the pool are upset by the idea of a man changing clothes and showering with them.  Is this the situation that County Council wants for their residents?   How do female voters in the County feel about the presence of men in their restrooms, shower facilities and fitting rooms? 


We strongly urge you to consider the full ramifications of this ordinance which is designed not to protect the civil rights of those with unchangeable characteristics, but is designed to give special rights to a small percentage of people because of the behavior in which they engage.  This ordinance is not needed.



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