Concerned Christian Leaders Push Harder to Fight Gay Marriage

( [email protected] ) May 13, 2004 02:53 PM EDT

Massachusetts may begin issuing gay marriage licenses next Monday, but the battle to protect traditional marriage is continuing to gain support from mainline Christian leaders across the nation.

According to Family Research Council, pro-family leaders organized three hundred pastors, representing hundreds of thousands of congregations from 40 different states, to gather in Washington D.C. to defend traditional marriage. Family Research Council played the major role in sponsoring the event.

"As the battle to preserve marriage now enters its final stage --when we will either amend the U.S. Constitution or allow marriage to be redefined out of existence -- America's pastors have a vital role to play," said FRC President Tony Perkins.

He added, "These pastors have the ability to attract millions of pro-family Jews and Christians into the battle to defend marriage, and after this week's briefing, I know of at least 300 pastors who are ready to do just that.”

Although there are some voices supportive of gay marriage, the majority of congregations from the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the National Baptist Convention, the Church of God in Christ, the Episcopal church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Greek Orthodox church, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, are asking clergy not to solemnize gay marriages.

On the other hand, three mainline Christian denominations -- the United Church of Christ, the American Baptist Churches and the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) – seem to remain silent about the issue, leaving the decision up to clergy.

Perkins also noted that Christians have been too long silent on the issue of gay marriage and that it is important for Christians to get involved to further advance pro-family agenda.

Said Perkins: "For too long, houses of worship in America have been silenced on the public policy issues of our day because of the scare tactics used by the ACLU and other opponents of religious freedom. However, armed with FRC's vast resources on the importance of protecting marriage and possessing a newfound passion to get involved, the pastors who have gathered here with us have become powerful new allies as we advance the pro-family agenda in America -- and more specifically, on Capitol Hill.”

The historic 90-minute live broadcast is scheduled for May 23rd, the first Sunday following Monday’s issuance of gay marriage licenses. Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family, Chuck Colson and Bishop Wellington Boone will also speak at the rally.