Faith Leaders Warn SCOTUS: 'Don't Cross That Line'
A group of prominent Christian leaders is issuing a warning to the U.S. Supreme Court. If it makes gay marriage the law of the land, they will not obey.
The news comes as the high court is preparing to make a decision on same-sex marriage.
Two big questions are being considered: First, do same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry? Second, if they do not, must states with marriage bans recognize same-sex marriage licenses from other states?
"As of today, only 11 states have chosen to enact same-sex marriage. But if the Supreme Court says it's a constitutional right, we'll have it in all 50," Brad Jacob, associated professor at the Regent University School of Law, told CBN News.
"That means 39 states will have the will of the people overturned," he said.
In a document titled, "Pledge in Solidarity to Defend Marriage," Christian leaders say they will continue to defend traditional marriage, even if it means civil disobedience.
The pledge reads in part, "While there are many things we can endure, redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross."
"We respectfully warn the Supreme Court not to cross that line," they said.
Todd Starnes of Fox News reports that many well-known Christian leaders have signed the pledge, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Samaritan's Purse.
James Dobson of Family Talk Radio is also involved in the pledge. He told Starnes that marriage is fundamental.
"It's the foundation for the entire culture. It's been in existence for 5,000 years," Dobson said. "If you weaken it or if you undermine it, the entire superstructure can come down. We see it as that important."
Analysts and Christian leaders warn that legalizing same-sex marriage could be a direct threat to religious freedom.
For instance, if the Supreme Court rules that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right - the government could eventually take away the tax-exempt status of religious organizations that do not agree with gay marriage.
"We're already seeing cases from around the country in places where there is same-sex marriage where a Christian who bakes wedding cakes or prints announcements or rents out a hall for receptions, may violate state law or local law if they don't want to promote a gay ceremony. This could go even further."
The Supreme Court's ruling is expected to come down in June. But these Christian leaders aren't waiting until then to make their positions clear. They're saying right now that traditional marriage is the cornerstone of modern civilization, and it has to be defended.