Monday night on Larry King Live, Pastor Rick Warren, author of the Purpose Driven Life, waffled on his stand to support evangelical political involvement to protect marriage. He told Larry that he had sent apologies to his gay friends for how his comments about gay marriage were misconstrued. He denied that he had ever endorsed Proposition 8 in California (which amended the constitution of the state to defend marriage as being exclusively between one man and one woman) during the two years of its duration). Finally, he claimed to be totally oblivious to what was happening in Vermont concerning gay marriage.
The day after the Larry King interview I sat in the DC City Council chambers observing an unintended consequence of Pastor Warren’s statements – emboldened gay marriage advocates. Perceiving that evangelicals are weakening and that their side is turning around, gay activists are putting forth their best efforts to attempt to win their war for marriage this year. Although Warren’s statements are only one of several factors that have moved gay activists, I maintain that they are still a factor in this battle.
Let me explain.
Last Tuesday (April 7), a little before noon, I sat through the regularly scheduled monthly legislative meeting of the DC Council. There was only one item on the agenda that had to do with gay rights according to the printed agenda. For this reason, I was shocked at the boldness of the DC City Council as they voted to open the door for a marriage reciprocity measure that would allow anyone legally married in the nation to be legally received in the District.
It was obvious that the timing of the DC action was based on the perceived momentum that gay marriage activists have garnered during the last two weeks. Sitting in the chambers, I could see that the council had been waiting for the results from Vermont. In fact council members were quick to bring up the breaking news of that day and the previous week’s ruling by the Iowa Supreme Court. They left nothing to the imagination as they pushed for this measure to afford gay and other kinds of unions from around the world to have full rights of marriage.
One by one the council members unanimously declared their support of same-sex marriage and their desire to avoid being on the “wrong side of history.” Some even bragged about their leadership in this “civil rights” struggle.
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.