One-hundred and fifty-two evangelical, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders have signed a declaration saying they oppose laws that would compel them to recognize gay unions or marriages, among other social issues.

“We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on Earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence,” says the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.

The manifesto was unveiled Friday at the National Press Club. The document outlines the group's three most pressing issues, two of which deal with gay rights: abortion, marriage and religious liberties.

“We argue that there is a hierarchy of issues,” Chuck Colson, a prominent evangelical who founded Prison Fellowship and co-authored the document, told the New York Times. “A lot of younger evangelicals say they're all alike. We're hoping to educate them that these are the three most important issues.”

Among the signatories are Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

Wuerl and Jackson are the chief opponents of a gay marriage law expected to be approved by the D.C. City Council on December 1. Wuerl has threatened to pull the plug on D.C. social programs, including serving the homeless and providing health care for the poor, unless the law includes language that allows individuals and private business owners to refuse to provide goods and services related to the nuptials of gay couples.

Jackson founded the Christian-backed group after city leaders approved a gay marriage-recognition law in the spring. His group is currently fighting for the right to put a gay marriage question on the ballot.

The document says, “We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other antilife act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent.”

The document's language also takes aim at other gay rights laws, including a recently approved law that adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of federally recognized hate crimes and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would ban workplace discrimination against gay men, lesbians and transgender people.

Social conservatives have argued that such measures would have a chilling effect on religious liberties.

Signers to the document include prominent opponents of gay rights, including Frank Schubert, who headed the campaign to reverse gay marriage in California, Alan Sears, president and general counsel of the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, David Welch, the Houston-area pastor leading the charge against mayoral candidate Annise Parker because she is openly lesbian, James Dobson, founder of the anti-gay group Focus on the Family, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a leading opponent of gay rights.

A surprising omission is the Rev. Rick Warren, the evangelical minister whose prayer at the inauguration of President Obama drew heated protest because of his support for Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.