Herald JournalHerald Journal, July 5, 2004

Churches urge calls to Congress about marriage bill

By Lynda Jensen

Thousands of churches plan to participate in “Marriage Protection Sunday” July 11 – which will kick off the week that a vote is scheduled for the US Senate about the amendment to the US Constitution meant to keep marriage between a man and woman.

“Marriage Protection Sunday” will be followed by “Call Your Senator Day,” Monday, July 12, in which parishioners are being urged to call US Senators about the issue.

“You can call more than once,” commented Pastor Dan Runke of the Albion Free Evangelical Church.

Area pastors are asking for phone calls particularly to Coleman and Dayton, as well as US Rep. Mark Kennedy (contact information).

Right now, the amendment is in two different places on the federal level – it is in a judicial committee on the House of Representatives, and will be voted next week on the US Senate level, Runke said.

The House will vote on it sometime during July.

“They are probably watching how the Senate will vote, because if it fails (on the Senate level), it will fail anyway,” Runke said.

It needs to pass by a two-thirds majority to become law.

“We need to speak kindly, but also remind them, should they fail to support traditional marriage, they can be replaced with a candidate that will support it,” Runke said.

Runke noted that Kennedy is one of three Minnesota legislators who support the amendment and a co-sponsor of the bill.

Also on Sunday evening, July 11, the Southern Baptist Convention will host the second nationwide simulcast to encourage Christians and the church about this issue.

The broadcast will be live from Dr. Adrian Rogers’ church, Bellevue Baptist, in Memphis, Tenn. Participants will once again include Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family and Chuck Colson of Prison Fellowship.

Also joining the broadcast will be Ken Hutcherson, the former Seattle Seahawk who pastors Antioch Bible Church in Seattle and who organized the rally for marriage there where more than 20,000 attended.

There are several Internet links to track the issue as well.

To see how US representatives voted, go to www.house.gov and type “HJ RES 56.”

There is a link on the Internet to a nationwide petition that area pastors are also promoting, www.nogaymarriage.com.

Other links include:www.reclaimamerica.org/Pages/News/newspage.asp?story=1843.

To read the latest on the marriage debate go to www.reclaimamerica.org.

To chart the progress of marriage laws in your state by visiting our Marriage Map: http://cfra.info/r.asp?u=242.


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