“How good it is, how pleasant, where the people dwell as one!” – Psalm 133:1 (NAB)
Just over one year ago, on December 6, 2010, leaders from twenty-seven different religious communities joined together to reaffirm their commitment to marriage as the permanent and faithful union of one man and one woman. In an open letter entitled “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment” religious leaders representing a wide-range of Christian churches and communities, Jewish organizations and the American Sikh community joined the Catholic Church in expressing their common concern and commitment to marriage between one man and one woman as an unalterable institution in the bedrock of our society.
“As religious leaders across different faith communities,” the signatories wrote, “we join together and affirm our shared commitment to promote and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman. We honor the unique love between husbands and wives; the indispensable place of fathers and mothers; and the corresponding rights and dignity of all children.”
The open letter was a remarkable expression of ecumenical and interreligious collaboration, and a hopeful sign of joint activity yet to come. Despite the groups’ theological and cultural differences, they affirmed together their common belief that protecting and promoting marriage is a fundamental task for all people of faith. Indeed, “how good it is, how pleasant, where the people dwell as one!”
- Full text and signers: “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment”
- Press release: “Religious Leaders Voice Shared Commitment to Protect Marriage”
- Backgrounder on the open letter