North Carolina Family Policy Council
As pro-homosexual activists gear up to oppose a Marriage Protection Amendment in North Carolina, an impressively broad array of religious leaders have signed an “open letter to all Americans,” affirming the definition of marriage as only between one man and one woman, and warning of the significant threat that marriage redefinition poses to both religious freedom and “the common good.” Released on January 12 by the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE), the letter, “Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together,” is signed by religious leaders from a variety of faiths, including: Leith Anderson, President of the National Association of Evangelicals; Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Bishop David Burton, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; Dr. Richard Land, President of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission; Commissioner William Roberts, National Commander of The Salvation Army; Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; and Nathan Diament, Executive Director for Public Policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Conference of America, among others.
In addition to affirming that “marriage in its true definition must be protected for its own sake and for the good of society,” the letter also warns of “the grave consequences of altering this definition,” specifically, “the interference with the religious freedom of those who continue to affirm the true definition of ‘marriage.’” It explains that the “most urgent peril” of redefining marriage is not ministers being forced to preside over same-sex wedding ceremonies, but the “forcing or pressuring both individuals and religious organizations—throughout their operations, well beyond religious ceremonies—to treat same-sex sexual conduct as the moral equivalent of marital sexual conduct.” The letter continues, “There is no doubt that the many people and groups whose moral and religious convictions forbid same-sex sexual conduct will resist the compulsion of the law, and church-state conflicts will result.”
As examples of the church-state conflicts, the letter mentions religious adoption services being forced or compelled to place children with same-sex couples, religious marriage counselors being denied their professional accreditation for refusing to support same-sex relationships, religious employers being forced to provide health benefits to same-sex couples, and “the targeted withdrawal of government co-operation, grants or other benefits,” all of which have already occurred in states where marriage has been redefined.
The letter concludes by noting that, “Marriage and religious freedom are both deeply woven into the fabric of this nation,” and encouraging “all people of good will to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to consider carefully the far-reaching consequences for the religious freedom of all Americans if marriage is redefined.”
“As the open letter from America’s faith leaders warns, the redefinition of marriage poses a real threat to religious freedom and to society as a whole,” said Bill Brooks, president of the North Carolina Family Policy Council. “We need to remind our family, friends, congregations, and neighbors about that threat as we engage in conversations with them about the importance of the definition of marriage over the next few months leading up to the vote in the May 8 primary.”
This story was used by permission of the North Carolina Family Policy Council