Minnesota Lutherans Divided Over Proposed Marriage Amendment
Here in Minnesota, we will be voting in November on the “Marriage Protection Amendment” to our State Constitution. If passed, this Amendment will give our state a constitutional definition of marriage as being between ‘one man and one woman’. (On the ballot, voters will be asked: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?”)
At current count, the Constitutional Amendment is being opposed by five Minnesota Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (postbulletin.com). (Whenever I listen to the news on my radio, I seem to hear that yet another Lutheran Synod in Minnesota has come out against this Amendment.) The opposition from these ELCA Synods comes as no surprise. If you have paid any attention to recent ELCA history, you will remember the historic change in which that body decided to make provisions to allow its clergy to openly practice homosexuality (albeit, those who do so are required to practice monogamously…).
While my radio keeps broadcasting the opposition to this Amendment, I am also aware of support from both Minnesota Districts of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. This year, both Districts in Convention passed resolutions that favor the State Constitutional Amendment with its definition of marriage as being between ‘one man and one woman’ (twincities.com).
At the Minnesota North Convention (which I attended as an Advisory Delegate), the resolution passed unanimously. The Convention encouraged the District’s “pastors, congregations and their members to actively pray for, support, promote, whenever and wherever possible, and vote for the passage of the Marriage Protection Amendment”. The Convention also directed the District President and the Mission and Ministry Facilitators to “provide encouragement and information through current District Publications regarding the Marriage Amendment to pastors and congregations of our District”. Finally, “all District pastors [are to] be encouraged to preach and teach on the purpose and importance of marriage and the need to protect the institution of marriage.”
I see that quotations from this Resolution have been relayed by President Fondow (Minnesota North) to the “Minnesota for Marriage” website (http://www.minnesotaformarriage.com). Quoting the resolution, Fondow says:
In states where marriage has been redefined, it has resulted in town clerks being ordered to solemnize same-sex marriages or be fired; Catholic Charities decided to abandon facilitating adoptions because they would not abandon their teaching in order to comply with state rules; a court ruled that parents were not entitled to be notified that their second grade children were being taught that boys can marry other boys and girls other girls, ruling as well that parents had no right to opt their children out of such instruction and marriage licenses have been changed to ‘Party A’ and ‘Party B’ rather than ‘Husband’ and ‘Wife’ (4th Whereas).
Marriage is a foundation of society that aids the state in carrying out its role of providing order and stability in society; and societal evidence establishes that children do best when raised by their married mother and father (6th Whereas).
For my part, I personally have passed along a press release to my local radio station. Hopefully, whenever the opposition makes the news, the newscaster will also say: “Yet, the Marriage Protection Amendment is being promoted and supported (not only by the Roman Catholic Church, but also) by the two Minnesota Districts of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.”