Hello there -- Theo, CR's administrative assistant, here! Equal Partners in Faith is another organized group that is opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment and is supporting the sodomite/lesbian "agenda" which basically is a movement to force univeral acceptance of the sodomite/lesbian lifestyle and all its ramifications. Details below.......
EPF urges clergy to sign a letter opposing the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Equal Partners in Faith
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Equal Partners in faith joins with other religious organizations and concerned people of faith to oppose the Federal Marriage Amendment. We therefore urge religious leaders to sign the letter below. We also urge all our activists and supporters to encourage religious leaders to do the same.
If you are clergy, please consider signing on to this letter to senators expressing your opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment - being voted on next week. (This letter is circulated from The Religious Action Center). Senators are hearing from the religious right in record numbers. It is important that they hear from progressive people of faith, too.
Dear Clergy Member:
The U.S. Senate is expected to vote as early as next week on a Constitutional amendment that would outlaw same-sex marriage in the United States. We need your help to ensure that this amendment is defeated.
We are asking you to sign this letter to senators expressing opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. You will be signing the letter as an individual only, not as a representative of your church or religious organization.
Many lawmakers mistakenly believe that a significant majority of America's faith communities support the amendment. We need to let them know that this is not true. They need to know that millions of religious Americans from all different traditions are very concerned about this effort to write discrimination and religious intolerance into our Constitution. Your signature on this letter to senators will help set the record straight.
This letter simply states our opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment. It is not an endorsement of same-sex marriage. The members of our coalition hold different theological views on same-sex marriage – but we are united in our belief that this amendment would enshrine discrimination in our Constitution and undermine the religious pluralism that makes our country great. You can sign the letter regardless of whether or not you support same-sex marriage, because it expresses opposition only to the Constitutional amendment that would codify one view of marriage for everyone.
To read more information about the Federal Marriage Amendment, including statements by religious organizations opposing the amendment, and to sign the letter, simply follow the instructions below.
Thank you very much for your help.
CLICK HERE FOR THE INTERFAITH CLERGY SIGN-ON LETTER
Clergy Sign-On Letter
As our signatures below attest, we are clergy of a broad spectrum of religious traditions with diverse views regarding same-sex marriage. However, we are resolutely united in our opposition to the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Contrary to an all-too-common misperception, it is simply not the case that America's religious communities generally support this amendment. In our considered view, such an amendment threatens to dignify discrimination and undermine religious liberty. We urge you to oppose it.
The Federal Marriage Amendment raises alarming Constitutional concerns. Many of us do not favor using the Constitutional amendment process to resolve the divisive issues of the moment. Loading down the Constitution with such amendments weakens the enormous influence it holds as the key document that binds our nation together. Many others are concerned that the Federal Marriage Amendment would mark the first time in history that the Constitution would restrict the civil rights of an entire group of Americans. Misusing our nation's most cherished document for this purpose would tarnish our proud history of expanding citizens' rights by Constitutional amendment, a history long supported by America's faith communities. These concerns alone merit rejection of the Federal Marriage Amendment.
We also share a specific concern that the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment could infringe on religious liberty. The amendment plainly states: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union between a man and a woman." Since the language does not specify that it applies only to civil marriage, this sweeping statement may well be used to forbid private religious recognition of same-sex marriage. This interpretation of the Federal Marriage Amendment could prompt the passage of laws making it illegal for clergy to perform marriages not recognized by the state.
What would then happen to the religious groups that honestly believe in the validity – indeed, in the sanctity – of same-sex marriage? Will ministers and rabbis who officiate at same-sex weddings risk being carted off as criminals for exercising their religious beliefs? This scenario is not unprecedented. Last month, two Unitarian ministers who performed same-sex weddings were charged with violating a New York State statute that bars clergy from sanctifying marriages for couples who do not hold a government marriage license. This is a dangerous and troubling precedent.
Thoughtful people of faith can and do disagree on the issue of same- sex marriage. America's many religious traditions reflect this diversity of opinion, as do we who sign this letter. But we respect the right of each religious group to decide, based on its own religious teachings, whether or not to sanction same-sex marriage. It is surely not the federal government's role to prefer one religious definition of marriage over another, much less to codify such a preference in the Constitution. To the contrary: the great contribution of our Constitution is to protect the rights of all faiths.
Some argue that a Constitutional amendment is necessary to ensure that clergy and faith groups will never be forced to recognize same- sex marriages against their will. This argument is unfounded. Such coercion is already expressly forbidden by the First Amendment's "establishment" clause, its guarantee of the right to "free exercise" of religion, and the Supreme Court's doctrine of religious autonomy that is rooted in both religion clauses. These, and only these, are all the protection of religious autonomy – and of religious marriage – our nation needs.
Our nation's founders adopted the First Amendment precisely because they foresaw the dangers of allowing government to have control over religious doctrine and decision. It is their commitment to religious freedom that has allowed religious practice and pluralism to flourish in America as nowhere else. If that freedom is to be preserved, we must respect the rights of those in the faith community to apply their religious teachings and values to the issue of same-sex relationships. It is surely not the business of Congress, much less the Constitution, to assert control over the doctrine and practice of our faith communities.
The Federal Marriage Amendment would weaken our Constitution, threaten religious liberty, and stifle America's diverse religious voices. For all these reasons, we urge you to vote against any attempt to pass this amendment in the United States Senate.
Click here to sign the letter
Clergy Sign-On Letter
EQUAL PARTNERS in FAITH is a multi-racial national network of religious leaders and people of faith committed to equality and diversity. Our diverse faith traditions and shared religious values lead us to affirm and defend the equality of all people, regardless of religion, race, ability, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity. As people of faith, we actively oppose the manipulation of religion to promote inequality and exclusion.
Join us and help us promote a more inclusive vision of religion and society.
Equal Partners in Faith
1040 Harbor Drive
Annapolis, MD 21403
Web: www.us.net/epf JOIN EPF TODAY!
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