More than 100 Minnesota religious leaders convened Thursday to begin their campaign to defeat the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Leaders from dozens of churches and synagogues gathered at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis to discuss how to conduct conversations with congregants in coming months.

“We need to stand up for the freedoms that are guaranteed, for religious freedoms, for freedom for people to marry who they love and for people to commit who they want to commit to,” said the Rev. Grant Stevensen, faith leader for Minnesotans United for All Families, the lead group opposing the amendment. “We are standing together today against the marriage denying amendment.”

In marriage amendment battles in other states, many religious leaders have galvanized congregations against same-sex marriage to create a powerful voting bloc, often regardless of political affiliation.

Last month, Minnesota for Marriage had 175 pastors attend a conference at Grace Church in Eden Prairie as part of the group’s fight to pass the amendment.

“We have found that working to preserve marriage brings together protestant, Catholic, Muslim and Jew and our coalition has received unwavering support from minorities including Somali, Hmong, Liberian, Hispanic and African American,” said the Rev. Jeff Evans, pastor outreach representative for Minnesota for Marriage, the group pushing the amendment.

Minnesotans United for All Families urged religious leaders to preach on the issue leading up to the November election, hold conversations with congregants about the issue and reach out to other clergy. Amendment opponents also urged them to wage letter-writing campaigns in local newspapers.

“Our religious traditions are based upon love,” said the Rev. Bruce Robbins, with Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church. “There’s no place in these traditions for discrimination against people … There is no difference in the love or commitment that same-sex couples have and any other heterosexual couples.”