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09/26/2011

Minnesota for (Catholic) marriage

by Jeremy Hooper

The coalition hoping to mar Minnesota's constitution with abject bias is praising Archbishop Timothy Dolan for his letter accusing the Obama administration of "attacking" marriage:

Screen Shot 2011-09-26 At 9.14.36 AmThe Minnesota for Marriage Coalition commends Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York for his letter to President Obama on behalf of America’s Catholic Bishops taking Obama to task for his refusal to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. President Obama is acting outside his authority under the constitution. The constitution does not give the President the power to pick and choose which laws he will follow and defend. As Archbishop Dolan said in his letter, it’s time for President Obama to hit the “reset” button on his Administration’s policies regarding DOMA."

Minnesota For Marriage Commends Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s Letter To President Obama Urging His Support For The Defense Of Marriage Act [MN For Marriage]

Well of course they are. The Minnesota For Marriage coalition is made up of three groups: The MN Catholic Conference, the National Organization For Marriage, and the Minnesota Family Council. The first one is obviously Catholic. The second one is almost exclusively Catholic (with a Mormon undercurrent). The third group is one of the most transparently anti-LGBT state family policy councils in the country (see these eye-opening flyers that they've since scrubbed), which means they'll hitch a wagon to any religious group they think they can persuade to vote as a monolith against *CIVIL* equality. So it's no surprise that this coalition is all about this particular religious figure using his chosen faith beliefs and bully pulpit to push discrimination into our shared public policy: They are largely seeking Catholic marriage beliefs instilled into law!

The questions on the table: Will Minnesotans wake up and realize what's going on before a good governing document is once again pockmarked by a faith overreach? Will our side help flesh out what "religious freedom" does and does not mean, highlighting the fact that LGBT equality activists and their allies actually support true religious freedom more than the generalized conservative movement does? Will we assemble the strong team of everyday Catholics who stand in support of equality, seizing on the positive side of the deep divide that the Catholic leadership is causing within the church? Will we find those teachable moments that show the separation between civil marriage and religious ceremony that already exist with heterosexual marriage (all pastors are free to deny any couple for any reason; all couples must get the license while the church part is ancillary; etc.)?

All are fundamental needs that I think will lead us to a better answer for the ultimate question: Will we win?

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