.- Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore last week told a large gathering of Maryland religious leaders opposed to Question 6 that it is urgent to organize voters opposed to the ballot measure, which would recognize “gay marriage” in the state.
“Those who are trying to redefine marriage are the politically powerful, and are raising money from Hollywood to Madison Avenue and throughout the country,” he said in his introductory comments at the Sept. 26 Interfaith Gathering on Marriage.
“What a powerful message it should send that so many people from so many faith traditions would gather together in this, the oldest Catholic seminary in the United States, in support of such a critical issue for our society.”
Over 200 attended the meeting at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore. Catholic bishops from Maryland and nearby states joined Protestant, Evangelical, Mormon and Muslim leaders at the event.
The Orthodox Jewish community also supported the gathering, but did not attend because it coincided with the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur. Rabbi Ariel Sadwin, a leading rabbi from Baltimore sent a message of solidarity.
Archbishop Lori said backers of traditional marriage have an “urgent” task. They must raise the funds to challenge the media campaign in favor of the referendum and they must get their allies to the voting booth. Catholics are contributing “significant financial support” and are organizing volunteers.
The archbishop said the defense of marriage is “a message that is profoundly good.”
He also observed that those of different faiths believe in marriage as “the unique relationship” between a man and a woman and in the “vital and unique role” that both mothers and fathers have in raising children. This relationship is “the foundation of all society” because it brings life into the world, he said.
“The union of man and woman, then, is not only a good for the couple but for the entire community of the Church and of humanity, for marriage serves as a model and a point of reference for all that God calls humanity to be,” Archbishop Lori stated.
On May 1, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley signed into law a bill that recognizes “gay marriage” in the state. The bill passed the Maryland House of Delegates by a 72-67 vote and the Maryland Senate by a vote of 25-22.
Opponents of the bill turned in over 113,000 signatures to challenge the bill on the November ballot, about twice the number required by law. The successful petition drive means the law will not take effect until January 2013.
A vote in favor of Question 6 would recognize “gay marriage” in the state, while a vote against Question 6 would defeat the bill and preserve marriage as a union of a man and a woman.