Bill Tramples Religious Liberty Rights of Thousands of Minnesotans and Redefines Marriage and Parenthood as Genderless for All
Minneapolis—Today is an historic and sad day for the state of Minnesota. As a result of years of campaigning by gay “marriage” activists awaiting a time when DFL leadership in the Minnesota legislature and governorship would be ready to champion their cause (contrary to the will of Minnesotans), the Minnesota Senate joined the Minnesota House of Representatives in passing the same-sex “marriage” bill. This bill not only upends our most foundational institution of marriage, redefining it as genderless and declaring mothers and fathers as “neutral” in Minnesota—it also fails to protect the most basic religious liberty rights of those who believe based on their faith that marriage can only be the union of one man and one woman.
The Minnesota Senate passed the same-sex “marriage” bill with little protection for people of faith, determining that there is no room for them in our state statutes. The only religious freedom protections provided in this bill will protect clergy and religious institutions—declaring that people of faith can only practice their beliefs about marriage inside the four walls of their church. The same-sex “marriage” bill effectively dictates that people of faith must violate their deeply held religious beliefs about marriage in violation of their God, or stop practicing their profession or business.
Just six months ago, we were told often and loudly that there were no real threats to the current definition of marriage. We publicly argued that this was false. Over one million Minnesotans voted to protect marriage in the Constitution, but the marriage amendment did not pass. The efforts to redefine marriage today prove that the assurances that “nothing will change” were false as we argued.
Now we are being told that redefining marriage poses no threat to religious liberty—that “everything will be ok”—and again, we argue that this is false. Over one million Minnesotans will be forced to either affirm what they believe to be false or subject themselves to prosecution and insult as “bigots” and “criminals under our law with the passage of this bill.
Today, some DFL legislators listened to the voices of their constituents and voted against H.F. 1054, the bill to redefine marriage in Minnesota, despite pressure from their leadership and gay “marriage” lobbyists to support the legislation. We applaud them for their courage to stand for the God-given gift of marriage and for those who elected them to office.
We also applaud the Senate Republican caucus for voting nearly unanimously to oppose this bill that would make marriage and parenthood genderless in Minnesota.
Unfortunately, though, the MN Senate voted to pass the gay “marriage” bill by a vote of 37 to 30. The next stop will be for Governor Dayton to sign the bill into law tomorrow, making same-sex “marriage” legal in Minnesota—effectively forcing Minnesotans to accept same-sex “marriage” as the moral, legal, and social equivalent of traditional marriage even though the majority of Minnesotans do not support the Legislature’s decision to redefine marriage.
Today, we all witnessed our state legislature rejecting the beliefs of the majority of Minnesotans—choosing instead to side with the powerful same-sex “marriage” lobby—and denying the religious liberty rights of over one million Minnesotans.
Minnesota will be discovering the unintended consequences and sentencing more and more people of faith to prosecution under our laws for years to come as a result of this decision made by a few today.