Marriage Amendment Discussion Comes to Woodbury

Minnesota for Marriage event planned at New Life Church.

Residents on Thursday will have a chance to discuss the upcoming ballot initiative that would define marriage in Minnesota as the union of one man and one woman in the state constitution.

New Life Church of Woodbury is hosting a Minnesota for Marriage event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11.

Mark LaFollette, lead pastor at New Life, said the church supports the constitutional amendment. 

“We affirm that message based on what the Bible says,” he said, pointing to the second chapter of Genesis.

Thursday’s event is titled “Same-Sex Marriage Threatens Religious Liberty,” and will feature Pastor Brad Brandon, according to a release from the group.

It will be an open public forum, LaFollette said.

A recent poll shows that support for the marriage amendment has been slipping, according to an Oct. 8 Star Tribune post.

“We know that this race is neck and neck right now and will remain so,” Kate Brickman, spokeswoman for Minnesotans United for All Families, the lead group opposing the measure, told the newspaper. “Our campaign is focused on sparking conversations with Minnesotans about why marriage matters and why no one should be told it’s illegal to marry the person you love.”


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Susan October 09, 2012 at 06:12 PM
"Mark LaFollette, lead pastor at New Life, said the church supports the constitutional amendment. “We affirm that message based on what the Bible says,” he said, pointing to the second chapter of Genesis." This is a dangerous road to follow. Keep in mind that we now, for the first time ever, have a candidate from the Mormon religion. Imagine what would happen if we were to eventually get a candidate (or President) that is of a faith that you do not condone. Do we seriously want to set a precedent of making laws and changes to our Constitution based on the majority's religious beliefs? Please understand that Christianity may not always be the faith of all of our lawmakers. Logic, values, discrimination, and an evolving society is what needs to be considered here, NOT what the Bible says.
Susan October 09, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Hi, Thomas. My comment is not meant to be negative, only to point out that the Bible should not be used to change our Constitution. I have a great respect for religious freedom but I have more respect for the separation of church and state. After this comment I will bow out here because I don't want to get in an argument or debate and come off as "anti-religion". My only intent, with my first comment, was to show concern (and possible ramifications) for a precedent of changing the Constituion based on a religious book.
Beth-Ann Bloom October 09, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Kris, This article begs for a new headline. In a meeting hosted by New Life Church that welcomes Minnesota for Marriage to our community there will be no discussion. It is most likely that there will be distorted information presented suggesting the obligation to support this hurtful amendment. The headline would be more appropriate if it said, "Partisan presentation on Constitutional Amenment Scheduled."
Kris Janisch October 09, 2012 at 08:53 PM
I specifically asked that Beth-Ann and the pastor said it would be an open forum.
Beth-Ann Bloom October 09, 2012 at 08:56 PM
An open forum where the host organization announces a position in advance and only the amendment supporters are presenting seems rather unlikely no matter what the pastor says.
Kris Janisch October 09, 2012 at 08:59 PM
You're probably right there.
Beth-Ann Bloom October 09, 2012 at 09:16 PM
The sub-header alone would work!
Kris Janisch October 09, 2012 at 09:18 PM
After your winners on the blotter, I'm inclined to agree with you.
Kris Janisch October 09, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Why doesn't the League of Women Voters or some other entity hold a local forum on one of the two constitutional amendment issues?
Beth-Ann Bloom October 09, 2012 at 09:48 PM
Good question , Kris. I'll bet you could interview someone tomorrow and see if there is any activity planned. I know there is a meeting this week (maybe even tonight) in Maplewood on the Voting Suppression amendment. Arne Carlson speaking against the amendment and Mary Kiffmeyer speaking for it. They both have partners to back them up but I can't rmember who now.
Kris Janisch October 09, 2012 at 10:00 PM
I'm probably not going to attend. I have the candidate forum tonight. Have I bugged you about blogging Beth-Ann? Tom has been consistent since he started up.
garret October 09, 2012 at 10:36 PM
First timer here. I'm glad we have a community based place to not only list events but also discuss them. I would love to attend the discussion but have other arrangements. I am a supporter of the amendment. I have a question to Beth-Ann. If a faith community wants to dialog about an important issue and invite the community in for discussion, isn't that a good thing? Isn't that what we are missing in our communities today, dialog? We have our nice little cozy forums, but to have civil discourse on big issues no matter the hosting party is huge in my opinion. It's the same when a MSNBC has a Romney bashing party or when Rush is convulsing on the topic of 4 more years of Obama. I have a hard time finding a middle ground place to bring ideas and thoughts... does such a place exist?
Joyce October 10, 2012 at 03:40 PM
The amendment would codify in our Constitution the particular interpretation of Biblical law of some religious groups, essentially requiring the government to enforce that interpretation regardless of the religious beliefs of other groups. Is this what Minnesotans really want? Why should the Catholic church and conservative Christians be able to dictate how Jews and liberal Christians interpret Biblical laws? And why should these same conservative religious groups be able to tell non-religious people how to conduct their lives? The issue is civil marriage, and civil marriage only, so religious belief should have nothing to do with it. No religious group would or could be forced to officiate at or even to recognize same sex marriages, should such marriages become legal, just as now they are not required to officiate at or to recognize interfaith marriages. Thomas often brings up natural moral law, but who determines what that moral law is? The Catholic hierarchy? Ralph Reed? Tony Perkins? Pat Robertson? Archbishop Nienstedt interprets that natural moral law one way, but the Minnesota Rabbinical Association disagrees with him, as does the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. I suggest we consider the ethics of depriving a group of people the right to equal protection under the law as guaranteed by the US Constitution.
Simon D October 10, 2012 at 06:13 PM
Funny, as if a real two way debate is going to happen in a crowd of brainwashed zealots. I think anyone arguing reason in that setting would either be doused in "holy" water or hung from a tree for their blasphemy.
Kristin October 10, 2012 at 07:34 PM
The beauty of our government system is that we can bring our own personal, religious, etc. beliefs to the voting booth. Everyone has a “religion”, even if your “religion” is a belief that man is god people do not answer to any higher authority than themselves. We cannot separate religion that from our government, since the government is made up of (religious) people, for the purpose of representing (religious) people. So, if liberal groups can advocate to define marriage in alignment with their beliefs, the tolerant thing to do is to accept that Christians can do the same. And, this is a decision that will be made by the people. Our constitution and country was built on Biblical, Christian principles and values, so in fact this amendment in Minnesota protects the values our constitution was founded upon.
Hilary October 10, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Love your comment Kristin. I can assure you that there is no brainwashing at new life and holy water is considered ridiculous there. I pray that you all find peace with God.
STW October 10, 2012 at 08:35 PM
The role of government should not be to define marriage. Let that be left up to others that wish to place their values on us. Let Government define what a union is. The definition of a union will become the binding law. We should all be wanting the government to stay out our religion, and religion to stay out of our government.
garret October 10, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Joyce, The reformed Jewish community supports same sex marriage but not the Orthodox Jews. Same can be said for the ELCA vs other Protestant Christian beliefs. Those communities are a fraction of our faith communities. You ask "And why should these same conservative religious groups be able to tell non-religious people how to conduct their lives?" And yet your willing to suggest the opposite is acceptable? That those with a belief system (religeous or otherwise) are somehow irrelevant to the conversation? What about Polygamists? This group has been deprived as well, should they also gain constitutional protection? Simon: Sorry you have in some why been offended or burned by a faith community in the past, but your judgement of this group is the hypocrisy here. Brainwashed zealots? Pretty sure no one is calling to arms on this issue and certainly not from New Life. Not sure what drowning in Holy water or being hung by a tree even means.
Simon D October 10, 2012 at 10:20 PM
I was just being overdramatic.
Susan October 10, 2012 at 10:40 PM
I would suggest that those having a complaint or issue about the location, try to set up another event at a more neutral location. If the church is hosting an event, why can't you? Just an idea...
Chris Soukup October 11, 2012 at 02:56 AM
They have. I recall an event at a local church thy was advertised as a discussion on Voter ID, but there were no pro-ID speakers. This is just typical in politics an both sides need to deal with it.


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