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Clergy For Fairness

Press Release

For Immediate Release — May 22, 2006

Religious Leaders Announce Petition Drive To Oppose Federal Marriage Amendment

National Religious Groups Say Amendment Undercuts Religious Liberty, Urge Congress To Reject It

WASHINGTON — Clergy from a wide spectrum of religious traditions today announced a national petition drive for religious leaders who are against the Federal Marriage Amendment and called on all like-minded faith leaders to speak out against the Senate‚Äôs impending vote on the amendment.

The amendment, S.J. Res. 1, is set for a vote in the U.S. Senate the week of June 5.

Representatives of Clergy for Fairness, a broad coalition of mainstream religious voices, said more than 1,600 clergy and other faith-community representatives have already signed a petition against the marriage amendment and hundreds more are expected to do so. (Information about the petition drive and other faith-community activities in opposition to the amendment are available at www.clergyforfairness.org.)

These faith leaders are united in the belief that religious liberty must be preserved and that discrimination should not be written into our Constitution. At a time when our country is facing critical issues, the U.S. Senate should not be focused on undercutting the separation of church and state and treating an entire group of Americans differently.

They believe that people of faith and goodwill can and do disagree about what constitutes marriage, but that this amendment would endorse one religiously biased view over all others and impose it on all Americans by constitutional fiat.

Clergy members in Washington today are also visiting congressional offices to ask senators to reject the marriage amendment.

In addition, 22 national religious groups have sent a joint letter to Congress opposing the amendment. Signers range from the Alliance of Baptists, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the National Council of Jewish Women to the Central Conference of American Rabbis, the Episcopal Church USA, the National Sikh Center and the United Church of Christ Justice & Witness Ministries. For the text of the letter and the full list of signers, see www.clergyforfairness.org.

For more information about the event, please see our list of speakers and photos from the press conference.