John Jalsevac


Major religious leaders release statement supporting true marriage

John Jalsevac

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2010 ( — Leaders of some of the largest religious communities in the United States have come together to express their commitment toward the protection of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

In an open letter released yesterday, entitled “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment,” leaders from Anglican, Baptist, Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Lutheran, Mormon, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Sikh communities in the United States affirmed the importance of preserving marriage’s unique meaning.

Read the complete text of the letter, and list of signers, here.

“The broad consensus reflected in this letter—across great religious divides—is clear: The law of marriage is not about imposing the religion of anyone, but about protecting the common good of everyone,” said Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, newly elected president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and one of the letter’s signers.

“People of any faith or no faith at all can recognize that when the law defines marriage as between one man and one woman, it legally binds a mother and a father to each other and their children, reinforcing the foundational cell of human society.”

Other signers include Leith Anderson, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, Archbishop Robert Duncan of the Anglican Church in North America, Manmohan Singh, the Secretary General of the World Sikh Council – America Region, and many others.

The letter states: “Marriage is the permanent and faithful union of one man and one woman. As such, marriage is the natural basis of the family. Marriage is an institution fundamental to the well-being of all of society, not just religious communities.”

“As religious leaders across different faith communities, we join together and affirm our shared commitment to promote and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman.”


The release of this letter happened the same morning that oral arguments on the Proposition 8 case began. In August, Judge Vaughn Walker had ruled California’s Proposition 8 to be unconstitutional, based in part on the claim that defining marriage as between a man and a woman lacked any rational basis, and instead reflected nothing but religion-based hostility to homosexual persons. This ruling has been appealed and its hearing is scheduled for today, December 6.


“Today is the moment to stand for marriage and its unchangeable meaning. We hope this letter will encourage just that,” Archbishop Dolan said.

“The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment” is being circulated nationwide. Downloadable PDF versions of the letter can be found here. A backgrounder on the statement can be found here.

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