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NEW: Religious Leaders Rally to Oppose Same Sex Marriage

Monday, January 14, 2013

 

Bishop Thomas J. Tobin is one of a number of prominent RI religious figures expected to speak against gay marriage tomorrow.

On the same day that the Rhode Island House of Representatives will hold its first hearing on a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state, a group of prominent religious leaders will hold a press conference to express opposition to the legislation.

The recently-formed coalition, calling itself the “Faith Alliance to Preserve the Sanctity of Marriage as Established by God” (Faith Alliance), includes religious and civic leaders from over 100 organizations in Rhode Island and, according to a press release issued today, it has gained the support of the 7,000-member Knights of Columbus organization.

The press conference, which takes place tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. at the State House, will include a formal position statement from the group and speeches from a number of prominent religious figures in the state, including Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, Catholic Diocese of Providence; Pastor Luis Rodriguez, Iglesia de la Comunidad; Pastor Luis Suarez, Iglesia Nueva Generacion; Pastor Santos Escobar, Inglesia Vida Abundante UMC; Ron L’Heureux, Founder of Exodus 18; and Darrell Lee, Founder of Building Cities on God Ministries.

“The state, by law, only has the right to ensure the “legal” administration of God’s covenant of marriage; it is not authorized to change, amend, or revise God’s definition of marriage,” said Lee, a co-founder of the group. “Marriage has been established and defined by God as a spiritual union between a man and a woman, and it is not to be altered by mankind or its government.”

The press conference will also feature a speech from Christopher Plante, Director of the National Organization for Marriage, and is expected to touch on topics ranging from “Biblical and historical perspectives” to “the impact on families, and legal implications”, the release said.

The group says its position and purpose is to “safeguard God’s covenant and definition of marriage” and insists that it is “neither judging nor condemning gay, lesbian, or transgender individuals.”

“Unfortunately, there is a tendency to logically or purposefully associate matters of homosexuality with same sex marriage,” said Luis Rodriguez, co-founder of the Faith Alliance and President of the Hispanic Ministerial Association. “While the former may be a right of personal choice or innate sexual orientation, the latter is a privilege ordained by God and administered by the state. Once this distinction is clearly articulated through our collective efforts, we are confident that the people of Rhode Island will strongly urge their state legislators to hear the voice of the people.”

 

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