A group called Clergy for Fairness has sent an open letter to Bill Frist and Harry Reid denouncing the Federal [Anti-]Marriage Amendment. It reads, in part, that:
The Marriage Protection Amendment raises alarming constitutional concerns. We do not favor using the constitutional amendment process to resolve the divisive issues of the moment. Loading down the Constitution with such amendments weakens the enormous influence it holds as the key document that binds our nation together.
We are concerned that the Marriage Protection Amendment would mark the first time in history that an amendment to the Constitution would restrict the civil rights of an entire group of Americans. Misusing our nation’s most cherished document for this purpose would tarnish our proud tradition of expanding citizens’ rights by Constitutional amendment, a tradition long supported by America’s faith communities. These concerns alone merit rejection of the Marriage Protection Amendment.
There is also a joint letter from several national religious groups, covering a variety of perspectives from Quakers and Sikhs to Unitarians and the UCC, here.
Although we have differing opinions on rights for same-sex couples, we believe the Federal Marriage Amendment reflects a fundamental disregard for individual civil rights and ignores differences among our nation’s many religious traditions. It should be rejected.
We are particularly concerned that this proposal to amend the Constitution would, for the first time, restrict the civil rights of millions of Americans. That concern alone merits rejection of the Federal Marriage Amendment.
Saturday’s article in the Washington Post, “Religious liberals gain new visibility,” reminds readers that progressive activism in politics isn’t a new phenomenon, although it has been overshadowed for several decades:
For most of the 20th century -- from the Progressive era through the civil rights movement -- religious involvement in American politics was dominated by the left. That changed in the 1970s, after the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision on abortion rights, the formation of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority, and, on the left, "the rise of a secular, liberal, urban elite that was not particularly comfortable with religion," said Will Marshall III, president of the Progressive Policy Institute, a Washington think tank.
It’s heartening to see liberal believers standing up for values like justice and civil rights.
(Thanks to Jeremy Learning at Wall of Separation for the tip.)