FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 24, 2009
Contact: Fred Karger
Manhattan Declaration -- Who Are They Kidding?
MANHATTAN, New York -- NOM head, Maggie Gallagher, as she puts it, “likes fairy tales.” This sure sounds like a fairy tale to me, a very scary one.
Once upon a time there were 152 - how should I say it – extremists, all meeting in Manhattan (crazy place for this group to meet). These 152 zealots drafted, approved and signed their Declaration of War on full civil rights for gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans last week. They threw in some other societal beefs, just to try and mask the overriding issue, their fervent opposition to same-sex marriage.
One major leader of their movement is missing from the 152 names.
There are NO MORMONS on the list, and several of us read it very carefully.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church) has been leading the anti-gay marriage movement in this country for the past 14 years. They have spent tens of millions of dollars in practically every state ($30 million in California alone last year) to fight equality and to pass constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage.
So where are the Mormon representatives on this illustrious list? Are they truly backing off their longstanding opposition to gay civil rights?
To their credit, Michael Otterson, a high ranking Mormon Church official recently testified in support of the Salt Lake City ordinance that would no longer allow discrimination in employment and housing against LGBT people in Utah’s largest city. While a small step, it has been broadcast around the world. That’s because the Church, through its Public Affairs Department, got the word out – big time.
Let’s hope the Mormon leadership is truly softening its position on this issue. It has been a huge PR nightmare for the Church, and one that divides so many Mormon families. Maybe they will redirect all that time, talent and money to other causes, real problems.
There are plenty of Catholics on this list, however, and some very prominent ones. Two Cardinals and lots of Bishops. Catholics appear to be the new Mormons in the fight against same-sex marriage.
The Catholic Church has become much more visible as the Mormons have backed off. Maine Bishop Richard J. Malone and his sidekick, Marc Mutty ran and heavily funded the recent campaign in Maine to take away same-sex marriage in that state. The Roman Catholic Dioceses of Portland (ME) even set up a Political Action Committee (PAC), and gave and raised $553,000 to pass Question #1. That’s a lot of money, especially when they recently closed 5 churches in Maine.
Now, last week in Washington D.C., the Catholic Church there threatened to stop feeding the homeless if the City Council passes a same-sex marriage bill. Yes, the Catholic Church will stop feeding the hungry!
Here’s what the New York Times editorial said about that yesterday:
National Organization for Marriage (NOM) Chairman Robert P. George authored their new manifesto, along with former Watergate felon Chuck Colson. They hired a PR firm to publicize the Manhattan Declaration, the Mark DeMoss PR Group in Atlanta. Their web site identifies them as “the first and largest PR firm exclusively representing faith-based leaders, organizations and causes.” The DeMoss Group promotes itself on www.ManhattanDeclaration.org web site almost as much as its client. Take a look:
The DeMoss PR Group even has a bible covering an American Flag on their web site’s home page:
And please read this great story on the Manhattan Declaration by Carlos Santoscoy, Editor of On Top Magazine: Click here
Religious Leaders Unite Against Gay Marriage, Rights
One-hundred and fifty-two evangelical, Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders have signed a declaration saying they oppose laws that would compel them to recognize gay unions or marriages, among other social issues.
“We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on Earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence,” says the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.
The manifesto was unveiled Friday at the National Press Club. The document outlines the group's three most pressing issues, two of which deal with gay rights: abortion, marriage and religious liberties.
“We argue that there is a hierarchy of issues,” Chuck Colson, a prominent evangelical who founded Prison Fellowship and co-authored the document, told the New York Times. “A lot of younger evangelicals say they're all alike. We're hoping to educate them that these are the three most important issues.”
Among the signatories are Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, the archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
Wuerl and Jackson are the chief opponents of a gay marriage law expected to be approved by the D.C. City Council on December 1. Wuerl has threatened to pull the plug on D.C. social programs, including serving the homeless and providing health care for the poor, unless the law includes language that allows individuals and private business owners to refuse to provide goods and services related to the nuptials of gay couples.
Jackson founded the Christian-backed group Stand4MarriageDC.com after city leaders approved a gay marriage-recognition law in the spring. His group is currently fighting for the right to put a gay marriage question on the ballot.
The document says, “We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other antilife act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent.”
The document's language also takes aim at other gay rights laws, including a recently approved law that adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of federally recognized hate crimes and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would ban workplace discrimination against gay men, lesbians and transgender people.
Social conservatives have argued that such measures would have a chilling effect on religious liberties.
Signers to the document include prominent opponents of gay rights, including Frank Schubert, who headed the campaign to reverse gay marriage in California, Alan Sears, president and general counsel of the Arizona-based Alliance Defense Fund, David Welch, the Houston-area pastor leading the charge against mayoral candidate Annise Parker because she is openly lesbian, James Dobson, founder of the anti-gay group Focus on the Family, and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and a leading opponent of gay rights.
A surprising omission is the Rev. Rick Warren, the evangelical minister whose prayer at the inauguration of President Obama drew heated protest because of his support for Proposition 8, California's gay marriage ban.