Soulforce Letter to Congress Opposing the Proposed Federal Marriage Amendment

June 22, 2004

As people of faith, Soulforce is committed to working for justice and equality for all.

We stand firmly against amending the U.S. Constitution for the express purpose of excluding, discriminating, or restricting the rights of any group of individuals on the basis of sexual orientation or gender.

Currently, marriage has two distinct components: civil marriage and the religious ritual of marriage. Freedom of religion guarantees that each faith and religion can define the religious ritual of marriage within their institution as they see fit, and this is true regardless of what the government decides about civil marriage rights.

Many religion’s and religious institutions support equal civil marriage rights between two consenting adults, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Religion has thrived in this country because of the freedom of religion afforded by the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the Constitution. Freedom of Religion is one of the most basic tenets of our democracy, therefore, it is the not the government’s task to enshrine one religions’ viewpoint about marriage into our Constitution at the expense of destroying religious freedom for all.

We therefore oppose any Federal Marriage Amendment that seeks to define marriage as between a man and a woman. This amendment undermines religious liberty and seeks to misuse the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights to discriminate against and create 2nd class citizens of millions of American couples, families, and children and deny them equal rights and protections under the law.

We ask our legislators to vote against any Constitutional Amendment that takes away peoples’ rights, rather than enhances and promotes equality.

Soulforce, Inc.

Soulforce is a national interfaith movement committed to ending spiritual violence perpetuated by religious policies and teachings against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people. We teach and employ the nonviolent principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King to the liberation of sexual and gender minorities.

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