Wash. Churches Want Vote on Gay Marriage

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SEATTLE - A major petition drive is underway in Washington state to let voters decided on gay marriage.

The state recently legalized the practice, however, many residents don't approve of it. Churches across the state this weekend will hold petition drives during Sunday services.

Some Christians told CBN News that they are worried the law will eventually harm them and their children.

Surrounded by hundreds of gay and lesbian couples, CBN News was at the state capitol, Feb. 13, when Gov. Christine Gregoire's signed gay marriage into law. On that day, Washington state became the first West Coast state to legalize gay marriage.

Conservative Christians worry such laws will end up forcing those opposed to homosexual marriage to accommodate it under penalty of law.

Believers like Lance and Jodi Allen are sure public school kids will be force-fed the idea that homosexuality is right.

"There is an agenda out there. And that agenda is to get it into the schools and force homosexuality and those viewpoints on the children," Lance Allen, a resident of Woodinville, Wash., said.

Pastor Joe Fuiten, at Cedar Park Assembly, is helping lead the movement against gay marriage.

"Well, you know that once they have marriage equality, then that's going to have to be taught in the schools," Fuiten told CBN News.

"They're trying to get it taught at levels six, seven, and eight-years-old that it's okay," Allen noted.

Some parents have seen what's happened in Massachusetts, the first state to legalize gay marriage.

Brian Camenker, the founder of MassResistance, a Massachusetts anti-gay group, was recently featured in a film produced by the Family Research Council.

Camenker's MassResistance website documents:

  • Massachusetts third graders learning about transgender people and cross-dressers.
  • Teachers reading the youngest school kids books like "King and King," where two men marry and kiss each other.
  • A gay first grade teacher coming out to his six-year-old students.

Camenker's researchers also discovered "The Little Black Book: Queer in the 21st Century," at a high school gathering of teachers and students pushing the gay agenda.

Paid for with tax dollars, the book lists pick up joints for gay boys and men, and includes graphic descriptions of dangerous sex acts.

"This is so disgusting that I can't really read it to you," Camenker told CBN News.

Believers in the Evergreen State worry about losing their religious freedom and breaking new anti-discrimination laws unless they submit to the gay agenda.

"A church like ours that has lots of ministries out in the communities, there are a lot of ways that this will be used to coerce, to force churches and Christian people to accept what's morally unacceptable," Fuiten said.

But pro-gay religious leaders like Seattle Rabbi Jonathan Singer say there would be no issue if believers would just accept homosexuality.

"I can't explain God's complexity for making different sexual preferences, but I accept that reality," said Singer, the rabbi of RABBI of Temple Beth Am.

He invites Christians opposing gay marriage "to not be afraid, to take a second Christian look at this question, and maybe open their hearts."

But those who believe in a one-man, one-woman marriage only say what's right is right.

"And we're living in those days where it says that wrong will look right and right will appear wrong," Jodi Allen explained.

State Rep. Matt Shea, R-Spokane Valley, said one day just beliefs will be considered a hate crime, worthy of punishment or acts of reprisal.

"Marriage between one man and one woman is the foundation of society and it was instituted by God before government or churches ever really existed," he said.

Anti-Christian acts are already happening in Massachusetts.

The MassResistance website lists one case after another.

  • Homosexual activists terrorize pro-marriage rally.
  • Homosexual activists terrorize Boston church.
  • Disruption of a church meeting of ex-gays by blasting loud shrieking sounds through a church window.

Opponents of gay marriage in Washington state worry such a fate could be theirs, too.

Many religious leaders say that the governor and the legislature may want legalized gay marriage, but the people don't and they'll prove it with a referendum in November.

"Everywhere this has been voted on in the country, it's been voted down, same sex marriage has," Shea noted.

Churches and others need 125,000 signatures to put gay marriage before Washington voters.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.