Virginians who support the ban on same-sex marriage are making sure their voices are heard.
It’s a divisive issue, but they say swings in public opinion don’t change their traditional values.
“This is the time for the church to come out of the closet. Everybody else has come out. Now we’re coming out,” says Chesapeake’s Bishop G. Wesley Hardy.
Supporters of keeping the same-sex marriage ban in place admit they face an uphill battle. Seventeen states now allow same-sex marriage. Opponents vow they will fight lawmakers and the courts to defend Christian values.
“You have those forces coming against the Christian faith. We will turn into a God-less nation unless we fight back,” says Donald Blake with the Virginian Christian Alliance.
Evangelical Christians see it as an erosion of traditional values. They acknowledge they will be labeled bigots for their view, but don’t apologize.
“I believe the church needs to share love. And we want to share love. But we can’t share love by saying it’s alright for same-sex marriage. I don’t think that’s sharing love. That’s sharing deception based on the word of God,” Bishop Hardy says.
Conservatives in the General Assembly are supporting a bill that will let them go to court to defend state law that the Attorney General won’t. And some Evangelicals are now circulating this petition trying to get Attorney General Mark Herring impeached.
After the same-sex marriage ban was declared unconstitutional, some groups began considering appealing the decision.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Byron Babione made the following statement:
“The people of Virginia understand that men and women bring distinct, irreplaceable gifts to family life, especially for children who deserve both a mom and a dad. Understanding that truth, the voters of Virginia approved a constitutional amendment to affirm marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The court’s reasoning, however, would permit nearly every relationship to be a marriage so long as it is grounded in choice and emotion, yet that’s not what marriage or true liberty has ever been. Because the court’s ruling interferes with the right of Virginians to determine the future of marriage in their state and raises serious constitutional issues, we are reviewing the judge’s decision with our client and considering our next steps.”
The judge’s order will not go into effect until appeals in the case have concluded.