Religious leaders push for Prop. 8 in Calif.

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Hundreds of pastors have called on their congregations to fast and pray for passage of a ballot measure in November that would put an end to gay marriage in California.

The collective act of piety, starting Wednesday and culminating three days before the election in a revival for as many as 100,000 people at the San Diego Chargers’ stadium, comes as church leaders across California put people, money and powerful words behind Proposition 8.

Some pastors around the state and nation are encouraging their flocks to forgo solid food for up to 40 days in the biblical tradition.

Jim Garlow, the pastor of the evangelical Skyline Church in San Diego County, said he expects up to 100 young adults to spend five-plus weeks on his campus, subsisting on soup, juice and the promise of societal salvation.

“This is not political to us. We see it as very spiritual,” said Garlow, a leader of an interfaith coalition that has held monthly teleconferences, shared sermons and solicited donations for the ballot measure.

Alarmed by a California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage, churches of many faiths have banded together in support of a measure that would amend the state constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. They have become the single largest force behind the measure, recruiting volunteers, raising money, registering voters, manning phone banks and distributing campaign literature.

Under federal law, religious organizations cannot endorse political candidates but are free to campaign on social issues without endangering their tax-exempt status.

Read the full story from the Washington Blade.

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