Monday, October 27, 2008

Conservative Religious Groups Working In Favor of California's Marriage Amendment

Today's New York Times reported on the personnel and funding that conservative religious groups are investing in the campaign to pass Proposition 8, the ballot measure that would ban gay marriage in the state. Religious leaders are framing the battle in apocalyptic terms. Charles W. Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries, said: "This vote on whether we stop the gay-marriage juggernaut in California is Armageddon. We lose this, we are going to lose in a lot of other ways, including freedom of religion." And Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said of the ballot measure: "It’s more important than the presidential election. We've picked bad presidents before, and we’ve survived as a nation. But we will not survive if we lose the institution of marriage." Ads warn that churches that refuse to perform gay marriages could lose tax exemptions and that ministers will be jailed if they preach against homosexuality-- both of which charges are strongly denied by Proposition 8 opponents. Swedish pastor Ake Green, who was sentenced to a month in prison under Sweden's hate speech law for an anti-gay sermon, was featured in a satellite simulcast that was shown in 170 churches. The Times article fails to note that Sweden's Supreme Court reversed Green's conviction. (See prior posting.)