Tuesday, October 21, 2008

People of Faith Speak for Justice

Today, an interfaith group of Arkansas leaders of communities of faith issued a joint statement encouraging Arkansans to vote against Initiated Act 1, which would prohibit couples cohabiting without benefit of marriage from adopting children in Arkansas.

The act is sponsored by the Family Council of Arkansas, an affiliate of James Dobson's Focus on the Family. It is overtly homophobic in its intent and is designed to drive right-wing religious voters to the polls to vote Republican in the coming elections.

It's heartening to hear faith leaders speaking out. The joint statement of Arkansas religious leaders notes that the act will hurt some of the most vulnerable members of society--namely, children--by making it harder to find adoptive homes. As written, the act would penalize family members seeking to adopt a child needing their care, if those family members are cohabiting with someone without marriage.

Signatories of the joint statement include the current and retired Episcopal bishops of Arkansas, Methodist, Baptist, Christian (Disciples of Christ), Presbyterian, and Unitarian-Universalist pastors, as well as a rabbi.

No Catholic pastors are represented among the signatories.

The joint statement, with a video produced by Arkansas Families First, an organization fighting this homophobic legislation (see http://arkansasfamiliesfirst.org), is on the website of Arkansas Times at www.arktimes.com/blogs/arkansasblog/2008/10/vote_no_on_initiated_act_1_8.aspx.