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PA House Committee Passes Bill Forcing Doctors to Perform Sex Reassignment Surgery

Would the new legislation approved by the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee require doctors to participate in sex-reassignment medical treatment regardless of their personal beliefs?

Rep. Emily Kinkead (D-Bellevue) certainly thinks so. During the committee’s hearing, she gave an impassioned speech, at times pounding on her desk and affirming that the bill would require doctors to perform procedures that might violate their ethical or religious views.

“When you talk about whether physicians are going to be required to do X, Y, Z—yes!” Kinkead said. “If it does no harm. If it, in fact, helps people, and when we deny gender-affirming care to people who do not identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, that is causing harm, and absolutely we should be holding the doctors accountable who deny life-saving care to people.”

That was the basis of GOP objections to the bill, which amends the Human Relations Act. They said that setting aside views on LGBT issues, the law as proposed, would require doctors to participate in sex-change medical procedures, even if they oppose it on religious, philosophical, or medical grounds. Those procedures range from puberty-blocking hormones to surgeries to remove girls’ breasts and removing boys’ penises and testicles, as well as medically-unnecessary hysterectomies and shaving Adam’s apples.

Democrats brushed aside GOP concerns.

“No matter who you are or who you love, you are welcome here in Pennsylvania. No one should ever be discriminated against, treated differently, or made to feel less than a human being because of who they love or how they identify,” said committee Chair Tim Briggs (D-King of Prussia).

Sponsor Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), who is gay, said the bill was first introduced in 2001. He argued that in “too many” areas of the state, people can be discriminated against legally.

But Rep. Paul Schemel (R-Waynesboro) said he was concerned about medical freedom. He asked if doctors would be required to provide “a gender reassignment procedures such as a hysterectomy for a biological female who identifies as male?” He asked what protections were provided.

Kenyatta tried to brush aside those concerns, saying they were not “germane to the bill. What we are talking about is our Human Relations Commission” and adding “a number of protected classes.”

Schemel said a California court ruled that a law with “nearly identical” language to HB 300 required a Catholic hospital to perform a hysterectomy “on an otherwise healthy, biological female.” He also asked if the bill would require health care providers to prescribe puberty-blocking or cross-ex hormones.

“The language of this bill would put into jeopardy those who want to express their own liberty and freedoms not to require  (them) to provide puberty blockers, which is a program of treatment for gender dysphoric children, which is quickly in European nations becoming illegal.”

Kenyatta said, “I would urge you to be on the right side of history (and) reconsider telling all your constituents, no matter who they love or how they identify, that their representative represents them.” He accused Schemel of using “talking points.”

Schemel replied, “I think this is a personal attack.”

Rep. David Rowe (R-Middleburg) said there would be unintended consequences if the bill passes. A similar law is in effect in Canada, resulting in rape victims in a women’s shelter being raped again by two different men who claimed they were women to gain entrance. Under Canada’s law, they had to be admitted since they identified as women.

Rep. Chris Pielli (D-West Chester) said, “We could talk all day about the victims of our gay community and what they face.”

In the Army, many gay service members could not come out under the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law, he said. “The fact that we don’t have this bill is embarrassing. I’m doing this for all those soldiers. I’m doing this for my two kids who came out to me in high school.”

Rep. Chris Rabb (D-Philadelphia) said, “I don’t need to have a critical mass of lesbian-headed households in my district to do the right thing. I don’t need to be the father of a queer son to know what’s right. I know that none should be a second-class citizen. I’m old-fashioned that way.”

Rep. Melissa Shusterman (D-Paoli) said doctors take an oath “that includes serving and making sure people get well.” And that oath “is between them and their patients.”

It is “not something people without medical degrees should be speaking about,” Shusterman said.

Schemel spoke again, saying the legislation is not just about ensuring the rights of LGBT people, but rather, “is much more broadly drafted. It impacts a lot of areas of the law, some in conflict with others. It has broad implications for individuals who provide services.”

It “requires those in certain occupations and professions to do things they might find philosophically or morally, religiously, ethically, or medically impossible,” said Schemel. “That’s why I oppose this legislation. It’s much more broad than what’s being presented.”


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Report: Attacks on Central Bucks School Board ‘Unfounded’ Partisan Campaign

Claims that the Central Bucks School Board has engaged in discrimination against LGBTQ+ students are unfounded and based on false claims made by partisan activists, a new report released Thursday says.

The district has been embroiled in controversy since the ACLU filed a complaint against it with the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) in November.

The investigation by the Duane Morris law firm is based on a review of 23,000 pages of documents examining complaints from the ACLU and the DOE. According to Duane Morris attorney Michael Rinaldi, the firm interviewed 45 people, including principals, staff, and community members.

“The ACLU complaint has hung over this district for months now,” school board President Dana Hunter said at Thursday’s meeting. “And this board took those allegations very seriously, which is why we engaged Duane Morris to do an independent investigation.”

Among its findings, the attorneys recommended that middle school teacher Andrew Burgess be suspended without pay. Burgess allegedly told vulnerable LGBTQ+ students who sought his help to refrain from telling the principal or guidance counselors about bullying issues. Instead, Burgess allegedly created a dossier to send to DOE.

He reportedly discouraged a parent from talking to the principal, saying the principal would not act.

Burgess planned to use those students’ problems to chip away at the Republican majority school board through a planned media campaign, Rinaldi said.

Paul Martino, a parent and conservative donor whose Back to School PAC helped flip the board in 2021, called the board’s criticisms “a coordinated effort that was launched the day they lost the campaign.”

“What this report shows clearly is that the leftists in Bucks County were so mad that they lost that they were going to lie and manufacture stories so that they could get back into power in two years.

“We have all suffered because of the strategy they launched over their kitchen tables the day they lost that election in November (2021). They’re bad actors. This report makes it clear,” said Martino.

The lawyers interviewed Burgess, the middle school teacher, under oath. Rinaldi said the firm created a timeline from his emails and interviews showing Burgess’ actions.

Several of Burgess’s emails to other teachers praised Principal Geanine Saullo’s quick actions in bullying cases, belying what he told the LGBTQ+ students and the parent.

Burgess himself did not respond when asked to comment on Friday. Witold Walczak, legal director of the Pennsylvania ACLU, answered in his stead, calling the investigation “worthless.”

“A credible investigation would not have hired people who have an obvious bias against the trans and non-binary students who complained,” Walczak said.

“Credible interviewers would not have told witnesses that the district’s recent homophobic policies were legal and reasonable, or they would not have argued over that point with the witnesses.”

Rinaldi, in the report, also revealed that Democrat School Board Member Karen Smith had written an email to U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona complaining about the district and asking for help after the Republican majority passed policies that she disagreed with. The review found that Smith never told the board or administration that she had complained to DOE.

During the meeting, Smith herself complained she had not had time to read the 151-page report the law firm had produced and that even though students’ names were redacted, the facts reported could identify them.

Rinaldi also addressed claims the district was engaged in so-called “book banning,” an accusation he said was not supported by the facts.

“No book has been removed, and any removal decision will be made by professionals based on neutral, educational criteria,” Rinaldi said. “Books don’t spontaneously appear on the shelves.”

Reacting to the report, vice president Leigh Vlasblom said: “I have a board member who lied to the federal government and, in doing so, has cost this district $1 million. I would have paid $10 million to protect my children and protect my staff.

“If you come at my teachers, or you come at my administrators, or you come at my children, you’d better bet there is no price tag too big to protect them,” added Vlasblom. “So, I’m angry.”

Hunter told radio host and DVJournal columnist Dom Giordano Friday that the findings in the report are supported by “a lot of documents.”

“Everybody wonders why did the district go to these lengths?” Hunter said. “We had to go to these lengths. I believed, and I still believe, and we got the proof last night that the administrators and staff in this district care deeply for every child.”

Once Smith’s allegations went to the DOE, Hunter argued, “We had an obligation to look into those allegations and make sure our children were being properly cared for, and make sure the administrators and our staff are defended properly.”

After the Thursday meeting, parent Jamie Walker said, “Honestly, nothing that Karen Smith does shocks me. She worked very hard to keep kids out of school during COVID. She sent a doctor’s email full of incorrect information and lies about (Bucks County Health Director) Dr. (David) Damsker to our previous board and administration. She continually voted against kids being normal in school.”

Walker added, “It’s really scary that a teacher (who works at my kids’ school) would hide bullying from the administration to seek fame and hurt a school board.”

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Families Fleeing WCASD Over LGBTQ Curriculum, Dresses for Boys

At least two families have decided to remove their children from Stetson Middle School after over-the-top gay pride celebrations this year.

Jim Jacobs said he and his brother have decided to send their children to different schools because of what he believes is cultural indoctrination instead of education occurring in the West Chester Area School District.

“The last thing I wanted to do was to transfer my son for his 8th-grade year, but enough is enough,” said Jacobs. “At Stetson, there is no freedom of speech but freedom of ‘woke’ speech. The tolerance promoted by Diversity/Equity/Inclusion is not practiced towards those who have disagreements with or dare to question the ‘woke’ agenda.”

During the gay pride celebrations, boys were encouraged to wear dresses during Gay Pride Month and a male teacher taught in high heels. However, Jacobs’ son was pulled out of class for wearing Uggs that officials deemed slippers, although the youth had worn Uggs the previous year without incident.

“So my son gets disciplined for wearing Uggs (which are said to not adhere to the dress code), but boys are encouraged to wear dresses and male teachers can teach in stilettoes! Really?” Jacobs said. “I called Assistant Principal (James) DeWitt to ask if that was true. He verified it and told me that ‘boys dressing as girls and a male teacher wearing high heels is perfectly acceptable and not in violation of the dress code.’”

And DeWitt also told Jacobs, “This teacher has worn high heels on multiple occasions and that if the teacher is comfortable wearing them, then the school supports him.”

“My son told me that the same teacher who wears high heels would wave the gay pride flag and march it through the cafeteria at lunch and that this was completely accepted and encouraged,” said Jacobs. “How are these not clear-cut examples of indoctrination and the promotion of a specific social agenda?”

“The final straw was the fact that students were encouraged to wear ‘gay pride’ flags for Gay Pride Week. My son’s friends were wearing American flags, and he wanted to wear a Blue Lives Matter flag. I saw nothing wrong with that since if students are allowed to wear Gay Pride flags, others should be allowed to wear an American flag, right?

“However, a gay student opposed the American flags being worn, so Mrs. Heather Selgrath, the 8th-grade counselor, told students who were wearing American flags and Blue Lives Matter flags (my son) that they had to take them off and put them away in their lockers,” said Jacobs.

“It’s selective enforcement of the dress code,” Jacobs said. “It’s ridiculous.”

Also, Jacobs said his 12-year-old niece had to do a book report this semester, but her only option was to do one on a Black or transgendered person.

“Why?” he asked.

“My brother is flipping out,” Jacobs said. “They had his daughter wearing all this make-up and posing with another girl because that’s what they’re encouraging.”

Both Jacobs and his brother are sending their children to Catholic schools in the fall.

“Students were encouraged to take pictures with same-sex students in front of the gay pride flag at school,” he said.  There were also pictures on the wall for students to pose with. “When the LBTGQ display by the pride flag is examined closely, pictures of various individuals on the school wall can be seen,” he said.

“Googling two of their names gave extremely disturbing results,” he said. One was Frida Kahlo, “who was a Communist artist ‘regarded as an icon for Chicanos, the feminism movement, and the LGBTQ+ movement,’” he said. “And another was Bianca Del Rio, who is a drag queen comedian, ‘whose YouTube videos contain off-color raunchy, comedy routines and discuss heroin usage and men’s penises.’ One has to question the academic value of displaying these pictures in a middle school for 11 to 13-year-old children.”

“These activities and displays are unquestionable distractions and liabilities to academic learning, which should be the primary purpose of our public schools,” Jacobs continued. “Promotion of political and social agendas should be verboten. Unfortunately, freedom of speech doesn’t exist anymore in public schools such as in the WCASD…there is only freedom of ‘woke’ speech and selective enforcement of dress codes. Taxpayers should not be required to fund this nonsense.”

“This is unbelievable, crazy stuff,” Jacobs said about the school’s emphasis on LGBTQ issues. “It’s not enough to be gay. You have to be flamboyantly gay.”

Elana Fishbein, a Lower Merion resident and founder of No Left Turn in Education said, “Our schools have been completely derailed by woke people who call themselves ‘educators.’ These woke mobsters hijacked the schools and are suffocating and sexualizing our children with their perverted ideology. For them, furthering an ideology is their mission, not imparting knowledge and skill building. And while religion was chased out of school halls long ago, this ideology has become, ironically, not only a new religion but a cult. Today, they are the true schoolyard bullies.”

A spokeswoman for WASD did not respond to a request for comment.

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