This statement from Catholics for Marriage Equality, released by the NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality campaign, is encouraging indeed, especially in light of all the bad news on diocesan actions. It's a good reminder that we must continue to separate church members from the periodic questionable actions of their leaders.
Portland, Maine (Friday, September 11, 2009)---Catholics for Marriage Equality (C4ME), an organization urging Catholics and all Mainers to vote no on Question 1 on the November 3rd ballot, today issued the following statement in response to the Diocese of Portland’s fundraising for the campaign to repeal Maine’s marriage equality law:
“Catholics for Marriage Equality calls on its members and all Catholics who share our support for marriage equality to take two peaceful but effective actions in our parishes this Sunday so that the diocese will know it is not speaking for all faithful Catholics.
“First, instead of money, we urge parishioners who support marriage equality to place a note in the special collection envelope stating that they do not support the bishop's stance to deprive same-sex couples of the right to civil marriage and will instead donate funds to NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality, which opposes Question 1, or to a charity that is inclusive of all families.
“Second, we ask supportive Catholics to sign our petition affirming that the Church can define marriage as it wishes for its members but that marriage as a civil right is the prerogative of the state to define. Our petition is available at: http://religiouscoalition.org/
“C4ME exists to give hope to those who are hurt and angry because of our bishop’s determination to overturn the legislature’s passage of marriage equality. We will disseminate information that is truthful and respectful stating why marriage equality is a matter of civil rights and social justice that Catholics are free to support—indeed, may feel compelled to support as a matter of social conscience and responsible citizenship.”
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"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."
- Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, and one of the most influential Founding Fathers.