PA Family Council and Other Voter's Guides at Polling Places in Pennsylvania
Rachel Tabachnick printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 02:18:59 PM EST
PhotobucketThe photo at right is the polling place for Pittsburgh's 19th Ward, District 6, at Grace Episcopal Church on Sycamore Street. [This church is a member of the Anglican Church in North America and no longer Episcopal. See author's note at end of article.] Voters enter the church and then must pass the table shown as they enter the voting area.  A stack of 2012 Voter's Guide with the words "AN IMPARTIAL, NON-PARTISAN GUIDE TO THE NOVEMBER 6TH ELECTION" are displayed on the table.

The guide is from the Pennsylvania Family Council, the legislative arm of the Pennsylvania Family Institute, the state's affiliate of the Family Research Council (FRC) and Focus on the Family.  I'm also following reports of other material at polling sites in Western Pennsylvania, including from Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition and from Life PAC of Southwestern Pennsylvania.


The FRC is led by Tony Perkins, who boasts about his role in writing the RNC platform, including the call for constitutional amendments to define marriage and to provide legal personhood at the moment of conception.  The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated the organization as a hate group based on its' demonization of the LGBT community and use of false claims "based on junk science and discredited research."

The issues covered in the Voter's Guide are: abortion and other reproductive issues; gay rights; the Affordable Care Act; school vouchers; cap and trade; stem cell research; and pornography.

A quick glance at the PA Family Council/PA Family Institute website will confirm that the organization is not "impartial." Photos of the PA Family Council Voter's Guide follow.





[Author's note: As a reader has pointed out this church is no longer Episcopal, but a member of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Anglican Church in North America. This is one of many churches that have broken away from the Episcopal Church in the U.S. and are now in communion with Anglican churches of Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and South America. The archbishop of ACNA is Robert Duncan, bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh.]

about electioneering within a certain distance of a polling place ought to apply here.  I suggest calling one of the election protection hotlines.

A quick warning fax from Americans United to the church about the risk to their tax status ought to take care of it as well.

by Frederick Clarkson on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 03:07:53 PM EST

This has been reported along with the other polling places with voter's guides and media.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 03:49:29 PM EST
It is great to document the violations.

It is also great to know that there are things that can and are being done about them.

by Frederick Clarkson on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 04:00:13 PM EST

if anything is actually done.  I've been hearing of violations - like preachers from around the country telling their followers who to vote for, yet I rarely hear of any such churches or organizations loosing their tax exemption (I know it's happened, but it seems to be VERY rare, while the violations of the law - we hear of them all the time).

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:26:14 AM EST

Does Pittsburgh have no such laws? And if not, why?

by Jafsie on Tue Nov 06, 2012 at 10:01:44 PM EST

that in some ways It's almost a Miracle that President Obama won and that we didn't have our freedom yanked out right from under us by the dominionists.

Over the last week, I've been reading of or hearing about all sorts of really nasty and dirty tricks in favor of the Republican party.  Yesterday morning, for instance, robocalls were going out from the Pinellas County supervisor of elections (Republican) telling people to vote "Tomorrow"... which would have been today.

It could have been a glitch... but I have my suspicions.

This seems to have happened in every state, and yet President Obama won.  (Huge sigh of relief here!)

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:40:42 AM EST

this time. Furthermore the reporting of such efforts on various news and social media was extensive and viral.
The Catholic bishops put their feet in it by commanding, via pastoral letters, Catholic congregants to vote solely on abortion and gay marriage.

Badger the voters enough, and they/we get ornery!

by NancyP on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 11:49:35 AM EST

They are relying on outmoded authority structures. Why should I let the same men who protected pedophiles dictate my vote as a Catholic?

by khughes1963 on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 12:54:28 PM EST

I believe this church is NOT an Episcopal Church but, rather, is part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). If so, this church is among those that splintered off from the traditional Episcopal Church in the United States over issues regarding women and openly gay priests. "The ACNA is not yet a member of the Anglican Communion, but it is in full communion with the Anglican churches of Nigeria, Uganda, and Sudan and is affiliated with the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans" per Wikipedia. Rick Warren addressed its inaugural assembly. Please don't confuse this church with a traditional Episcopal Church. Thank you!

by BaileyinMI on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 06:43:41 PM EST
The name is still listed as Grace Episcopal Church in all of the voter materials, but it is now "Grace Church" and part of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh and the Anglican Church of North America.

Thanks for pointing this out.

by Rachel Tabachnick on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:57:33 PM EST

I wasn't smart enough to take a picture of it, but the electronic voting machine in my joint precinct (borough/township) had taped INSIDE of it a decidedly partisan flyer announcing the proper way to vote a Pro-Life ballot. It was a current listing; I want to suspect it was done before the machine was delivered. Alas, what probably happened was one of the voters before me slipped it in while voting. It's the only time in 2 primary/4 federal election cycles I've seen any kind of violation. I should have pointed it out to the Judge of Elections, but I was in a rush.

by RevRuthUCC on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 10:05:03 PM EST

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