So a group of religious leaders released an open letter yesterday affirming that marriage is between one man and one woman. Period.
The letter repeats a common argument of recent years, that maintaining the traditional understanding of marriage is not only right but the best thing for everyone.
“Marriage is an institution fundamental to the well-being of all of society, not just religious communities,” says the short letter, officially called “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment.”
The letter is signed by 26 religious leaders. You can, more or less, guess who they are: Archbishop Dolan; Leith Anderson of the National Association of Evangelicals; H. David Burton, presiding bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention; and other Orthodox Christian, Orthodox Jewish and conservative Christians leaders. Also: Manmohan Singh of the American Region of the World Sikh Council.
Who’s missing? Who do you think? Episcopalians. Presbyterians. Non-Orthodox Jews. Other liberal or progressive religious types.
Here’s the full text of the letter:
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. We honor the unique love between husbands and wives; the indispensible place of fathers and mothers; and the corresponding rights and dignity of all children.
Marriage thus defined is a great good in itself, and it also serves the good of others and society in innumerable ways. The preservation of the unique meaning of marriage is not a special or limited interest but serves the good of all. Therefore, we invite and encourage all people, both within and beyond our faith communities, to stand with us in promoting and protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.