Dear PA Christian schools,
Our leadership has been working with the PA Family Institute on the sexual and gender identity threats to our schools for several years.
As you know, we have been successful in pushing back legislation that would infringe upon our ability to be mission driven. However, we have a new and
immediate threat that we need you to respond to this week.
THIS IS VERY TIMELY BECAUSE THE PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD IS OVER THIS FRIDAY, MAY 26.
The PA Human Relations Commission (PHRC) is proposing a dangerous end-run around the legislature and this will seriously threaten your personal
privacy and religious liberty. Here are the details in a nutshell: For nearly 50 years, the PA Human Relations Act prohibits discrimination on the
basis of "sex." Throughout all those decades, sex has always been defined in law and practice to mean "male" and "female." Now, the PA Human
Relations Commission is looking to effectively redefine "sex" (the word as it appears in the law) to mean "sexual orientation" and "gender
identity or expression"(phrases that are not in the law).
1.MORE INFORMATION: Yesterday (Monday, May 22) we produced a webinar that was recorded; it will help schools know what to do about this
threat. Keep reading this email for additional information as well. The webinar can be viewed at the following links:
- ACSIPA Webinar (audio & video)
- ACSIPA Webinar (audio only)
2.GET YOUR COMMUNITY INTO ACTION: We have also created a Voter Voice campaign. Take a few minutes to access the
Voter Voice campign to let our legislators and the
PHRC know of our opposition to this action by the Governor and his administration. Please send an email out
immediately to your broader school community asking them to respond to the PHRC and their legislators. A suggested introduction might
Dear XYZ School Community,
3.SEND AN INDIVIDUAL EMAIL RESPONSE TO THE PHRC: (Christina Reese at email@example.com) using the
This month the PA Human Resource Commission(PHRC) has introduced guidance that would effectively redefine sex discrimination (which is
already in the law) as sexual identity and gender identity discrimination. This would be a significant challenge to our school's religious
mission to families, facilities, and employment. We are asking you to go to the ACSIPA Voter Voice Link produced by our ACSI Leadership and
let the Commission and your legislators know that this will threaten our school's mission at:
You can also find a recorded webinar on this topic and other helpful materials at acsipa.org.
Thanks, your XYZ Administrator
Based on what we've seen in other jurisdictions:
* This action would enable the PHRC to force open locker rooms and dressing rooms, showers and restrooms in schools, stores,
movie theaters, churches and businesses to those of the opposite sex that identify otherwise. To put it more simply, it would allow physical
males into women's showers and restrooms, and women into men's rooms.
* This action would empower the PHRC to prevent religious schools, ministries and other faith-oriented organizations from hiring only
those that abide by the standards established by that faith. For example, Christian schools would no longer be able to solely hire teachers and
staff members that adhere to and live by Christian teachings on human sexuality, marriage, and gender. Because if it's considered discrimination
for a school to refuse to hire someone on the basis of sexual orientation, we're going to have a hard time communicating our values to the next generation.
* This action could eventually force homeless shelters, camp cabins and school and college dorms to open up to those of the opposite
sex that identify otherwise. Imagine forcing a shelter for abused women to admit a person - male in every way, except for how he identifies -
in amongst the other residents. This proposal would empower the PHRC to force that.
What is the status of this? The PHRC just issued proposed guidance saying that it believes 'sex' means sexual orientation and gender
identity. But it is seeking comment from the public through May 26. Such comments should be sent to Christina Reese at
Schools can certainly do something more substantive than this, but a start would be to say something like:
"Our school has been serving students in our Commonwealth for decades. We bring diversity in education by providing a specifically
religious education. And, like any other employer, we seek to hire those who have a passion for our mission. But since our mission is a
religious one, we wish to hire people who share our religious teaching on human sexuality, marriage, and gender (among many other things).
We are extremely concerned that if sexual orientation and gender identity are read in any time the word 'sex' is used in the law, that we will
lose the ability to hire those who agree with us on these issues that are, for religious reasons, important to us. Moreover, gender identity has
been used in other jurisdictions (and even had guidance from the Obama administration) to force open locker rooms, restrooms and showers in many
schools. We are concerned that without adequate direction going through the legislative process, that the rights of privacy of our students will
not be maintained. For these reasons, we ask the Commission to reject the proposed guidance."
Blessings in your defense of religious liberty,
The ACSIPA Leadership Team