Mathew Staver, dean of the Liberty
University Law School and chairman of the social conservative group
Liberty Counsel, says a ruling that struck down California's gay
marriage ban could criminalize Christianity.
In remarks to the Christian website CNS
said if the ruling, which found Proposition 8 violated the U.S.
Constitution, was upheld by a higher court, then it would mean the
criminalization of Christian beliefs.
“It's an astounding statement by a
judge, and if that finding were to be upheld, it would criminalize
Christian beliefs, because the Bible and Christian beliefs
historically have clearly indicated that homosexuality is sex outside
of marriage – and is contrary to God's design,” he said.
“For this judge to say that Christian
beliefs or religious beliefs contrary to homosexuality are actually
harmful – what that essentially says is, that if that's the case,
then you've got to change your religious beliefs, and if you don't,
you're going to be penalized as result. That is a very dangerous
aspect of this court decision.”
In his ruling, Chief U.S. District
Judge Vaughn Walker wrote that moral and religious views against
being gay “do not provide a rational basis supporting Proposition
Other faith leaders have sounded a
similar alarm as they argue against gay marriage.
In an op-ed published Monday at
Catholic.org, Father Thomas Euteneur, president of Human Life
International, wrote that gay marriage threatens Christian
“There is no doubt that, if it is not
already there, gay marriage will be coming to your state soon,”
said. “If we don't fight it, our souls, our families and
basically, our very civilization will find themselves at 'the end' of
the line in very short order.”