Christian Leaders Respond to Legalization of Gay Marriage in Mass.

Federal Marriage Amendment: "Our last, best chance to preserve marriage for future generations."
( [email protected] ) May 18, 2004 02:53 PM EDT

In response to legalization of issuing gay marriage licenses to gay couples in Massachusetts, Christian leaders representing church, pro-family advocate groups and law firms are acting more boldly to support constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Many have already organized rallies against gay marriage and have taken action to ban gay marriage.

Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family denounced gay marriage celebrations saying there is really very little to celebrate. He said May 17, 2004, would be a day Americans will long remember under regret.

"We will look back 20, 30, 50 years from now and recall this as the day marriage ceased to have any real meaning in our country," Dobson said in a press statement. "The documents being issued all across Massachusetts may say 'marriage license' at the top -- but they are really death certificates for the institution of marriage as it has served society for thousands of years."

The Focus on the Family founder rebuked the judicial decision that brought about legalization of gay unions in Massachusetts.

"This is not the first time a tyrannical court ... has force-fed the people a liberal agenda disguised as the rule of law," Dobson noted, "But it may be the most devastating example of that kind of judicial activism. What makes this a truly dark day is that gay marriage in only the beginning."

Dobson contended that there is a constitutional guarantee to homosexual marriage but "a few steps away" from guaranteeing marriage rights to polygamists, relatives, "or even for people to marry their pets."

Dobson believes more people will join to protect marriage as the urgent time has finally come. "There is no denying that our values are under assault. There's no more time for thinking about whether to join the fight -- we are in it," he said. "It has been brought to us."

Referring to constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, Dobson said, it is "our last, best chance to preserve marriage for future generations."

Similarly, the American Center for Law and Justice, which specializes in constitutional law, is pushing harder to mobilize Americans to support Federal Marriage Amendment to protect marriage as an institution between one man and one woman.

"It is troubling that an activist court in Massachusetts has succeeded in overturning hundreds of years of tradition by redefining marriage to include same-sex couples," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ, in a press statement. "With Massachusetts now the first state to legalize same-sex marriage, it is clear that the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment is greater than ever. We call on Congress to act without delay and pass an amendment - and send it to the states for ratification - to protect the institution of marriage as a union between one man and one woman."

Just last week, Sekulow testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution urging members to approve House Joint Resolution 56 - a Federal Marriage Amendment. In its testimony, the ACLJ contended that the amendment "serves to resolve the uncertainties that have been artificially interjected into what would otherwise be fairly described as an entirely and clearly settled question of law."

According to the ACLJ, so far more than 230,000 Americans have signed on to the ACLJ's Petition to Preserve Marriage, which urges Congress to pass the federal marriage amendment without delay. The ACLJ plans to continue on with their campaign and gain more signatures.

On the other hand, a group of 50 conservative black pastors who are angered over the gay marriage issue as homosexuals claim legalization of gay marriage is granting civil rights, spoke during a press conference held in Washington, May 17, clarifying that they don't feel gay marriage is a civil rights issue but, in fact, is against the will of God.

Bishop Paul Morton of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship of New Orleans, criticized homosexual activists.

"This is not a civil right issue. You insult African Americans when you say this is a civil rights issue because -- and I want you to understand this -- I can't change the color of my skin, but you could change your lifestyle," he said. "It does not matter who you are."

Morton also expressed disappointment at Congressional Black Caucus, who are supportive of gay marriage rights, on behalf of other black Christian leaders. The Caucus, he said, should be careful what it does when it comes to choosing between homosexual-rights advocates and members of African-American churches.

"You come to our churches for votes. You don't go to them," he said, addressing Caucus members. "We're facing a critical time in our life where you are asking the black African-American preacher to compromise what he believes as it relates to God."

Bishop Morton stressed black preachers to choose the Word of God over any political gain. "There's the gay community on one side who's saying 'We want same-sex marriages,' he said, "but here's God's church on the other side saying 'We cannot have it because it is against the will of God.' And the will of God is the Word of God."