Members of the United Methodist Church in Minnesota are expected to take a stand on the proposed marriage amendment next week at the group’s annual conference.
Some 760 members will vote on a resolution in opposition to the amendment, which would change the state Constitution to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The amendment is on the general election ballot Nov. 6.
Those who submitted the resolution are drawing on a United Methodist stance that “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” (The United Methodist Book of Discipline, paragraph 161F),” according to a released statement from the Minnesota Conference of the United Methodist Church.
“The churches argue that many civil rights are based on one’s marital status: health insurance, equal taxation, retirement benefits, and health-care directives,” the statement reads.
The vote on the marriage amendment by the Methodists — which is expected to happen during the conference in St. Cloud, Minn., scheduled May 30-June 1 — follows on the heels of other Minnesota religious groups also weighing in on the controversial measure.
On Saturday, 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.
In Minnesota, there are approximately 72,000 members of 353 United Methodist churches.