Some LGBT people and their allies occasionally express the feeling that people with religiously based anti-LGBT feeling usually seem more concerned about same-sex nuptials than other potential “threats” to the traditional nuclear family unit.
But those opponents of LGBT equality don’t usually express that sentiment as blatantly as the Evangelicals and Catholics Together coalition, which is set to publish a statement explicitly naming marriage equality and same-sex relationships as a “graver threat” than divorce. (It even suggests that “a kind of alchemy is performed” when same-sex marriage is legally recognized.)
“What the state defines as marriage no longer embodies God’s purposes in creation. An easy acceptance of divorce damages marriage; widespread cohabitation devalues marriage. But so-called same-sex marriage is a graver threat, because what is now given the name of marriage in law is a parody of marriage,” says the statement, dubbed “The Two Shall Become One Flesh: Reclaiming Marriage.” It is expected to be printed in March in the conservative religious publication First Things, according to Religion News Service. It also declares that a “faithful Christian witness cannot accommodate itself to same-sex marriage,” and it contends that Christians who accept marriage equality may no longer be fully Christian.
First Things editor Russell Reno told RNS that Catholic and evangelical signatories to the statement put aside differences of opinion about issues such as birth control to focus on marriage. Regarding differences between Catholic and evangelical Protestant beliefs, Timothy George of Samford University's Beeson Divinity School told the Baptist Press that “the people who drafted this statement are well aware of those differences. We have not smudged them or pushed them under the rug.”
But same-sex nuptials — a perceived “threat” of to what the signatories call “the primordial human institution” of marriage — brought together about 50 anti-LGBT signatories, including Rick Warren of Saddleback Church and Maggie Gallagher, cofounder and former president of the National Organization for Marriage. Warren is a Southern Baptist, Gallagher a Roman Catholic.