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  Thursday February 26th, 2015    

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Vote for religious liberty: vote no on Marriage Amendment (10/07/2012)
From Rev. John V. Carrier

My name is John Carrier. I have been an ordained Lutheran pastor for 27 years. Here is what I know hurts marriage as an institution. Heterosexual men and women who think they will be happier with someone other than their spouse. Heterosexual women and men who think that accumulating more stuff will make them happy, and go broke pursuing that goal. Heterosexual husbands and wives who drink too much alcohol. Heterosexual parents who do not know how to love their children. Heterosexual spouses who use emotional and physical violence to get their way. In short, what hurts marriage is heterosexuals who do not know how to love one another.

Homosexuals hurt marriage by marrying a member of the opposite sex, which almost inevitably ends in divorce. Why would anyone do this? Because the pressure to fit in and be “normal” in the eyes of one’s peers is tremendous. Many erroneously believe that marrying someone of the opposite sex and engaging in so-called “straight” sex will “straighten” the homosexual out. Wrong. It becomes living a lie, which is a sure cure for a happy marriage.

So, why not allow homosexual people to marry someone they love, the same as anyone else? It seems that this would actually strengthen the institution of marriage.

Vote no on the Minnesota Anti-Same Sex Marriage Amendment. Here is why you should vote no, even if you are homophobic, or believe in the basic premise of this amendment:

As a pastor, I have long been troubled by the American model of clergy taking on the task of the state in presiding over the legal marriage contract. The Church should really be about blessing loving relationships, not legally binding contracts. But that is not the way things are in our land. This amendment proposes to restrict just who can and who cannot establish this legal contract, and requires the Church to comply and participate and cooperate with this position. This is a clear violation of the Establishment Clause. Our constitutional right to freedom of religion includes the freedom to choose which relationships each of our religious communities wishes to bless. No one particular religion, denomination, or inclination should be able to dictate that to any (much less all) others.

My denomination allows for the blessing of same-sex relationships. I have done so, and will continue to do so. But I do not want to tell other religious traditions that they must do likewise. This proposed amendment seeks to impose one particular religious position on the rest of us. Voting no preserves our religious liberty, a fundamental cornerstone of what makes life in America great.

Please vote no. 


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