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Gay marriage: Opponents say passage will hurt religious liberties in Minnesota

Opponents of gay-marriage legislation in the Minnesota Legislature will hold a press conference Monday to discuss their belief that gay marriage laws tamper with religious liberties.

They’re bringing in people from New York who will talk about the problems they face with that state’s gay marriage legislation.

In announcing the event, the organizers say:

“The consequences of redefining marriage are drastic, negative, and far-reaching — and many of them are not yet even known. For their own sake and the sake of Minnesota’s children who will be left to face these known and unknown consequences, the Minnesota Legislature must stop the overreaching and dogmatic push by same-sex ‘marriage’ proponents.”

Scheduled to be at the 1 p.m. event at the Capitol are:

  • Professor Teresa Collett, University of St. Thomas Law School; 
  • The Rev. Jerry McAfee, New Salem Missionary Baptist Church;
  • Paul Gavic, businessman; 
  • Bishop Richard Howell, Shiloh Temple International Ministries; 
  • Jason Adkins, executive director, Minnesota Catholic Conference;
  • John Helmberger, CEO, Minnesota Family Council; 
  • Laura Fotusky, a New York town clerk; 
  • Rose Belforti, a New York town clerk; 
  • Mr. & Mrs. Gifford, owners of Liberty Ridge Farm, NY; 
  • The Rev. Jason J. McGuire, Executive Director, New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms; 
  • Autumn Leva, director of governmental affairs & communications, Minnesota for  Marriage.

Comments (3)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 05/06/2013 - 12:30 pm.

    A bit of background

    Mr. and Mrs. Gifford, the owners of Liberty Ridge Farm, operate a wedding reception business, among other things. They are the subject of a New York civil rights complaint, for refusing to book a gay wedding reception.

    “I think it’s our right to choose who we market to, like any business,” Gifford explained during an interview at the farm Friday afternoon. “We are a family business and we just feel we ought to stay down the family path,” added Gifford. Religious sites and a venue with membership, like the Knights of Columbus, are exempt from the New York State Discrimination Law in regards to same-sex marriage. There is no mention of religious affiliation or membership in any of Liberty Ridge’s literature. It’s important to note, when the women spoke to the farm, the owner was polite and respectful. Ms. Gifford even apologized for the denial.

    In 2010, the GOP “the Republican party nominated anti-gay, anti-choice activist and lawyer Teresa Collett” to run against Betty McCollum.

    “Collett, a lawyer with degrees from the University of Oklahoma and the University of Oklahoma College of Law, and a current law professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, has a storied career of legal representation, both as a board member of Alliance for Marriage, a group opposing gay marriage, and as a legal expert on anti-choice legislation (or, as she allegedly refers to it, a “hired gun“). She has testified in Congressional hearings on numerous occasions as an expert in marriage and family. And now she claims to be putting that same zeal into challenging Representative Betty McCollum in the 4th district.”

    “Bishop Richard D. Howell, Jr. has been Pastor and Overseer of Shiloh Temple International Ministries for over 20 years.

    He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Pastoral Studies from North Central Bible College and a Master’s of Arts Degree in Counseling Psychology from St. Thomas University. In 2005, Bishop Howell received his Doctorate of Divinity from Friends International Christian University, and was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from St. Thomas College in 2003.

    Bishop Howell has worked in management for the government as well as a counselor for Job Corp. of America in St. Paul, MN.

    Bishop Howell is the Diocesan of the Minnesota Wisconsin and Dakotas District Council. This Apostle of God has won and birthed many souls into the Kingdom. Thousands have been compelled to Christ by his teaching and preaching of sound doctrine.”

    “John Helmberger has served since 2004 as Chief Executive Officer of Minnesota Family Council (MFC). In that role he oversees MFC’s mission to equip and mobilize Christians as a “salt and light” influence in the public square, advancing a biblical worldview that cherishes life, affirms religious liberty, preserves marriage and strengthens families, for the glory of Jesus Christ and the good of our state.”

    Mr. Helmberger also was the head of Minnesota for Marriage, the organization that supported the failed marriage amendment.

    Laura Fotusky is a former rural New York town clerk who0resigned her post rather than grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

    “I would be compromising my moral conscience by participating in licensing same-sex couples,” Laura Fotusky, the clerk of the Town of Barker, told POLITICO. “I had to choose between my job and my god.”

    “Rose Marie Belforti is a 57-year-old cheese maker, the elected town clerk in this sprawling Finger Lakes farming community and a self-described Bible-believing Christian. She believes that God has condemned homosexuality as a sin, so she does not want to sign same-sex marriage licenses; instead, she has arranged for a deputy to issue all marriage licenses by appointment.”

    The organization of which Rev. McGuire is executive director operates the “Power in the Pulpit” initiative, which, among other things, believes “that man’s laws should reflect God’s Law, not contradict them (Romans 13).”

  2. Submitted by Dennis Litfin on 05/07/2013 - 10:43 am.

    Thank you

    James, for exposing what these people prefer to keep hidden from the public.

  3. Anonymous Submitted by Anonymous on 05/09/2013 - 07:15 am.

    Religious freedom…

    …these people believe that they are the only people who should have religious freedom…

    …and the liberty to impose their religion upon all those who disagree with them.

    Because of these people, and others, I think it’s time to repeal all tax exemptions for churches, and churches should pay taxes at a rate that is the same as the highest personal income tax rate.

    Any state that gives any tax exemption to any church anywhere should forever forfeit all Federal and state funding.

    And the United States should carry out the logical conclusion of recognition of the Holy See as a government – all priests, bishops, archbishops, and cardinals living in the United States who refuse to swear an oath recognizing only the government of the United States or its assigns, and promising to obey all US laws and regulations, even if they conflict with the dictats of the Holy See, shall be stripped of their US citizenship or residency permits, and deported to the Holy See immediately.

    To be consistent, all other illegal immigrants should be deported to their countries of origin immediately. Also, all companies who hired these illegal immigrants, and the executives of these companies, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and fined the maximum amount of money possible, and sentenced to the maximum time in a HyperMax prison possible, all counts to be calculated consecutively, not concurrently, with no provision for parole, early release, or opportunity to communicate with their families until their release.

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