As Senate Takes Up Marriage Debate, Religious Leaders Urge Support for MPA

By Allie Martin and Jenni ParkerJune 5, 2006
(AgapePress) - The founder of the American Family Association (AFA) says U.S. Christians concerned about the influence of homosexual activists on their society need to contact their senators regarding the proposed federal marriage amendment.
Tomorrow (June 6) the U.S. Senate begins debate on the proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage as valid only between a man and a woman. To become law, the amendment needs two-thirds support in the U.S. Senate and House and then would have to be ratified by 38 state legislatures. Senators are expected to vote on the proposal later this week.
Opponents of the marriage protection measure say a federal amendment is not needed because the definition of marriage is an issue of state's rights. Supporters of the amendment, however, say banning same-sex "marriage" is necessary not only to preserve the traditional understanding of marriage but also to protect children, families, and society as a whole.
In a radio address Saturday, President George W. Bush noted that "marriage cannot be cut off from its cultural, religious, and natural roots" without undermining its cultural benefits. "Ages of experience have taught us," the president remarked, "that the commitment of a husband and a wife to love and to serve one another promotes the welfare of children and the stability of society."
The chief executive also observed that activist judges and local officials have made what he called "an aggressive attempt to redefine marriage in recent years." However, he said state marriage protection laws and amendments across America have indicated "broad consensus in our country for protecting the institution of marriage" against such redefinition.
As Senate takes up the marriage issue, pro-family activist and AFA founder/chairman Don Wildmon is encouraging his fellow evangelicals to take action. "It's critical right now," he says, "for everyone who believes marriage should be between one man and one woman to call their two senators and say, 'I want you to vote for the Marriage Protection Amendment; and, if you vote against it, in essence you're voting for homosexual marriage.'"

Dr. Don WildmonWildmon is concerned that, without a federal Marriage Protection Amendment (MPA), judicial activists will be able to nullify marriage laws across America on a state-by-state basis. "Changing the Constitution is not an easy process," he says, "nor should it be; but at least we're going in the right direction. If we don't have this constitutional amendment, we're going to find one activist federal liberal judge who's going to strike down every marriage law in this country."
However, people must get involved before it is too late, the AFA spokesman warns. "It's extremely important that people call their senators and ask them to vote for the Marriage Protection Amendment," he says. "The MPA is the only way that the sacred institution of marriage will remain between one man and one woman."
Religious Objections to Gay Marriage Treated as Bigotry?And Professor Robert George, a Princeton University constitutional scholar and co-founder of the Religious Coalition for Marriage, points to another danger to be avoided. In a recent Associated Press interview, he noted that if homosexual marriage is legalized, individuals who believe in traditional marriage could be treated as bigots and their religious views on homosexual marriage could be subject to attack -- and possibly even prosecution.
"Marriage is between a man and a woman, and only one of each," George contends. "If that is legally now defined as a prejudicial view -- a form of discrimination, a form of bigotry -- then it will be attacked by the law in the same way that racial bigotry is attacked in the law now," he says.
Also, the professor adds, "If we go down the route of same-sex marriage, that will be what is taught to children in schools against their parents’ wishes." Schools will teach children to accept and support homosexual marriage, he explains, "even if their parents are strong believers in the traditional, conjugal conception, whether they are Protestants, Catholics, observant Jews."
A diverse community of traditional marriage supporters could be affected if the push to legalize same-sex marriage succeeds, George asserts. The Religious Coalition for Marriage alone includes members of the Southern Baptist Convention, the Roman Catholic Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ, the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church, and the Orthodox Jewish community.
Americans who support traditional marriage, including countless people of faith like those represented by the Religious Coalition for Marriage, may be forced to accept homosexual marriage regardless of their religious beliefs, Professor George warns, unless the U.S. Constitution is amended to protect traditional marriage.

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