Meet Jamie Pedersen, the prime sponsor of a bill to redefine marriage in the Washington State House.
Here’s how Pedersen responded to a constituent of his who emailed him asking him not to redefine marriage (emphasis mine):
Thanks for your message. I strongly disagree with you on this issue and am the House prime sponsor of the bill that will provide marriage equality for same-sex couples. I can assure you that the legislation will provide strong protection for religious liberty. No priest or clergy person will be required to solemnize any marriage, and no religious organization may be compelled to permit its facilities to be used in connection with any marriage. But civil marriage is a legal construct of the Revised Code of Washington, and it is very much up to the legislature to define who can marry. I believe that our state has a strong interest in not discriminating against — and harming — the families of same-sex couples based on the religious views of a small and dwindling minority.
All families in Washington are hurt by our current policy of treating some families as different and inferior. All families in Washington will be strengthened by making civil marriage available to couples regardless of their sexual orientation.
Okay, a lot of things to respond to here.
First, it takes some gumption to tell a constituent that they are for “harming families.”
Second, “the religious views of a small and dwindling minority.” Hold the phone. A majority of people polled by Gallup in Washington State said religion “was an important part of their daily life.” Gay marriage has never been approved by a majority of citizens, and if gay marriage is voted on by the people of Washington state, it will fail there too. The attempt to call believing Christians a “small and dwindling minority” is offensive, and speaks more of his bigotry against people of faith than anything else.
Third, Pedersen’s promises about religious liberty are a red herring. There is no mention, for instance, of any protections provided for individual religious liberty, and there are numerous and increasing examples of individual religious liberty being curtailed wherever marriage is redefined. What, for instance, will happen to religious adoption agencies? The same thing as what just happened in Illinois because of their civil unions legislation? Not hard to imagine. But of course, Pedersen would be happy to see Catholic and faith-based organizations pushed out of the public square. They are, after all, in his mind, “harming” people.
I’ll stop myself here, but I could add much more.
Dear readers, lets send a message to Mr. Pedersen! It’s important that he hears from the “small and dwindling” community of believers who strongly defend marriage, and who strongly defend the right of Churches to preach the good news about family and promote the common good in the public square! Tell him it’s not “harming” anyone to believe that kids deserve to know and be loved by their mom and dad.
Or you could just send him a link to this blog post.
Here is Mr. Pedersen’s contact info:
Mr. Pedersen’s webpage on the WA State Legislature website.
Email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
330 John L. O’Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
District Office: (206) 729-3206