Prominent Christian and Jewish leaders are warning the U.S. Supreme Court justices in a full-page ad in major newspapers that they will not honor any decision that violates the “biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.”
The statement by the leaders — who include Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Frank Pavone, Don Wildmon, Jerry Boykin, Alveda King and Alan Keyes — appears in a full-page ad in the Washington Post, USA Today and other papers.
“We affirm that marriage, as existing solely between one man and one woman, precedes civil government. Though affirmed, fulfilled and elevated by faith, the truth that marriage can exist only between one man and one woman is not based solely on religion but on the Natural Law, written on the human heart,” the leaders say in the ad.
“We implore this court to not step outside of its legitimate authority and unleash religious persecution and discrimination against people of faith. We will be forced to choose between the state and our conscience, which is informed by clear biblical and church doctrine and the natural created order.”
“We will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.”
The statement is signed by dozens of leaders whose organizations represent tens of millions. It comes as a U.S. Supreme Court decision on a marriage dispute in the 6th Circuit is expected imminently.
Two justices, Elena Kagan and Ruth Ginsburg, already have publicly advocated for same-sex “marriage” by performing ceremonies but have refused to recuse themselves from the case.
Many analysts expect the Supreme Court, by a narrow margin, to find a constitutional right to same-sex “marriage.”
It already is recognized in about three dozen states, most of which have been ordered by federal judges to take that step.
In only one state, Alabama, has there been significant resistance. The state Supreme Court there ordered officials who issue marriage licenses to follow the state constitution and issue them only to male-female couples.
The ad states, “We the undersigned have joined together to present our unified message and plea to the justices of the United States Supreme Court regarding the matter of marriage.
“We are Protestant, Catholic and Orthodox Christian pastors, clergy, lay leaders and Jewish leaders, who collectively represent millions of people in our specific churches, parishes, denominations, synagogues and media ministry outreaches.”
They described anything other than biblical marriage as “an unjust law, as Martin Luther King Jr. described such laws in his letter from the Birmingham jail.”
They said they will choose the Bible.
“On this choice, we must pledge obedience to our Creator. While there are many things we can endure, any attempt to redefine marriage is a line we cannot and will not cross.”
They refer to DefendMarriage.org, where tens of thousands of Americans already have signed a related pledge.
The signers include: Matt C. Abbott of Renew America, Kirby Anderson of Point of View Talk Radio, Archbishop Foley Beach of the Anglican Church in North America, David and Jason Benham, Pastor Paul Blair of Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma, Dean Broyles of the National Center for Law and Policy, Kevin Burke of Priests for Life, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, David Crow of Restore America, Steve Deace of USA Radio Network, former Rep. Tom DeLay, Elaine Donnelly of Center for Military Readiness, Deacon Keith Fournier of Catholic Online, Pastor Jim Garlow of Pastors Rapid Response Team, Pastor John Hagee of Cornerstone Church, Fr. Mousa Hadaa of St. Mary Antiochian Orthodox Church, Pastor Jack Hibbs of Calvary Chapel, Bishop E.W. Jackson, Bishop Harry Jackson Jr., Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America and Pastor Rick Scarborough of Vision America.
The “Marriage Pledge” being signed by Americans states: “We will view any decision by the Supreme Court or any court the same way history views the Dred Scott and Buck v. Bell decisions. Our highest respect for the rule of law requires that we not respect an unjust law that directly conflicts with higher law. A decision purporting to redefine marriage flies in the face of the Constitution and is contrary to the natural created order.”
It continues: “Experience and history have shown us that if the government redefines marriage to grant a legal equivalency to same-sex couples, that same government will then enforce such an action with the police power of the state. This will bring about an inevitable collision with religious freedom and conscience rights. The precedent established will leave no room for any limitation on what can constitute such a redefined notion of marriage or human sexuality. We cannot and will not allow this to occur on our watch.”
WND previously reported when Mathew Staver of Liberty Counsel warned of the consequences of same-sex “marriage.”
“Immediately, when elevated to that level of a constitutionally protected category, [same-sex marriage] is given the same status as race. What you cannot legally do with respect to race, you will not be able to do legally with respect to same-sex unions and sexual immorality,” he said.
“Think of race in the context of religious expression or conscience expression and replace it with sexual immorality, transsexualism or so-called gender identity. For example, churches and other religious organizations are exempt from the religious discrimination provisions of federal, state or local nondiscrimination laws. But they are not exempted from the race provisions. So Catholics can hire Catholics, and Baptists can hire Baptists, but they cannot hire only ‘white’ Catholics or only ‘white’ Baptists. They would face significant penalties. You can’t have separate restrooms or drinking fountains for people of a different color. If a church did that they would be liable for a significant amount of damages because of discrimination on the basis of race.
“Same-sex marriage or laws including sexual orientation or gender identity as a non-discrimination category directly impact religious organizations and churches. If a man wants to use the women’s restroom and a church official told him he could not, then that act would be like telling people of color they cannot use the ‘white only’ restroom. You will also have the same issues with tax exemption over sexual preference as you have now over race,” he said.
The Alabama Supreme Court, in its own decision on marriage, cited the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor ruling, which struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The judges noted: “An open question exists as to whether Windsor’s ‘equal dignity’ notion works in the same direction toward state laws concerning marriage as it did toward DOMA. The Windsor court stated that ‘the history of DOMA’s enactment and its own text demonstrate that interference with the equal dignity of same-sex marriages, a dignity conferred by the states in the exercise of their sovereign power, was more than an incidental effect of the federal statute.”
The Alabama court wrote: “In Windsor, New York’s law allowed same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses. Thus, the ‘dignity’ was conferred by the state’s own choice, a choice that was ‘without doubt a proper exercise of its sovereign authority within our federal system, all in the way that the Framers of the Constitution intended.'”
But it then raised a question: Why, if New York could make that choice, would Alabama be deprived of exactly the same choice?
“The problem with DOMA was that it interfered with New York’s ‘sovereign’ choice,” the Alabama court said. “Alabama ‘used its historic and essential authority to define the marital relations’ and made a different ‘sovereign’ choice than New York. If New York was free to make that choice, it would seem inconsistent to say that Alabama is not free to make its own choice, especially given that ‘the recognition of civil marriages is central to state domestic relations law applicable to its residents and citizens.'”