Who Are the 44,500 Who Say They'll Go to Jail to Fight Marriage Equality?

Who Are the 44,500 Who Say They'll Go to Jail to Fight Marriage Equality?

A group organized by antigay pastor Rick Scarborough vows to defy any ruling by the Supreme Court that recognizes same-sex marriage, even if it means they have to go to jail to defend so-called "traditional marriage."

And in a surprise twist, an email plea for donations invokes Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. 

Scarborough, founder of Vision America, announced the effort in a column on WND, a conservative website: 

“The Supreme Court can no more redefine marriage than it can redefine gravity. Neither is in the Court’s legitimate jurisdiction.”

The group claims to have more than 44,500 signatures, which are being collected on DefendMarriage.org. According to Scarborough, those who signed the document “will accept any fine and jail time to protect their religious freedom and the freedom of others.”

The list includes two presidential candidates, Rick Santorum and Mike HuckabeeTom DeLay, the former majority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives once called “the meanest man in Congress,” also signed on, as have reality TV stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and evangelist Franklin Graham.

As The Advocate reported, the group also placed a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post and USA Today last week, declaring, “We will not honor any decision by the Supreme Court which will force us to violate a clear biblical understanding of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman.”

The ad is a letter drafted by what the group called a coalition of “Catholic and Orthodox Christian pastors, clergy, lay leaders and Jewish leaders, who collectively represent millions of people in our specific churches, parishes, denominations, synagogues and media ministry outreaches.”
 
Their letter states: ”We implore the Court to not step outside of its legitimate authority and unleash religious persecution and discrimination against people of faith.”
 
Supporters also received an email from Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the antigay legal group Liberty Counsel, who made the case for a “principled resistance against an immoral law should the U.S. Supreme Court attempt to redefine marriage.”
 
“Natural marriage is under assault by the radical pro-homosexual movement,” he continued. “Our religious rights are under siege. Left unchecked, any biblically-based teachings against homosexuality or that run counter to related ‘politically correct’ viewpoints will be labeled as ‘hate speech.’”
 
The email also asks for financial support of what Liberty Counsel has dubbed the “Stand Your Ground” initiative. 

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