Last Tuesday my organization, the High Impact Leadership Coalition, held an open-air rally in DC to oppose a same-sex marriage reciprocity bill, which is being pushed through the DC City Council. Several hundred concerned citizens (including over 100 pastors) attended because they felt that their opinions were not being heard. Most informed citizens also felt that the bill had been surreptitiously advanced.
Last week’s rally was the beginning of what may become the ultimate battle for marriage in the nation. By the end of the week four major events had happened. First, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) held a major press conference announcing their "No Offense" campaign with Carrie Prejean featured in their presentation. The campaign will help the average American see that there is reverse persecution already occurring in our great nation. For example, photographers in New Mexico were hauled before the state human rights commission because they choose not to accept business to photograph same-sex weddings.
Second, gay activists began running television ads calling Carrie Prejean a “religious bigot.” Third, over 100 ordained ministers from the DC area decided to purchase a full-page ad that will appear in The Examiner, a Capitol Hill newspaper, the day of the next legislative meeting Tuesday May 5. Finally, last week was the first time a coherent voice was able to state displeasure with the bill. Many denominational streams and ethnic groups worked together hand-in-glove. Most of the spiritual leaders who worked with me were surprised that the majority of the community’s churchgoing population was barely aware of the proposed law and its ramifications.
The bill is scheduled for a final vote. If fully ratified, it then moves to the Congress for review. The review could be as short as 30 days, if uncontested by Congress, or much longer if the bill is challenged. This means that a national congressional debate on gay marriage could begin as soon as this month. Naturally, such a debate would draw citizens from around the nation to contact their congressman.
So, where do we go from here? First, we must develop a legal strategy to keep this bad law from being set into motion. Many groups are qualified to deal with this including the Alliance Defense Fund, American Center for Law and Justice, and Liberty Counsel. Their work must be rapidly coordinated, synthesized, and implemented.
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.