Two new television ads released today by Washington United for Marriage (WUM) – the coalition working to Approve Referendum 74 – feature faith leaders reiterating that the state’s bipartisan marriage law both protects religious liberty and the freedom to marry, while sharing the story of one minister’s journey towards embracing marriage for all loving couples.
In one ad, Rev. Rich Lang, of the University Temple Methodist Church in Seattle, and his wife Cathy, examine their reflections on the freedom to marry. Married for 29 years and the parents of two sons, Rev. Lang talks about his personal struggle over the issue and says, “…it was compassion that broke in. My shift came when I realized that at the very core of my Christianity is the compassion that God has shown towards me.”
Adds Mrs. Lang: “For a couple to be able to take their vows in front of friends and family, it means they’re together, forever. And don’t we want that for everybody?” [The full text is below.]
“These ads remind Washingtonians of two important truths: that our new marriage law fully protects religious liberty, and that for many people embracing the fundamental value of the freedom to marry requires serious thought and reflection,” said Zach Silk, WUM campaign manager. “We understand that journey and we hear about it every day as we talk to voters across the state. We believe Rev. Lang’s journey will resonate with a lot of people.”
In the second ad, five different faith leaders make clear that R74 fully protects religious freedom while allowing all, loving committed couples in Washington to marry the person they love. The full text follows:
Rev. Dr. Sanford Brown [First United Methodist Church, Seattle]:
Referendum 74 protects religious freedom
Rev. Tom Kidd [St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Bellevue]:
Churches will still perform marriages according to their beliefs
Bishop Grant J. Hagiya [Pacific Northwest & Alaska Conference of the United Methodist Church]:
It also protects the growing number of people of faith
Rev. Jim Patten [Newport Presbyterian Church, Bellevue]:
That do support marriage for all committed loving couples
Bishop Hagiya: Including same sex couples
Rev. David Strong [First Congregational Church, Tacoma]: it’s not for us to judge
Friar Cuesta [His Holy Word Christian United Church, Tacoma]: We’re all God’s children
Bishop Hagiya: Marriage matters to all of us
Rev. Patten: We should protect religious freedom
Rev. Tom Kidd: And allow all committed same-sex couples to marry
Rev. Sandy Brown: Referendum 74 does both
Rev. Lang: We’ve been married 29 years
Cathy: And we have two sons
Rev. Lang: I struggled with the notion of same-sex marriage and it was compassion that that broke in. My shift came when I realized that at the very core of my Christianity is the compassion that God has shown towards me.
Cathy: For a couple to be able to take their vows in front of friends and family it means they’re together, forever. And don’t we want that for everybody?