The Pennsylvania Pastors Network (PPN, www.papastors.net) is alerting residents about two dangerous and disturbing “bathroom bills” in the Keystone State—HB1510 in the House and its sister bill, SB974, in the Senate.
According to the Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI), the bills are among Gov. Tom Wolf’s top priorities, and the proposed laws would “force all facilities open to the public to allow persons, regardless of biological sex, access to all bathrooms, showers and changing areas.”
PPN Executive Director Gary Dull says that education is a key component to spreading the word about these potentially harmful bills.
“It is so important that pastors and church leaders take the initiative to inform their people about these pressing issues that affect every resident of Pennsylvania,” Dull said. “These proposed laws, HB1510 and SB974, are not republican or democratic issues, but rather crucial, timely and concerning for every Pennsylvania family. And these are not ‘bathroom’ issues, per se, but about protection of women and children who may be harmed by those with evil intentions who would take advantage of doors that have been opened to them by state policy. It is imperative now that we tell our friends, family members, neighbors and those in our churches about these dangerous bills. Many may not know this is happening right in our state.”
Added Sam Rohrer, president of PPN and the American Pastors Network (APN, www.americanpastorsnetwork.net), of which PPN is a state chapter, “When addressing such critical issues, pastors and all morally minded citizens must stand on the clear biblical and moral foundation. At stake is the matter of justice and moral truth. To accept such efforts to distort this reality is to sacrifice moral truth and justice based on truth. At stake is every man’s and every father’s and every person in government’s responsibility to protect our citizens from harm and predators—and particularly the most vulnerable among us: our children, our wives and our daughters. To accept such efforts to distort this reality is to retreat from those fundamental obligations of every person of integrity and character and the very essence of manhood. At stake is the defense of the matter of God-designed natural law as reflected in the biological distinctions between male and female. To accept such efforts to distort is to stand silent and to permit a full assault on God Himself! To accept such efforts to distort is to submit to the increasingly vocal and aggressive ‘Predator Enablers’ who pursue such changes. To accept such efforts to distort is to be complicit in the attack of truth itself. “
Dull recently met with members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly and a group of state pastors about the proposed bills. The result was insight on how to approach the matter from a pastoral perspective. Among the action steps is to investigate which legislators are in favor of the bill, then contact them to communicate disfavor with the proposed laws, as many lawmakers may not have considered the long-term effects.
Pastor Jamie Mitchell of Harvest Bible Chapel in Lancaster, Pa., has been working with PPN to educate churches and families about the bills. “This has nothing to do with homophobia, bigotry or hating any group of people,” Mitchell says. “This is all about common sense, protecting modesty, dignity, privacy and safety. But most importantly, this is an attack on Christian values and beliefs.”
Mitchell added that pastors and church leaders especially must unite to stop the bills in the state, and that residents must contact their legislators to let them know that the proposed laws are not in the best interest of Pennsylvania families.
Those wishing to learn more about the bills can visit the Pennsylvania Family Institute page dedicated to the issue, titled “DefendMyPrivacy.org.”
Besides learning more about the bills, concerned citizens can take action in two ways:
- Sign and share the petition.
- Contact lawmakers and urge them to say “no” to the bills (contact information at the bottom of this web page). DefendMyPrivacy.org also lists the 24 senators and 80 representatives who support the bills.
The Pennsylvania state chapter of the American Family Association also sent information to residents about the bills, stating that “(p)assage of either of these would add ‘sexual orientation and gender identity or expression’ to the PA Human Relations Act impacting employment, housing and public accommodations (i.e. bathrooms and locker/shower rooms at your local Y or public pool). … As we’ve seen in other states, passage of these bills will also force Christian business owners to participate in ‘gay weddings’ by using their God-given talent to bake cakes, provide flowers, video/photograph, etc., or be fined.”