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09/20/2012

Minnesota for Marriage vs. heterosexual atheists (by logical extension)

by Jeremy Hooper

This week, the so-called Minnesota For Marriage coalition gathered pastors for the purposes of opposing civil marriage equality for same-gender couples. But look at what was said on this day and ask yourself why it, if it were to become precedent in the state of Minnesota, would not affect any number of heterosexuals couples as well:

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[Full set]

It is outrageous that those of us who fight for *civil* marriage equality have to dignify these claims about the wide-ranging, personally-held decisions of churches and church leaders in regard to the religious ceremony. Virtually no marriage equality activist is working to deny any of the men above of their right to make their own religious decisions in terms of who they will or will not marry. We are not focusing on that, the always ancillary (even if often implemented) religious ceremonial aspect of marriage. We are focused on the *civil* component —the element that is required of any couple, gay or straight, that seeks state/federal recognition. Which is to say, we are focused on the actual core of this conversation while our opposition is focused on personally-held dictates.

There is nothing else like it in American politics. It would be like universal healthcare advocates having to constantly field questions about faith healing or economists being required to hold side debates about tithing. The "protect marriage" opposition movement has so fully shat in the waters of this civil equality debate. It's time to flush.

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