Source: The San Francisco Chronicle
On March 17, 2004 The San Francisco Chronicle reported, "The nation's three largest Christian denominations -- the 66-million- member Roman Catholic Church, 16-million-member Southern Baptist Convention and the 8-million-member United Methodist Church -- all stand opposed to gays and lesbians being allowed to marry in Christian churches or in city hall. Over the past four months, their opposition has been galvanized by a court decision allowing same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, and then re-energized by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom's defiance of California marriage laws. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops this month reaffirmed its support for amending the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as 'only the union of a man and a woman.'.. Son Pham, the president of the Vietnamese-American Community of Northern California, a political and social organization, got into the debate last week when the San Jose City Council voted to offer identical benefits to all married city employees, whether same-sex or heterosexual. The council also voted to honor same-sex marriage licenses issued by other jurisdictions. Pham, a Buddhist, says his opinion is not based on religion. 'I believe in nature, that a marriage is between two people of different sexes -- a man and a woman -- who will have children and raise a family together,' he said."