Conservative Christian leaders unveiled a declaration Friday calling on Christians not to comply with rules and laws forcing them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage and other ideals that go against their religious doctrines.
The declaration urges Christians to practice civil disobedience to defend their convictions, even though some signers of the document backed away from the strong language.
The Catholic Archbishop of Washington, Donald W. Wuerl, was among the first signers of the Manhattan Declaration. He appeared at a news conference in the District on Friday to announce it, even as the Church was considering a city-proposed compromise on its same-sex marriage measure. Church officials say the bill, as it stands, would require faith groups, such as the church-run Catholic Charities, to extend benefits to married same-sex partners, an example of what the declaration's authors see as a violation of religious liberty law.