Both sides on the marriage amendment issue are looking to the Bible to support their views on whether the Minnesota Constitution should restrict marriage to solely between one man and one woman.
Gay marriage is already forbidden by state law, but the constitutional amendment is being pushed by those who want to ensure that judges or legislators don’t change the rules.
The Fargo Forum’s Capitol Chatter blog looks at how the religious traditions outlined in the Bible address the matter.
The story says most of the state’s conservative evangelical churches support the amendment, as does the hierarchy of the Catholic Church.
The Rev. Jeff Evans, who is pastor of the evangelical Christ Church Twin Cities in Minnetonka, says it’s God’s will that marriage be reserved solely for a man and a woman, and that the “the Gospels are very, very clear on” it.
But the Rev. Grant Stevensen, pastor at St. Matthew’s, an ELCA church in St. Paul, looks to the Bible’s Golden Rule that says: “Treat other people as we would like to be treated.”
“I am concerned about the state of Minnesota drawing lines between people,” Stevensen said.
Other supporters cited in the story:
- “God made us male and female in the beginning and they should become one,” said the Rev. James Adams of St. Nicholas Catholic Church in New Market.
- “Redefining marriage in Minnesota would be a declaration … that the influence of a mom and dad on a child is not important,” said Michael Blissenbach, parish captain for the pro-amendment campaign at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Hastings. “I think children would suffer as a result.”
- “The present challenge is not about establishing the right to marry but to allow the dialogue to continue,” said the Rev. Steve Schmit of St. Barthelme’s Episcopal Church in Bemidji, who wants more discussion.
- The Rev. Linnea Papke-Larson, a Bemidji Lutheran pastor with a lesbian daughter: ““We see marriage as foundational, as part of God’s intention in creating us as people who inherently seek one another out to share our thoughts, our passions, our friendships, our love and our intimacy.”