Faith communities in Minnesota collaborate to oppose anti-gay marriage amendment
June 11, 2012
In Minnesota, a diverse array of faith communities are joining together in opposition of a ballot initiative that seeks to prohibit the freedom to marry in the state. Leaders from a number of faith traditions - including Lutheran, Baptist, United Methodist, Roman Catholic, Episcopalian, Unitarian-Universalist, Jewish, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, and Quaker - are speaking out about why their commitment to love and religious freedom compels them to oppose any attempts to restrict the freedom to marry in the state.
Minnesotans United for All Families, a coalition of organizations dedicated to defeating the proposed constitutional amendment, is working with faith communities to help them understand why the amendment contradicts the values of a wide variety of religious groups.
Yesterday, Minnesotans United - in collaboration with Marriage Equality MN, Call to Action, Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, and Dignity Twin Cities - organized a rally for over 200 Catholics from across the state of Minnesota. A number of speakers talked about why marriage matters for Catholics. One of these speakers was Father Bob Pierson, who spoke about why Catholics can and should vote "no" on the proposed amendment. His remarks are posted on Minnesotans United's Facebook page, and you can watch them in the video below:
As a Catholic priest, I am not here to criticize our Church's teaching, but rather to lift up an aspect of the Church's teaching that seems to have been forgotten by some who are supporting the amendment. The issue I am talking about is "Freedom of Conscience." ...
My conscience tells me to vote NO on the amendment because I have yet to hear a convincing reason why we need such an amendment to our state constitution. In fact, I believe that the church does not have the right to force its moral teaching on others outside our fold. When the religious beliefs of any particular religious group become the law of the land, we run the risk of violating everyone's freedom to believe and their freedom of conscience.
Last week, a broader group of religious leaders came together to discuss ways for their individual congregations to organize and defeat the amendment. At the gathering, Pastor Kelly Chatman of Redeemer Lutheran Church of Minneapolis reflected on the effort, explaining:
I will be voting no because of my faith, not in spite of my faith. We have many different religions in our country and in our state. We must ensure our religious freedom is preserved.
Freedom to Marry is proud to be a founding and leading member of Minnesotans United for All Families. We applaud the coalition's efforts to foster support for same-sex couples among faith communities.
We also thank these religious organizations for their vocal support of the freedom to marry. These organizations and religious leaders understand that the question of why marriage matters comes down to the Golden Rule - to treat others as they would like to be treated - and we are grateful for their leadership in the movement to advance the freedom to marry nationwide.