Minnesota Episcopals vote to oppose amendment to ban same-sex marriage
Minnesota’s Episcopalians voted this weekend to oppose a ballot question that would change the Minnesota Constitution to ban marriage rights for same-sex couples. The denomination joins a small but growing list of faith organizations who are urging members to vote “no” next November.
The Star Tribune reports that the Episcopalians voted in favor of a “Resolution against the Constitutional Amendment to Ban Marriage for Same-Sex Couples.”
“The Episcopal Church in Minnesota has always stood with the marginalized,” Brian N. Prior, IX Bishop of Minnesota, said in a statement following the vote. “Regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender orientation or immigrant status, Episcopalians in Minnesota have always embraced both the Gospel mandate of love of neighbor and the Baptismal Covenant imperative to respect the dignity of every human being.”
OutFront Minnesota, a member of the Minnesotans United for All Families coalition which is working to defeat the amendment said in a Facebook message, “We can all be proud of the many communities of faith that have taken a stand with LGBT Minnesotans to make our state a place that values and welcomes all people and families.”
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations is the only other denomination to formally come out against the amendment. Mayflower United Church in Christ, Open Circle Church, Shir Tikvah Synagogue, Mt. Zion Temple and Jewish Community Action have also come out against the amendment, as have the non-religious communities that make up the Minnesota Atheists.
Some denominations that haven’t yet taken a stand on the issue are facing pressure.
The Minnesota Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is having an annual week-long meeting with Minnesota’s Roman Catholic Bishops as part of a 35-year dialogue on issues of mutual interest, but one group is calling on the MELCA to speak out against the Catholic church’s involvement in opposing LGBT rights.
The Rainbow Sash Movement, a group of Catholic working to change the church’s attitude toward LGBT people, released a statement today calling on the MELCA to distance itself from the Catholic church on the same-sex marriage issue.
“We are calling on the Evangelical Bishops to condemn the public aspirations of the Catholic Bishops to promote homophobia as an acceptable behavior when it comes to the legitimate aspirations of GLBT people seeking equality in the state of Minnesota,” the group said. “Not to do so might be seen as a sign of subliminal agreement and support for the Catholic Bishops opposition to Gay Marriage.”