Last year, Bishop Harry Jackson declared war on Washington DC in an effort to prevent the District from recognizing marriage equality. He’s fought it every step of the way and repeatedly lost, but he’s not giving up and yesterday brought together dozens of pastors and right-wing activists for a “National Marriage Summit” to plot strategy for the battled in DC and across the nation:
Christians nationwide are mobilizing to oppose gay marriage as a landmark trial under way in California seeks to determine whether limiting marriage to one man and one woman is constitutional.
San Diego pastor Jim Garlow, who led California’s Yes on 8 campaign, joined 100 church leaders in Washington, D.C., Monday for a National Marriage Summit aimed at developing strategies to preserve traditional marriage nationwide and to protect DOMA, which President Obama has said he hopes to repeal.
Convened by Bishop Harry Jackson, a Maryland pastor and chairman of the Stand4Marriage DC Coalition, the summit began Monday and ended Tuesday with a press conference on Capitol Hill lobbying Congress to uphold DOMA. Participants included Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and the Rev. Sammy Rodriquez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
“The institution of marriage is in grave danger,” said Jackson, who has been at the forefront of a battle to keep gay marriage from becoming law in Washington, D.C.
“The redefinition of marriage will permanently impact businesses, education and the family unit without the voice of the residents being heard, and all traditional marriage supporters need tools to confront the battles ahead,” Jackson added.
The group of mostly African-American ministers also delivered a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Barbara Lee calling on lawmakers to allow District of Columbia residents to vote on the definition of marriage. They also want Congress to veto a bill passed in December that legalized gay marriage in the district. The measure is currently awaiting a required 30-day congressional review.
Jackson also showed up on CBN yesterday to discuss the effort, where he accused his opponents of engaging in “reverse prejudice and intimidation” and said the solution was for everyone to speak out because “there is no way they can target all of us.” The Marriage Summit, he explained, was designed to get Black pastors involved in the fight against “radical gay activists” who are “going to try to enforce and impose their will on the rest of the nation by hijacking the democratic process and keeping the people from voting”:
UPDATE: According to this separate CBN report, the summit also featured Rep. Steve King and Lou Engle:
After their two-day summit, they took their message to Capitol Hill, where a couple of lawmakers joined them to say they will fight hard in Congress for traditional marriage.
“Everything that we are as a people is taught to the next generation through that foundation stone of marriage between a man and a woman,” said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. “And if this civilization is going to survive and prosper and go to the next level up to its destiny, then we’re going to have to have the kind of relationships that have built this country and built this civilization, and that’s marriage.”
“Law restrains certain things,” said Lou Engle, founder of the organization, The Call. “Once law is removed it opens the floodgate, proliferates it and makes it commonplace. It mainstreams it into education and everything else. That’s the difficulty we have with gay marriage.”
“Marriage will probably be abandoned in the future if we go this way and that’s not good for children,” Engle added.