Northland Lutherans oppose Minnesota marriage amendmentNorthland-area Lutherans are opposed to amending the Minnesota Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
By: News Tribune staff, Duluth News Tribune
Northland-area Lutherans are opposed to amending the Minnesota Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.
At its annual assembly Saturday in Grand Rapids, the Northeast Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America passed a resolution publicly opposing “legislation or public policies that would prevent same-gender couples and their families from pursuing ordinary legislative or legal means to gain the support and protections afforded to all others.”
An amendment that would ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota goes before voters Nov. 6. State law already defines marriage as the union of a man and woman, but proponents of the proposed amendment say a constitutional amendment is needed to prevent judges or politicians from changing the law.
The resolution passed Saturday calls for Bishop Thomas M. Aitken to make the synod’s position known throughout the synod and to the public. The synod has more than 130 congregations and 72,500 members.
On Feb. 17, members of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA also passed a resolution opposing the amendment at the group’s annual assembly. The Minneapolis synod is the nation’s largest ELCA synod, with about 188,000 members.
The St. Paul Area Synod is expected to consider a similar resolution opposing the amendment in May.
The Minnesotans United for All Families campaign is working to defeat the marriage amendment. On Sunday, it released a statement on the Northeast Minnesota Synod’s vote.
“We are overjoyed by the action of this synod assembly, which adds to our growing grass-roots movement to stop this amendment,” it said. “Minnesotans of all faiths, backgrounds and creeds stand united in knowing that marriage is about love, commitment and responsibility, bettering our community, and raising a family and sharing a life together. This vote illustrates that Minnesotans know it is not up to them to judge how someone else finds happiness. Minnesotans will continue to unite to defeat this hurtful amendment.”
The ELCA has nearly 800,000 members in Minnesota; it is the state’s second-largest religious denomination.
Roman Catholic is the state’s largest denomination, with more than 1 million members. Catholic bishops support the amendment and are members of Minnesota for Marriage, a coalition formed in an effort to get the marriage amendment approved.