Much to the dismay of Christian and pro-family leaders nationwide, the federal court denied an injunction to delay gay marriages in Massachusetts, May 13, 2004. The leaders now fear that critical decision, which was made only 4 days before the state begins to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, will cause a constitutional and moral confusion that will spread beyond U.S. borders.
"It's an unusual time that we live in, and we're asking this court to intervene to prevent this constitutional train wreck," said Mathew Staver, president and general counsel of the Florida-based Liberty Counsel, who filed the complaint on behalf of a client on Wednesday.
Staver argued before U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overstepped its authority by approving gay marriage, since making the law was the job of the legislature.
However, Tauro rejected the argument, saying, To rule that through its actions (the court) usurped the power of the Massachusetts legislature and violated the federal Constitution would be to deprive that court of its authority and obligation to consider and resolve, with finality, Massachusetts constitutional issues.
The plaintiffs announced that they would appeal. However, whether or not the appeal would be heard, it would take place after May 17 the dreaded day Massachusetts begins issuing the licenses.
Despite the verdict, pastors across the nation have increasingly spoken out against the upcoming event, and have registered to gather in Washington D.C. on May 23 the first Sunday after May 17 to defend traditional marriage.
"As the battle to preserve marriage now enters its final stage --when we will either amend the U.S. Constitution or allow marriage to be redefined out of existence -- America's pastors have a vital role to play," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins.
These pastors have the ability to attract millions of pro-family Jews and Christians into the battle to defend marriage, and after this week's briefing, I know of at least 300 pastors who are ready to do just that, added Perkins.
On the west coast, the Campaign for California Families - a forerunner of protecting marriage - has scheduled two events to rally against the May 17th outbreak.
"Clear your schedule and reprioritize your day by standing in unity with others for the sacred institution of marriage at the May 22 Rally in Sacramento or the May 18 Protest in Los Angeles. Its that important," wrote the CCF.
"Join pro-family citizens to oppose same-sex "marriage" which is being pushed on us right now by Massachusetts..." the campaign said. "Show the media and the politicians you care. Do your part for the protection of marriage between one man and one woman by attending one or both of the events."
On a positive note, the city of Boston announced that it would indeed abide by the law and refuse the issuance of marriage licenses to out of state homosexuals. A 1913 law prohibits municipal courts from marrying non-Massachusetts couples, since gay marriage is outlawed in all other states.
The Boston city attorney, Merita Hopkins, issued a one-line statement Wednesday saying, the city of Boston will accept marriage applications "from everyone except partners who do not reside in Massachusetts, and neither one of which intends to reside in Massachusetts."
Meanwhile, the Catholic Archbishop Sean P. OMalley of Boston issued a statement expressing grief and sorrow over the turn of events, on Thursday.
"It is with deep sadness that we will realize this Monday the creation of same-sex marriages here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts," O'Malley said.
"The creation of a right to same-sex marriage in the end will not strengthen the institution of marriage within our society but only weaken it as marriage becomes only one life-style choice among many others."
The archbishop also carefully reminded the Catholics not to take out their frustrations on a particular group.
"I remind all Catholics that our sadness at what has happened should not lead us into anger against or vilification of any group of people, especially our homosexual brothers and sisters," O'Malley said. "Our task as Christ's disciples is to build a civilization of love."
For more information or to join the West Coast rallies, please visit: www.savecalifornia.com