Lutherans Oppose Anti-Gay Amendment

Tue. June 15, 2004 12:00 AM by

Chicago, IL - The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has joined a growing number of religious groups opposing a constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriage.

Some 25 churches and religious organizations are now opposed to the proposed amendment that has been introduced in Congress.

In an open letter to members of Congress the groups said that they are concerned that the proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution "would, for the first time, restrict the civil rights of millions of Americans."

"That concern alone merits rejection of the Federal Marriage Amendment," the letter said.

The religious organizations noted that the U.S. Constitution bars any court or legislature from requiring any religious institution or person to perform marriage ceremonies for anyone, and they said the Constitution protects "houses of worship in their freedom to limit marriages on whatever theological grounds they choose."

The Evangelical Lutheran Church, like some of the other signatories, does not sanction gay marriage, but joined the group in opposing a constitutional amendment because of the civil rights issue of freedom on religion.

"This is a civil rights issue, and our social statement is very clear on civil rights." said Karen Vagley, LOGA director, the federal public policy office of the ELC.

Among the other faiths opposed to amending the constitution are The Disciples of Christ, Quakers, the Episcopal Church, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, and United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries.

©® 2004

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