A coalition of over 300 clergy have called on Indiana lawmakers to cease their efforts to pass a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage in the state, signing an open letter which was delivered to the State House on Monday.
The clergy, from Indiana’s Interfaith Coalition on Non-Discrimination, say the clergy oppose formally banning same-sex marriage for a range of reasons but are united in their opposition.
‘We are Indiana clergy, leaders of faith communities, and other religious professionals,’ their open letter reads.
‘Our backgrounds and those of the people we serve vary widely. Our views on marriage differ. But we speak with one voice to oppose amending the Indiana Constitution to define marriage.
‘Each of us who signs this letter respects the right of religious groups to decide whether or not to sanction marriage or other unions of same-gender couples.
'The Indiana Bill of Rights guarantees the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, and prevents the giving of a legal preference to any creed. Preferring and codifying one particular religious view of marriage in the Indiana Constitution flies in the face of both of these guarantees.
‘The drafters of the Indiana Constitution included six provisions in Bill of Rights that seek, in various ways, to ensure that the government does not interfere with, or direct, religious beliefs or practices. We ask you to respect this grant of religious freedom and allow Indiana’s various faith communities to continue to discern their individual paths with respect to same-gender marriage or other same-gender unions.
‘The Marriage Amendment would increase discrimination and undermine religious freedom. We urge you to vote against it.’
The clergy who have signed the petition include both Christian and Jewish clergy from a diverse range of denominations.