Jeremy Hooper discovered Protect Marriage Maine’s “Church Kit,” a guide to help churches engage in political advocacy against the marriage equality referendum. In it, campaign chairman Bob Emrich, who also admitted this week that he believes “homosexual behavior” is “unnatural and wrong,” claims that “God is the author of marriage” and that “God intended children to be raised” only by opposite-sex parents. He then attempts to scare congregants with the false claim that their religious freedom is in danger:
Many people mistakenly believe that allowing “same-sex” marriage would not threaten their own traditional marriages. They mistakenly presume that all marriages can simply coexist, including those of the “same-sex”variety. However, the reality is a new, redefined (genderless) version of marriage would be the only legally recognized definition of marriage for anyone in Maine. And experience elsewhere establishes those who do not agree with this redefinition of marriage – whether for moral, religious, personal or any other reason – will soon find themselves facing consequences.
He goes on to cite incongruous examples about pastors preaching against homosexuality in other countries, suggesting that “the word of God will be considered outright bigotry.” Emrich also threatens that churches could lose their tax-exempt status, using the example of the New Jersey Methodist pavilion, a case that had nothing to do with religious tax exemptions.
As was seen in the Chick-fil-A debacle this summer, Emrich is clearly attempting to drive a wedge between Christianity and the LGBT community, erasing all LGBT Christians and their allies in the process. The kit also makes it blatantly clear that opposition to marriage equality is driven by an effort to impose one set of religious beliefs on an entire state. What Protect Marriage Maine is really doing is using Christianity as a crux for reinforcing hetero-supremacy in society; a “genderless version of marriage” is bad because it means straight people don’t get to be more special than gay people. It’s not difficult to see how opposing a “redefinition” is just code for defending inequality.