The Westboro Baptist Church, which calls itself "God Hates Fags," is seeking to intervene in a federal court case that will decide on same-sex marriage in Kansas.
One of the world's most anti-gay groups and religious institutions, the Westboro Baptist Church, has filed a motion to join Gov. Sam Brownback, Attorney General Derek Schmidt,Â and the State of Kansas in defending a ban on same-sex marriage in federal court.
The brief calls same-sex marriage "the number one moral issue facing this nation," and says it is "constitutional folly to suggest that a sinful-behavior-based union should be a union that is afforded civil rights and granted the imprimatur of respectability by a license from the government," warning the government that legalizing same-sex marriage "violates its duty of religious neutrality; and puts itself in the position of imposing sin on the citizens, to the great detriment and harm of the health and welfare of the citizenry."Â Westboro Baptist Church claims it "has a vital interest in what the courts rule regarding this issue, as it directly impacts their religious practices."
â€œSame-sex marriage will destroy Kansas,â€ the WBC's brief states. â€œIf this Court requires Kansas officials to treat what God has called abominable as something to be respected, revered, and blessed with the seal-of-approval of the government, that will cross a final line with God. The harm that will befall this state, when the condign destructive wrath of God pours out on Kansans is the ultimate harm to the health, welfare and safety of the people.â€
The WBC also appears to refer to the recent controversy in Idaho, where anti-gay groups are falsely claiming two ministers are being forced to marry same-sex couples.
"It would be naÃ¯ve to suppose that granting marriage licenses to homosexuals will end the discussion; the Court can take judicial notice of the waves of litigation that have ensued where same sex marriage is recognized, with homosexual activists trying to force others to participate, from bakers, to florists, to clergy, and anyone else on the path of their journey to force allÂ America to call these same sex unions that violate Godâ€™s law, holy."
The WBC's brief also quotes American theologian Jonathan Edwards as saying, "if sin was not restrained, it would immediately turn the soul into a fiery oven, or a furnace of fire and brimstone," and several passages from the Bible, including,
â€œEven as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in likeÂ manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.â€
Chris Johnson at the Washington Blade reports that "the brief doesnâ€™t contain the same anti-gay slurs that have made the church infamous, [but] the filing does envision calamity if same-sex marriage is legalized in Kansas based on the biblical scripture. Stories cited by the church include the destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah, ancient cities thought to have incurred Godâ€™s wrath for allowing homosexuality, and Godâ€™s destruction of civilization worldwide by Noahâ€™s flood."
Thomas Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, said the brief is indicative of the views of those who draw on religion to oppose LGBT rights.
â€œTheir motion to intervene shows the true colors of everyone who uses their religion as a reason to deny equal rights to LGBT couples,â€ Witt said.Â