Janet M. LaRue

Where are California’s pastors in the fight over preserving marriage?

Californians passed Proposition 22 in 2000 with a 61.4 percent vote to keep marriage solely between a man and a woman, and to preclude California’s recognition of same-sex “marriages” executed elsewhere.

By one vote last May, the California Supreme Court held the people’s law to be “unconstitutional.”  California citizens put Prop 8 on the ballot to enshrine the definition of marriage in California’s Constitution. By all logic, Prop 8 should have an overwhelming lead in the polls and in contributions. It doesn’t. Could this be because so many clergy are AWOL on this profoundly important issue?  

According to “Allchurches.com,” California has 11,911 churches online. Prop 8’s Web site lists only 203 “churches and ministries” as sponsors. The Web site is probably behind in updating the list, but not that far.

According to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, there are 190 “mega churches” in California with “2,000 or more persons in its worship services.” All of them should be leading the effort to preserve marriage; but most aren’t on Prop 8’s list, nor do they indicate support on their Web sites. Members should ask why. One in particular stands out.

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, hosted a Presidential Candidates Forum at the church on Aug. 16. He asked John McCain and Barack Obama if the California Supreme Court got it wrong when it overturned the definition of marriage.

Here’s a question for Rick Warren: Do you think the court got it wrong? If you do, where’s your support for Prop 8? There’s no mention of it on Saddleback’s Web site. Your office isn’t returning calls requesting information. You hosted an AIDS summit. Where’s your Prop 8 summit?

Janet M. LaRue

Jan LaRue is Senior Legal Analyst with the American Civil Rights Union; former Chief Counsel at Concerned for Women; Legal Studies Director at Family Research Council; and Senior Counsel for the National Law Center for Children and Families. Be the first to read Janet LaRue's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.