Catholics are playing a major role in the marriage equality debate in Minnesota, where this November, voters in the state will go to the polls to vote on proposed constitutional amendment to ban marriage between people of the same gender. Bondings 2.0 has reported several times on the issue, particularly the good work that the group Catholics for Marriage Equality--Minnesotahas been doing. (Links to previous posts can be found under the heading "Minnesota" in "Categories" listing in the right-hand column of this blog . →)
MinnPost.com recently featured the role that Catholics are playing in the debate in an article entitled "Conflicted Catholics: Consciences wrestle with church actions on marriage amendment." The personal stories explain not only the division that the proposed amendment is causing among Catholics, but the faith journeys that many individuals and faith communities are experiencing by becoming involved with the campaign to promote equal marriage rights for all.
The article profiles Lisa Vanderlinden, the mother of a gay son, whose family moved to a parish which has a public outreach to LGBT people. Their former parish, she explains, has become heavily involved in work to support the ban on marriage equality:
But Vanderlinden and her family have taken a different Catholic approach:
Laura Kuntz, another Twin Cities Catholic, found that the archdiocese's increasing political involvement to defeat marriage equality was having a detrimental effect on her identification with the Church. And then, she got involved with Catholics for Marriage Equality--Minnesota:
Some Catholic individuals and parishes are protesting by not reciting the prayer against marriage equality that the archdiocese has instructed communities to use at Masses:
Ron Joki, a gay man who converted to Catholicism, speaks of the role that conscience plays in his decision to remain part of the church and to be involved in the struggle to secure marriage equality rights:
Joki sees the work of the Spirit in the differing voices present in the church on this issue:
What are some of the lessons I've learned from the experience of these Minnesota Catholics?
1. Follow your conscience.
2. Seek out a supportive community.
3. Work together with others to enact justice.
4. Respect all, even those who disagree with you.
5. Change comes from the bottom and rises to the top.
6. The church doesn't always immediately recognize its saints who are working for justice.
--Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry