Catholic World News

Religious leaders issue open letter on marriage and religious liberty

April 24, 2015

Over 30 Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and other religious leaders have issued a joint open letter affirming their “commitment to promote and defend marriage—the union of one man and one woman.”

“The state has a compelling interest in maintaining marriage as it has been understood across faiths and cultures for millennia because it has a compelling interest in the well-being of children,” the signatories stated. “Every child has a mother and a father, and every child deserves the opportunity, whenever possible, to be raised by his or her own married mother and father in a stable, loving home.”

“Although this connection cannot always be realized and sustained—and many single parents, for example, are heroic in their efforts to raise their children—it is in the best interests of the state to encourage and uphold the family founded on marriage and to afford the union of husband and wife unique legal protection and reinforcement,” the signatories added. “The redefinition of legal marriage to include any other type of relationship has serious consequences, especially for religious freedom … No person or community, including religious organizations and individuals of faith, should be forced to accept this redefinition.”

Catholic signatories of the open letter include the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the three bishops who lead the USCCB committees that most frequently address marriage and religious liberty.

Other signatories include the Greek Orthodox archbishop of America, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, the president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the heads of the Assemblies of God and the Wesleyan Church, and the leaders of the second-largest Lutheran and Presbyterian denominations.

The head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints also signed the statement, as did an imam from Washington.

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  • Posted by: bruno.cicconi7491 - Apr. 24, 2015 1:41 PM ET USA

    I approve it. The thing with same sex marriage is that it is not only the party's business. It is an attack of an institution (marriage), and not to some religious nutjobs' sensibility. So, a sort of "cognitive assault". To say that it is an attack on religious liberty is quite right, I think. I know I say nothing new, but it has not been said enough, considering that it is very well understood by us and by the other side (as the bakery business shows). It is understood, but not said.