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(LifeSiteNews) — Your Excellencies:

Although I am currently a candidate for state office in New York, I offer this open letter to my Shepherds with the utmost respect and as a loyal son of the Church, not as a politician, respectfully seeking your spiritual leadership. And while many will argue that the bishops should not get involved in what I am requesting for fear that you will be tearing down that supposed invisible wall between “Church and state,” but to not get involved will almost guarantee passage of a constitutional amendment that will assuredly cause great harm to the people of New York state (NYS).

Now, in order for an amendment to be codified into the state Constitution, a bill must be passed in two consecutive legislative sessions, by both the NYS Senate and NYS Assembly. But my intent here is not to educate the episcopate on the NYS Constitutional amendment process, but to alert you to the very serious threat on the horizon with the proposed “Equality Amendment.” Now, this proposed amendment easily met the legislative requirements described above, mind you with the support of several legislators who profess the Catholic faith, and although there is currently litigation challenging the legislative process, unless that lawsuit is successful, this bill will be on the ballot in November as Proposition 1.

The word “equality” usually suggests fairness and conjures up a healthy feeling of patriotism, but attached to this bill it is pure evil. The Equality Amendment would not only codify abortion into the NYS Constitution, which, by the way, as you know is already legislatively the law of the land, but it will also introduce a new set of protected classes, among them age and gender identity. These newly created classes will eventually, and most assuredly, usurp parental rights — in fact, I personally believe it was the intent of the amendment in the first place. While I’m neither a lawyer nor a constitutional expert, it is clear that the language is intentionally vague, as it cites no specific age restrictions, and without this guard rail in place we should anticipate the very real possibility that minor children who are undergoing gender dysphoria – 80 percent of whom will eventually outgrow – could obtain life-altering, and in some cases, irreversible medical procedures, with absolutely no need to obtain parental consent, as the state now takes on that role. But let me be very clear, even with parental involvement, affirming someone’s mental disorder, by injecting puberty blockers or cutting off the heathy body parts of a 13-year-old child is still “evil,” reminiscent of Dr. Mengele.

The proposal also threatens religious freedom across the state – perhaps forcing religious institutions to participate in religious ceremonies hostile to their faith tradition. While supporters of this amendment will argue that the sponsors of the bill drafted language intended to prevent this, they cannot guarantee that lawsuits against religious communities, most especially those who do not bend a knee to the Zeitgeist, will not be forthcoming. If this bill passes, you should probably expect a knock at your office door from a same-sex couple demanding to be married in your diocese, and when you refuse, well, let’s just say you should probably expect another knock shortly thereafter from a process server delivering you a subpoena. “You’ve been served – see you in court”!

And how do you think this will impact women’s athletics, especially in light of the recent dismantling of Title IX by the Biden Administration? It will no doubt have an enormously negative impact on women’s athletic programs in high schools and universities across the state. As a father of two former high school female athletes, I can guarantee you one thing: If a young man with gender dysphoria would have walked on to the playing field in a competitive soccer game against my daughters, I would have pulled them off that field immediately.

Now, the proponents of this bill, which includes Planned Parenthood, have already amassed a $20 million war chest, and the only group that I am aware of which is fighting this proposition is “The Coalition to Protect Kids-NY,” but with a shoestring budget and with minimum exposure, their efforts are dwarfed by their opponent’s high public profile and huge bankroll. And although the New York State Catholic Conference has already partnered with this organization, they have yet to take on the much-needed leadership role required to defeat this referendum.

So, in order to win this battle, we need every one of good faith to get involved, most especially you, the successors of the Apostles, and choosing to sit this one out is not an option in my humble opinion – because, if you do, this proposal is sure to pass. Now, if you consider Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s warning that “silence in the face of evil is itself evil,” then you cannot remain silent, or should you compel your priests to remain silent either; in fact, you should encourage them to boldly speak the truth about this evil amendment, because as Scripture encourages us, “Lord, take note of their threats, and enable your servants to speak Your word with all boldness” Acts 4:29

Prayerfully in Christ,

Tom Lapolla

Tom Lapolla is a former New York City Fire Department Battalion Chief who was forced to retire early due to the city’s strict COVID-19 vaccine mandate.


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