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Minneapolis ELCA opposes marriage amendment, elects Ann Svennungsen bishop

Leaders of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) have voted to oppose the state's proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.

Meeting at the annual assembly in Prior Lake Friday, 700 voting synod members also elected the Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen bishop. She's interim pastor at St. Olaf College and will be the first woman to serve as bishop in any of the ELCA's six Minnesota synods.

She'll be installed as bishop at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis on May 6.

On the marriage amendment, the Lutheran group joins the  Minnesota Rabbinical Association — representing Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist movements, but not Orthodox — in opposing the proposed amendment that will be on the state-wide ballot Nov. 6. The ELCA's other five Minnesota synods are expected to address the matter, too.

The state's Catholic bishops, though, are working to pass the amendment, which would ban same-sex marriages in the state.

The synod assembly overwhelmingly opposed the amendment, said KSTP-TV news.

Pastor Brad Froslee of Calvary Lutheran church said: "We are encouraging the civil rights of all citizens of the state and are against people being singled out or targeted by a particular constitutional amendment or legislative action."

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