WASHINGTON (Christian Examiner) – Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is asking Christians to start today to pray and fast through April 28 when the U.S. Supreme Court takes up the issue of marriage.
In a statement released on the FRC website, he urges Believers everywhere to ask God to intervene and "guide our Supreme Court to protect, not destroy, natural marriage as the legal standard for our nation."
On April 28 the nine justices of the country's highest court will hear two and one-half hours of oral arguments relating to two questions:
(1) Does the 14th Amendment require a state to license a marriage between two people of the same sex?
(2) Does the 14th Amendment require a state to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state??
The questions relate to four cases which the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor of states which had voter-approved amendments protecting the definition of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold or overturn the lower federal court's ruling that states reserve the right to define marriage under the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
-- A gay couple married in Canada, with two adopted children, moved to Kentucky which bans gay marriage and allows only heterosexual couples to adopt. Only one of the men is the legal parent and the lawsuit argues that if he died first, the stability of the surviving family would be threatened.
-- Two lesbian nurses sued the state of Michigan for the right to jointly adopt three children they are raising in foster care. The state bans adoption by same-sex couples and the judge overturned the law regarding gay marriage on the basis that it was the underlying issue preventing the couple from adopting.
-- A man sued the state of Ohio for the right to be listed on his late partner's death certificate as the "surviving spouse." Ohio officials have declined citing its marriage protection law which bans same-sex marriage.
-- Two lesbian professors of veterinary medicine, married in New York where same-sex marriage is legal, moved to teach at the University of Tennessee, but the state only recognizes marriage as a union between a man and a woman. They have a child together and are demanding Tennessee honor the marital arrangement New York legalized.
The Family Research Council asked supporters to begin April 7 with prayer and fasting focused on "confession, repentance and cleansing." Rev. Pierre Bynum, FRC's chaplain and national prayer director, launched the national initiative with this theme, saying these would serve as the foundation for the next 21 days of "asking God to raise up His standard to protect and preserve marriage in our land."
A different emphasis will be announced each day through April 28 on Call2Fall Blog.
Perkins, meanwhile said the prayer points in each daily theme will be useful in the "all-out prayer" effort.
"We will pray for the attorneys, the hearings, and the hearts of our Supreme Court Justices," his statement reads, "that they will be softened and moved by God to rule aright in this monumental case."