Mormon leaders asked their California
members to “do all you can” to support a gay marriage ban, and
Pope Benedict told Catholics gay unions are false and immoral in
opposing gay marriage, while Episcopal Bishops in California took an
opposing view in the gay marriage debate, calling gay marriage “the
principle way” gay couples can show their love, devotion and
life-long commitment to each other.
Religious leaders in California, who
played a big role in passing a 2000 gay marriage ban, continue to
wield tremendous influence on California's current gay marriage
The California Supreme Court ruled in
May that gay couples have the constitutional right to marry,
overturning a voter-approved gay marriage ban. And on June 15th,
the State started offering gender neutral marriage licenses. Since
then several thousand gay couples have married.
But a November ballot initiative,
Proposition 8, aims to constitutionally ban gay marriage in the
Golden State – again.
In June, the Mormon Church (the
Mormons) sent out a letter to be read at all California congregations
asking members to “do all you can” to support Proposition 8.
“The church's teachings and position
on this moral issue are unequivocal. Marriage between a man and a
woman is ordained by God,” Mormon leaders said. The leaders also
urged members to donate their “means and time” in support of
Pope Benedict, the head of the Catholic
church, has often condemned homosexuality while rallying against gay
“The union of love, based on
matrimony between a man and a woman, which makes up the family,
represents a good for all society that can not be substituted by,
confused with, or compared to other types of unions,” Benedict said
a day after the court's ruling.
Catholic leaders in California have
heeded the call, forming coalitions and donating millions in support
of the gay marriage ban.
“We're asking people to volunteer to
help in parishes, to participate in telephoning, talking with
neighbors,” Bill May, chairman of Catholics for the Common Good,
told the Catholic News Service. “This is a really important
issue. Marriage is the foundation of the family. People are very
upset that the [State] Supreme Court overruled the will of the
In a statement released Wednesday, the
Episcopal Bishops of California urged voters to vote against
In making a gay marriage-affirming
statement, the California Episcopal Bishops are certain to face
criticism by their own church, which remains in a theological
free-fall over the election of an openly gay bishop, V. Gene
Robinson, to the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003.
The bishops said marriage would enhance
the “Christian values” of monogamy, love and commitment for gays
“Jesus calls us to love rather than
hate, to give rather than to receive, to live in hope rather than
fear,” says the statement signed by California's six most senior
bishops. “We believe that this continued access [to gay marriage]
promotes Jesus' ethic of love, giving, and hope.”