Conservative Leaders Issue 'Family Manifesto'

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - Defenders of traditional marriage plan to release a pro-family "manifesto" on Tuesday. The 36-page document recognizes the "power of family and faith" in changing times.

The manifesto offers a "concise, coherent, compelling case for the family," including a "pro-family worldview" and an "action program," the press release said.

"It tells the story of the family -- how society advanced in tandem with the natural family -- places our current family crises in an historical context and, finally, offers a vision -- a set of principles for developing the pro-family political/cultural agenda of tomorrow."

Details will be announced at a Tuesday afternoon press conference in Washington organized by Allan C. Carlson of the World Congress of Families; and Paul T. Mero, president of the Sutherland Institute.

Recent news events highlight the need for a pro-family manifesto and a family-friendly culture, Carlson and Mero say.

Their press release specifically refers to Monday's California court ruling striking down heterosexual marriage as unconstitutional -- a ruling that defies the will of California voters. In 2000, 61 percent of California voters approved an initiative defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

"Concern about preservation of the traditional -- or natural -- family has never been higher," Carlson and Mero say. "Threats to family stability from divorce, promiscuity and the redefinition of marriage have never been more daunting."

The pro-family advocates also note the power of faith and family as portrayed by Ashley Smith - the widowed mother in Georgia who shared her faith with the suspected Atlanta courthouse killer who took her hostage - and later released her unharmed.

Participants in Wednesday's gathering at the National Press Club include Carlson, Mero, George Marlin (chairman of the Philadelphia Trust Company and author of "The American Catholic Voter: 200 Years of Political Impact"); Dr. Janice Crouse (Concerned Women for America); Patrick Fagan (The Heritage Foundation); Dr. Paul Schenck (Priests for Life); and Cristina Vollmer de Burelli (Alliance for the Family).

The press release said other conservative leaders (Gary Bauer, Phyllis Schlafly, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, Father Frank Pavone, Jerry Falwell, Pastor/author Rick Warren, and author Phillip Longman) have issued statements that will be shared at the press conference.

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