Monthly Archives: July 2014

From a U.S. perspective, sexual harassment in the workplace still exists, and it is under better control due to stricter rules and regulations put in place by companies and businesses to protect employees against this invasive behavior. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) describes sexual harassment as a form of gender discrimination that is in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

In 1998, the U.S. Supreme Court made employers more liable for sexual harassment of their employees. As a result, most companies offer sexual harassment prevention training programs and 97% have a written sexual harassment policy. The number of grievances filed with the EEOC has gradually decreased over the last decade. Approximately 15,000 sexual harassment cases are brought to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) each year. According to them, the number of sexual harassment complaints filed by men has more than tripled in recent years. Currently, approximately 11% of claims involve men filing against female supervisors. In the mid 2000’s, grievances dropped to under 12,000. It has been estimated that only 5 to 15% of harassed women formally report problems of harassment to their employers or employment agencies such as the EEOC.

Counselors in the workplace are often the first person an employee seeks out when someone is acting inappropriately to him or her. In a recent survey, only 29% of women who said they tried to ignore overt sexual suggestions responded that it ‘made it better’. Over 61% of the women said that what made it better and was most effective, was to tell the offender firmly and directly — to "STOP IT".

There are many offenses of sexual harassment; sexual harassment is not about sex and what bothers one person won’t necessarily bother someone else. Some think that any unwanted touch, sexual comments, or sexual attention is considered sexual harassment. Communicating and telling someone that these acts are offensive to you, may stop the action right then and there. Some people ‘test the waters’ and see how far they can go with individuals in the office.

Also, the above conduct is not sexual harassment if it is welcome or permitted. If you flirt back and indulge in exchanging off-color jokes, it is not sexual harassment if you decide a joke went ‘over the line’ and offended you. You’ve already given out liberal boundaries. It is important to communicate (either verbally, in writing, or by your own actions) to the harasser that the conduct makes you uncomfortable and that you want it to stop.

Sexual harassing behavior may be common, but it is not "normal" Here are some examples:

1] Verbal or written: Comments about yours or others’ clothing, or your personal behavior, or a person’s body; sexual or sex-based jokes; requesting sexual favors or repeatedly asking a person out; sexual innuendoes; telling rumors about a person’s personal or sexual life; threatening a person.

2] Physical: Assault; impeding or blocking movement; inappropriate touching of a person or a person’s clothing; kissing, hugging, patting, stroking.

3] Nonverbal: Looking up and down a person’s body; derogatory gestures or facial expressions of a sexual nature; or following a person.

4] Visual: Posters, drawings, pictures, screensavers or emails of a sexual nature; most companies have standards of what you can put on your walls.

If the offensive actions above are directed to you, then the following is suggested:

1] Demand that the specific behavior stop. Be direct, firm and say "NO".

2] Don’t make excuses why you don’t want the behavior; this implies that you would would welcome it otherwise. Don’t protect the harasser or pretend nothing has happened; it has.

3] Stand by your principles and state them. Harassers are good at making excuses and wanting to talk about it. Refuse to discuss the issue with them or be manipulated into thinking you are the wrong one.

4] The focus is on the harasser’s behavior - not yours.

5] Be strong; make eye contact and stand tall. Don’t smile - this is serious; not a social visit. If the harasser tries to make physical contact with you, grasp his or her arm away and say, "NO". "DO NOT TOUCH ME".

6] Tell others about the ordeal(s). If you are silent, it not only protects the harasser, but may instill him or her to be bolder.

The conduct of the harasser must either be severe or it must be pervasive to be sexual harassment. A single incident is probably not sexual harassment unless it is severe. If you feel it is, document any harassments and keep a log of when and what happened; include dates and if there were any witnesses. Save your emails on a CD and bring it home. Also bring home any notes, mail or emails that are related even if they are anonymous.

Try to have a buddy available as a deterrent or as a witness when this person tries to approach you. Document any actions involving your harassment if the harasser is in a supervisory position and subsequently gives you a poor evaluation or demotions, and keep copies of them. Likewise, keep similar positive evaluations or performance appraisals before the alleged incidents that will show changed behavior of the perpetrator’s part.

Go ahead with formal complaints with Human Resources and EEO, if it continues. Try to have as much documented proof and/or witnesses who can verify what has happened or seek others who may have had the same problem with the harasser. Consult with a legal entity if you suspect violence or stalking. Remember to stay calm. You did nothing wrong. Staying calm is important to your cause so as not to create a hostile environment in the workplace that it becomes a problem for the department and you become the problem, too. The harasser is hoping you do that to keep the spotlight off of them. The odds are on your side to have this situation remedied.

True Case: A long-time married employee kept asking another married employee for constant coffee breaks, lunch, dinner, etc. She always turned him down. She came to Human Resources when she asked him not to keep coming to her office and he still did, still asking. He started to put his arm around her and she asked him not to. She filed a complaint. She noticed one weekend that he was driving around her neighborhood although he lived a far distance away from her. She filed a complaint with EEO and he was terminated; he lost his benefits as he was under retirement age and subsequently was divorced.

If you are being sexually harassed, do something today. You won’t lose your job. Don’t think it will go away, or worry if it is a supervisor or high level manager, that you will lose your job. You won’t. But they might.

references: Sexual Harassment Support ; and

Marie Coppola Revised July 2014

The notary public is said to the oldest branch of the legal profession that exists in the world.

The office of the notary goes back to the Roman Empire and early history of the Catholic Church. The Romans developed the office and from that the Church devised it’s own system to handle civil matters after the fall of the Roman Empire.

The word notary is derived from Latin ‘nota’ — a system of shorthand developed by M. Tullius Tiro (103-3 B.C.) This method was used for agreements, conveyances and other instruments and they were described as ‘notarius’. Notarii were semi-officials whose numbers grew as the empire grew into a guild or company that had limited supervision, regulations and fees.

Notarii were also officers of the Catholic Church and Pope Clement IV appointed seven in Rome to describe the acts of martyrs who might suffer there. Later it was declared that the papal notaries could act in any country.

Notaries were known in England during the Middle Ages but since the law did not require deeds or other instruments in common use to be prepared, they were not needed by medieval law and therefore, not recognized. During the 17th century, common law became the supreme body of of law in England and the office of notary public became less important.

The settlers who left England to find a new life in the new world, brought with them the common law of England including the notary public. They were described as "…a notary public. who confirms and attests the truth of any deed or writing, in order to render the same more credible and authentic in any country whatever. And he principally made use of in courts of judicature and business relating to merchants. For a notary public is a certain kind of witness, and therefore, ought to give evidence touching such things as fall under his corporeal senses, and not of such matters as fall under the judgement of the understanding."**

The early colonial charters started enacting laws affecting the office of the notary public. They designated an officer who was authorized to appoint notaries, defined their duties, settled their fees, and provided territorial limits of their jurisdiction and other matters.

So what do you do to become a Notary Public? It varies depending on which state you live in, and in other countries. Some countries require educational requirements or additional information. Since I was a notary in New Jersey, I will list that state’s requiremernts and rules to give you a flavor of qualifications, rules and responsibilities. Other states’ requirements and rules can be found on the web or at your town hall offices.

Example of one state:   Qualifications to be a Notary Public in the State of New Jersey:

must be 18 years or older.

must be a resident of New Jersey or a resident of an adjoining state who maintains, or is regularly employed in, an office in this State.

must not have been convicted of a crime under the laws of any state or the United States, for an offense involving dishonesty, or a crime of the first or second degree.

A notary public is appointed (commissioned) by the State Treasurer for a five-year period, and is sworn into office by the clerk of the county in which he/she resides. (usually a $25.00 fee). Appointments can be renewed for subsequent five-year periods.

Services that a duly commissioned and qualified (sworn) Notary Public performs in any county in N.J.:

Administer oaths and affirmations;  take acknowledgments; execute jurats for affidavits and other verifications; take proofs of deeds


The majority of notaries perform acknowledgements - witnessing the signature of a person or persons. To execute legally, these steps are necessary:   1) That the signer of a document appear before the notary, (you cannot acknowledge the signature of someone who is not present - not even a husband or a wife - you may be signing their house away without their knowledge!)   2) That the notary positively identify the signer, (as stated above, notaries cannot accept a previously signed/dated copy without witnessing the signature) and 3) That the signer both acknowledge the signature as his/hers, and that the signature is made willingly.

Identification documents are not required if: 1) the signer is personally known to the Notary, or 2) a credible witness, known to both the signer and notary, swears to the identity of the signer.

If the signer is not personally known, the notary ensures the signer appears before him/her and presents at least one form of identification that provides a physical description of the signer– ie., driver’s license.

Responsibilities of the Notary:

The notary reviews the document presented for completeness. This is not a formal legal review, such as would be performed by an accountant or an attorney. Rather, it is a review to ensure that there are no blanks in the document. Should blanks be discovered, the signer must either fill them in or strike them out by drawing a line or "X" through them. It is a quick view; the notary need not know the contents of the instrument; he/she merely is witnessing that the identified singer actually signed it.

Ensure that the signer understands the title of the document and is signing freely and willingly. By obtaining positive ID and asking brief questions as to the title and basic substance of the document, the notary can make these determinations.

Sign, date, and stamp an acknowledgment certificate The notary’s ink stamp should include the date on which the notary’s commission expires. The stamp should be placed next to, but not over, the notary’s signature. (If the notary does not have an ink stamp, his/her name and commission expiration date must be printed or typed on the certificate as indicated.)

Make a journal entry. *This is key and very important. The jornal entry provides evidence and an audit trail thereby protecting both the notary and the general public. Required information includes: 1. date and time of notary act, 2. type of act (i.e., acknowledgment), 3. title of document, 4. date document was signed, 5. signature; printed name and address of each signer, and if applicable, each witness, and 6. form of ID — e.g. identification document, personal knowledge, or credible witness.

Note: Journals should be bound to prevent tampering. Journals may be obtained from stationers or professional associations.

Charge only the statutory fee ($2.50). Actually, most notaries supply services free of charge, especially in corporate or banking settings. I have seen notary fees for $15.00 or $25.00 in some business establishments.

Actions Notaries are prohibited from doing:

Never pre-date an action. The notary may never date an action (acknowledgement, jurat, etc.,) prior to the execution (signature) date appearing on the document involved.

Never lend a journal, stamp, or other personalized notary equipment to another individual.

Never prepare a legal document or give advice on legal matters, or matters pertaining to land titles. This includes the preparation of pleadings, affidavits, briefs and any other submissions to the court.

Never, in the capacity as a notary public, appear as a representative of another person in a legal proceeding.

Never, in the capacity as a notary public, act for others in the collection of delinquent bills or claims.


**Reference: Manual for Notaries Public of New Jersey/American Society of Notaries; NEW JERSEY NOTARY PUBLIC MANUAL

Marie Coppola © July 2014


Question:   Where does the Catholic Church stand on images of Christ, statues of saints, pictures of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Our Lady of Guadalupe, etc.? Is it wrong for me to have these items in my home?     I know that our Church does not worship idols. Yet I would like some more information on what we believe.

Answer:  When I was a young man, I read a story by Stephen Vincent Benét titled “By the Waters of Babylon.” The mood was one of a traveler finding the ruins of a previous civilization. Throughout the story the hero kept coming across an idol of the God Ashing. At story's end, the reader discovers Benét has looked into the future and the city of New York, after some great catastrophe. The “idol” is simply the ruins of a bust of George Washington.

My point is simply that people can misinterpret, misconstrue and fail to understand what others are doing or have done.

The next time someone criticizes your use of statues, or accuses you of idolatry, you might ask him if he has a picture of his wife or children in his wallet. If he says yes, ask him why he is worshiping them.

Or ask him if he thinks all those tourists going out to see the Statue of Liberty in New York, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., or the faces of the presidents on Mount Rushmore are guilty of idolatry.

Those statues, like pictures of George Washington in so many courthouses, are ways of honoring heroes from the past. They put us in touch with great people in our history. They become occasions for teaching children about the past and offering examples of great citizens.

Stained-glass windows, statues and paintings have long served these same purposes in the Church. Crucifixes and statues of the Good Shepherd or Sacred Heart remind us of Jesus’ sacrifice and love for us. Statues of Mary and the saints recall the heroism of the saints and suggest to us what we should strive to become.

They are occasions for telling the children of today about the real saints and heroes of the past, for telling children what it means to live out their faith and religion. To all of us they offer the occasion to reflect and pray on the action of God in our lives. They help us to better sentiments of piety, call upon us to express our own faith and love. In honoring the saint we honor God who has worked such good and holy things in and through the saint.

From St. Anthony Messenger; Ask a Franciscan.  Return to

Marie Coppola July 2014

 By Gisele Roy and Christopher Doyle:    From their Featured Article:

 What is truth?   10 myths propagated by gay activists debunked


.........So let’s look at what Gay activists define as truths (here named ‘myths’) and see what the objective realities are. 

Myth #1: People are born gay. 

There is very little credible scientific evidence that people are born with a “gay gene” or even a “pre-disposition” to become homosexually attracted.

Objectively, scientists have confirmed that identical twins [who share the same DNA] are not always both heterosexual, nor are they both homosexual. If there were a gene to determine sexual orientation, or “gay gene,” this would occur. In fact, Meta analysis of studies examining identical twins yield percentages (of identical twins being both gay) as being less than 12%. This means that about 88% of the time, they are not both gay! Therefore, there must be a variety of post-natal factors that contribute to homosexual feelings.

Objectively, researchers have concluded that sex awareness does not even develop until the age of 18 months. Between the ages of 18 months to 36 months, a child becomes aware of differences in their sex and identifies more with the same or opposite sex. 

Objectively, among other factors, theorists believe that sex confusion may first result (subconsciously) when a child’s same-sex parent is absent, [emotionally and/or physically], or when the same-sex parent and/or peers cause(s) the child to experience negative emotional reactions/trauma when they are together. 

These factors, among others, may contribute to the later development of same-sex attractions. But if you don’t believe me, read Dr. Neil Whitehead’s My Genes Made Me Do It! A Scientific Look at Sexual Orientation. 

Myth #2: The only definition for a change in same-sex attraction is to never be attracted to the same sex again.

Objectively, using this definition does not make sense. Anyone who uses his brain makes memory paths, and sooner or later will find him/herself remembering. Using the “…never attracted to the same sex again” definition of “change” would really alter the definition of “change” in many instances. For example: 

“Gee, I haven’t had a cigarette for 10 years, but I still think about it and I even crave one every once in a while. But now that this definition says I can’t ever crave a cigarette to be cured, I must still be a smoker. According to this definition, I’ll never be a non-smoker, even if I live to be 100 and never have another puff.”“

“Gee, I haven’t had a drop of liquor in over 30 years, but today, I thought about having a tall one. So I guess I’m not really sober. As long as I think I might like a drink, I’ll always be a hopeless drunk.”“

“Gee…. Even though I’ve realized that I was treated like a girl from day one, was constantly raped by the men next door, and was taunted by my same-sex peers, and I’ve come to understand that I had physical and emotional childhood wounds… and even though I have worked hard to deal with them and have moved on with therapy…. and even though I am now really turned on by my wife…. and am happily married with four children…. if I ever have a passing thought about a man looking good, I’m still obviously gay and have not changed.””

Using such a narrow definition of change, as many gay activists do, would result in many individuals who struggle with a variety of issues to admit they have not indeed changed. This would include any type of addiction, where relapse throughout the recovery process is a reality. However, when one takes into account that change means reducing, decreasing, or diminishing the frequency and intensity of same-sex attractions, and increasing opposite-sex attractions (in some cases, this change might be even more dramatic since there may have been none before therapy) then tens of thousands have changed. 

Myth #3: Any same-sex attracted person who says he or she has “changed” is in denial, is lying, and is sure to come back to his gay lifestyle. 

Let’s look at the objective evidence. Testimonies from ex-gays prove otherwise. Check out a few from the following websites:

1.Voice of Change

2.LDS/Mormon Voices of Hope

3.Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays Stories of Change

4.Dennis Jernigan’s Story of Change

5.Prodigal Magazine

6.Homosexual Anonymous Testimonies of Change

7.The Heart of the Father Ministries

8.International Healing Foundation: Real Stories of Healing

9.JONAH Stories of Change

10.The Third Way: Homosexuality and the Catholic Church

Myth #4: Not making LGBT support, counseling, and books available is tantamount to discrimination, bias and censorship. Yet, not making ex-gay support, ex-gay counseling, and ex-gay books available are morally responsible acts. We must not allow our children to be exposed to “hurtful” stories of change.

 In their efforts to “protect” youth, gay activists routinely censor literature that presents an alternative to the “born that way” theory. While they promote equality for LGBT individuals, they deny equality to anyone with an opposing viewpoint. The old Orwellian theme: “All animals are equal except some animals are more equal than others” is their modus operandi. 

Objective Truth: Censorship is censorship. No matter how much an individual or group might dislike an opposing viewpoint does not give that individual or group the rights to censor. Sexual Orientation Change Effort (SOCE) therapy has helped thousands of individuals to overcome, reduce, and/or diminish their unwanted same-sex attractions. For more information, see: Successful Outcomes of SOCE Therapy by Dr. James Phelan.

Myth #5: If you speak in favor of SOCE therapy or speak against homosexual behavior, you are attacking a protected minority group (LGBT) and should be sued, because after all, science has determined homosexuality is hard-wired, and therefore, offering or supporting SOCE therapy to help those with unwanted SSA change is impossible and therefore criminal.

The idea that my attacking an issue is attacking a minority group is propaganda at its best. George Orwell said: “Political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” 

Objective Truth: Discussing an issue such as sexuality and presenting logical and reasonable viewpoints is not attacking a person (argumentum ad hominem). For example, many people are atheists. If I give reasons why I believe in God, does this attack atheists personally? Should they sue me or put me in jail? No, they should say what they think, and I will defend their right to say it. I certainly won’t sue them for their views. 

But that is exactly what the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is doing to a small non-profit organization, Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (JONAH). Claiming that their coaching and therapeutic services are tantamount to Consumer Fraud, the SPLC recruited several former unsuccessful clients of JONAH and brainwashed them to believe they had been “harmed” by their therapy because they did not experience the change they were supposedly promised. For more information, visit the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund online.

Freedom of speech and conscience is guaranteed by the Constitution and allows us to put all the cards on the table. We are all entitled to believe what we want, and debate those ideas in the free marketplace of ideas. May the truth win out! 

Myth #6: Since gays can marry in many states and have equal status under the law, their families are equivalent to heterosexual families

Objective, biological truth: Only a man and a woman can co-create another human being and can give a child the benefit of having a male father and a female mother. Gay marriage does not provide all of the advantages to children as heterosexual households. While gay activists will point to a recent Australian study that supposedly shows that children of homosexual couples fare the same, or actually better, than those of straight couples, this study was actually based on a convenience sample, not a random sample, such as that produced by Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas, whose study found that among every outcome studied, children of homosexual parents were worse off than children of heterosexual parents. For more information, click here.    

Myth #7: It’s not OK to bully gays; but it’s OK to bully, slander and ridicule ex-gays.

Objective Truth: It’s not OK to bully, slander, or ridicule anyone. Because gays are very vocal and quite prominent and over-represented in the media, their voices are very loud and strong. This results in gay media personalities often promoting gay causes, such as anti-bullying, tolerance, and outright promotion of LGBT causes in schools and in the workplace. For example, a recent survey at Chase Bank asked employees to check a box (yes or no) if they were an “ally” of the LGBT community. Who knows what may happen to employees if they don’t check the box. Perhaps they’ll end up like recently fired former Mozella Corporation CEO Brendan Eich, who donated $1,000 to California’s Proposition 8 law in 2008, only to be pressured to resign years later because of his unpopular political views. For more information, click here. 

At the same time, it is unthinkable for schools to promote tolerance for ex-gays or promote materials that present many sides of the sexual orientation issue. For example, two school districts in Maryland have been openly hostile to ex-gay views. Montgomery County denied flyers from Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays and Gays (PFOX) to be distributed to students under their non-profit distribution program, yet allowed gay-affirming organizations to promote LGBT causes in their district. Similarly, officials at Prince George’s County in Maryland removed the Acception: Bullying Prevention Film and Health Curriculum after being pressured from gay activsts because it contained information that supported students with unwanted same-sex attraction who desired to change their sexual orientation. 

Myth #8: The Bible Approves of Homosexuality

Objective Truth: Having same-sex attraction is not a sin. According to the Bible, acting on it is. You can’t be lukewarm about this. Jesus said that He would spit you out of His mouth. Let’s look at the bible.

Corinthians 6:9-11 says: “Can you not realize that the unholy will not fall heir to the kingdom of God? Do not deceive yourselves: no fornicators, idolaters, or adulterers, no sodomites, thieves, misers, or drunkards, no slanderers or robbers will inherits God’s kingdom. At such were some of you; but you have been washed, consecrated, justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and in the spirit of our God.” (NAB)”

While many gay activists have tried to justify homosexual behavior by reinterpreting scripture, Biblical scholars have rejected such theories. For more information, read: “Welcoming But Not Affirming: An Evangelical Response to Homosexuality” by Stanley Grenz.

Myth #9: Anyone who disagrees with the LGBT philosophies is a bigot or homophobe.

Objective Truth: Name-calling is another propaganda technique. Anyone who disagrees with the LGBT philosophies is an individual with different views, but this does not make their views hate speech. However, the SPLC continues to label organizations that oppose homosexual behavior, including Family Resource Council, American Family Association, and Liberty Counsel, as “Hate Groups” on their website. Until recently, the FBI used the SPLC as a resource to identity legitimate hate groups, but has now dropped the group from its resources. 

Myth #10: You Can’t “Pray Away the Gay.”

Objective Truth: Agreed! You can’t pray away the gay. You have no power. You can pray that God shows you the meaning of your same-sex attractions so you can resolve the issues that lead to their development. If God desires you to change, it can happen! There is hope. John 10:10 says: “I came that they might have life and have it to the full.” You also can be led by the Spirit to find grace, peace, chastity, and healing. God alone changes hearts. May His will be done!

Gisele Roy is a parent of a son in his twenties who has unwanted SSA and is a member of the Advisory Board of Voice of the Voiceless. Christopher Doyle is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and President of Voice of the Voiceless. For more information, visit: