Archbishop calls for financial, grassroots support for traditional marriage


By Maria Wiering

Archbishop William E. Lori and other religious leaders asked traditional-marriage backers to join efforts to overturn the state’s law legalizing same-sex marriage Sept. 26 at St. Mary’s Seminary in Roland Park.

More than 200 people attended the invitation-only event, which included representatives from Christian, Muslim and Mormon communities, as well as written support from the Orthodox Jewish community, who were observing Yom Kippur.

Church leaders urged those in attendance to take their “feet to the street” and “get souls to the polls” to vote “no” on Question 6, the Maryland ballot referendum that seeks to legalize same-sex marriage.

As chairman of the Maryland Catholic Conference (MCC), Archbishop Lori hosted the event, which was sponsored by the Maryland Marriage Alliance (MMA). The MCC, which advocates for public policy on behalf of the state’s Catholic bishops, is an MMA coalition partner.

MCC executive director Mary Ellen Russell and MMA chairman Derek McCoy also spoke at the event, as did the Rev. John Jenkins, pastor of First Baptist Church of Glenarden; the Rev. Frank Reid, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Baltimore; and Martin Johnson, a leader in the Maple Ridge Bruderhof Community near Ulster Park, N.Y.

Archbishop Lori noted that the Bible opens and closes with images of marriage – Adam and Eve in Genesis and the Book of Revelation’s wedding feast of the lamb.

“The union of man and woman is not only a good for the couple, but for the entire community of believers and for humanity, because marriage serves as a model and as a reference point for all that God calls humanity to be,” Archbishop Lori said.

The Catholic Church and other faith traditions value marriage as a unique relationship reserved for one man and one woman because it can create children and it raises them in relationship with their biological mothers and fathers, Archbishop Lori said.

“You can be for traditional marriage and be a loving person – someone who wants what is best for society, what is best for families, and what is best for children,” he said.

Political strategist Frank Schubert, who managed successful campaigns against same-sex marriage laws in California, Maine and North Carolina and is working with the MMA, also rallied the crowd. He urged traditional marriage supporters to contribute financially to the effort’s media campaign.

“The campaign in Maryland is just hitting its stride,” Schubert said.

McCoy expects the campaign to launch television and radio ads around Oct. 8, he told the Catholic Review.

Also attending the event were Bishop W. Francis Malooly of Wilmington, Del., which includes Maryland’s Eastern Shore; Baltimore auxiliary bishops Denis J. Madden and Mitchell T. Rozanski; and Washington, D.C., auxiliary bishops Martin D. Holley and Barry C. Knestout.

Copyright (c) Oct. 1, 2012

Catholic Review

The Catholic Review is the official publication of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.