As religious leaders across a wide variety of faith communities, we join together to affirm that marriage in its true definition must be protected for its own sake and for the good of society. We also recognize the grave consequences of altering this definition. One of these consequences—the interference with the religious freedom of those who continue to affirm the true definition of “marriage”—warrants special attention within our faith communities and throughout society as a whole. For this reason, we come together with one voice in this letter.
Funny how religious bigots keep justifying opposite-sex marriage "for its own sake." That's because there's no rational non-bigoted argument against it. But why, exactly, are they so worried? They admit, it's not because their own religious freedoms are at stake:
Some posit that the principal threat to religious freedom posed by same-sex “marriage” is the possibility of government’s forcing religious ministers to preside over such “weddings,” on pain of civil or criminal liability. While we cannot rule out this possibility entirely, we believe that the First Amendment creates a very high bar to such attempts
Well then, that's that! Even they recognize that the First Amendment protects their rights to bigotry and discrimination. Case closed! Except, they don't think it is.
Instead, we believe the most urgent peril is this: forcing or pressuring both individuals and religious organizations—throughout their operations, well beyond religious ceremonies—to treat same-sex sexual conduct as the moral equivalent of marital sexual conduct. There is no doubt that the many people and groups whose moral and religious convictions forbid same-sex sexual conduct will resist the compulsion of the law, and church-state conflicts will result
By a single stroke, every law where rights depend on marital status—such as employment discrimination, employment benefits, adoption, education, healthcare, elder care, housing, property, and taxation—will change so that same-sex sexual relationships must be treated as if they were marriage. That requirement, in
turn, will apply to religious people and groups in the ordinary course of their many private or public occupations and ministries—including running schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other housing facilities, providing adoption and counseling services, and many others [...]
For example, in New Jersey, the state cancelled the tax-exempt status of a Methodist-run boardwalk pavilion used for religious services because the religious organization would not host a same-sex “wedding” there. San Francisco dropped its $3.5 million in social service contracts with the Salvation Army because it refused to recognize same-sex “domestic partnerships” in its employee benefits policies. Similarly, Portland, Maine, required Catholic Charities to extend spousal employee benefits to same-sex “domestic partners” as a condition of receiving city housing and community development funds.
Notice the common thread? These religious bigots want to receive taxpayer support for their efforts, but want to keep discriminatory practices in place.
This isn't about infringing on their right to discriminate. Their right to be bigots isn't in question.
What's in question is whether American taxpayers should subsidize that bigotry. And the answer, quite obviously, should be a resounding NO.