In stark contravention of orthodox Christian principles, more than 50 members of the clergy in Nebraska have pledged to perform same-sex marriages in their churches if the state's ban on same-sex marriage is overturned.
A lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska on behalf of seven same-sex couples last year is challenging the state's voter approved ban on same-sex marriage. A ruling from U.S. District Judge Joseph Bataillon is now pending after hearing arguments on the ACLU's motion for an injunction to block enforcement of the ban while that lawsuit is pending, according to The Associated Press.
In a statement included with a petition from a group of Christian clergy called Heartland Clergy for Inclusion, however, more than 50 churches declared that they were ready to marry same-sex couples as soon as it's legal in the state.
"Based upon our religious convictions, we believe that same-sex couples should be able to legally marry in Nebraska. We stand ready to perform those marriages when the current ban is removed," the group of 57 clergy members began in their statement.
"As faith leaders and Nebraskans, we believe in loving our neighbors and treating one another as we would like to be treated — with dignity and respect. This means recognizing the love and commitment of lesbian and gay couples through marriage. Entering into a committed, loving relationship is one of life's most sacred and holy gifts. Marriage means responsibility and hard work, but it also brings life-changing protections for a family," it noted.
Their statement continued by asserting that while Christian leaders who disagree with them are free to live by their convictions, they believe the ban should be lifted to prevent "discrimination" against same-sex couples.
"The freedom of religious belief and practice is paramount for a solid and healthy society. Every faith leader will always be free to determine which marriages to bless or officiate and which to not. Marriage for same-sex couples will not change that fundamental principal," said the statement.
"Instead, lifting the ban will remove an obstacle preventing us from ministering equally to all families in our community. The current ban on legal same-sex marriage in Nebraska discriminates against our religious beliefs and the teachings and practices of our faiths. We stand for the freedom to marry. We are ready to celebrate religious and legal marriages for Nebraska's same-sex couples," it ended.
Despite support from these 57 Nebraska clergy, however, a new national survey of American voters by the National Organization for Marriage, shows that they continue to overwhelmingly support the view that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. They're also strongly opposed to the U.S. Supreme Court redefining marriage to accommodate the demands of gay and lesbian couples.
The Supreme Court is considering a case where it's being asked to find a constitutional right to "gay marriage" in every state of the union regardless of the opinion of voters in those states.
"Contrary to the repeated assertions of the left, including incredibly inappropriate comments from Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the American people continue to believe that marriage is only the union of one man and one woman,"Brian S. Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage noted in a release Wednesday.
"Moreover, an overwhelming majority of voters — more than 60 percent — believe it would be wrong for the U.S. Supreme Court to impose gay 'marriage' on the entire nation. We hope that the justices of the Supreme Court see this survey and come to realize that any attempt to redefine marriage will be rejected by the American people and will be considered to be illegitimate."