Maine marriage campaign preempts religious freedom attacks

As Mainers United for Marriage kicks off the final phase of the marriage campaign, they’ve released a new ad that takes on the issue of religious freedom.  Knowing the NOM/Schubert playbook will feature lies about the impact of this law on churches, they’re addressing the attack early.

Reverend Michael Gray, the lead signer on the petition that put marriage back on the ballot and a vocal supporter is featured in a new ad (below) that was released last week, as well as taking to the the opinion page of the Portland Press Herald.  In the letter he makes the point that real religious freedom is protected by approving marriage in November.

…Despite assertions made by columnist M.D. Harmon (“Religious groups overwhelmingly oppose same-sex marriage,” Sept. 14), religious freedom means that all churches — and not just some churches — should be free to make their own decisions in regards to solemnizing marriages between same-sex couples.

In Maine, there are more than 75 congregations — including more than 400 pastors, rabbis and lay leaders — who support the freedom to marry.

I am among that group. I’m the pastor of Old Orchard Beach United Methodist Church.

I got involved in this issue after prayerful consideration. My faith informs me, first and foremost, that God is love, and that we should do all we can to treat others as we ourselves would hope to be treated. For me, that means supporting the ability of all loving, committed couples to marry…

…The citizens initiative ensures that churches, clergy, religious institutions and denomination cannot be required to host or perform any wedding that falls outside of their beliefs. It also guarantees that no church or religious institution could be sued for declining to host or perform a ceremony. [read the full letter here]

Here’s the ad with Rev. Gray and his wife:

Born and raised in Maine, Nick Seaver moved to DC to study political communication in 2003. He began writing extensively on LGBT rights during the first ballot initiative in Maine that overturned marriage equality. He writes about a variety of issues, ranging from marriage to issues facing LGBT youth. Follow him on Twitter at @NDSeaver.

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