Minnesota United Methodists on Friday went on record against changing the state Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman.
A total of 569 members voted on a resolution in opposition to the amendment at the group’s annual assembly in St. Cloud. The amendment — which would effectively ban gay marriage in Minnesota — is on the election ballot Nov. 6.
The resolution prevailed in written ballot, 400 to 169, according to a released statement from the Minnesota Conference of the United Methodist Church.
A group of churches submitted the resolution, drawing on the United Methodist Book of Discipline, which states “all persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured and to be protected against violence.”
“They argue that many civil rights are based on one’s marital status: health insurance, equal taxation, retirement benefits, and health-care directives,” the released statement reads.
The resolution is advisory and does not obligate individual United Methodists or their churches, according to Methodist church leaders. There are currently 72,000 members of 353 United Methodist churches in Minnesota.
The vote on the marriage amendment by the Methodists follows on the heels of other Minnesota religious groups also weighing in on the controversial measure.
Last month, about 430 Lutherans representing 115 congregations in the St. Paul Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted on a resolution opposing the marriage amendment at the group’s annual assembly at a Burnsville church.
Four other ELCA synods in Minnesota have also voted in favor of similar resolutions in opposition to the amendment.
On the other side of the debate, Catholic bishops representing Minnesota’s largest single denomination, with close to 1.1 million members, support the amendment. An increasing number of conservative evangelical Protestant churches and leaders have also spoken out in favor of the amendment.