Marriage bill opponents rally

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Opponents of legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota gathered today for a rally at the State capitol.

The group Minnesota for Marriage brought together its members from throughout the state to hear from several like-minded religious leaders and legislators. House and Senate committees have scheduled hearings next week on the marriage bill.

Sen. Warren Limmer, R-Maple Grove, who sponsored last fall’s failed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota, told the crowd that the battle continues.

“And we have to understand that we are fighting for our children and our culture and our way of life,” Limmer said.

Limmer was among three-dozen GOP lawmakers at the rally.

Several opponents of the legislation highlighted what they see as the religious implications of the proposal. Joe Rigney, a professor at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, said legislators have no authority to re-define an institution invented by God.

“We did not send them here to undermine fundamental institutions of society,” Rigney said. “We did not send them to here to perform a social experiment on our children by defining marriage in a way that no society in the history of the world has ever defined it.”

Jake Loesch, communications director for the group Minnesotans United, which supports the legislation, said he was disappointed with some of the things he heard at the rally. Loesch said there are also many people of faith who support legalizing same-sex marriage. He also noted that the bill addresses potential religious concerns.

“The legislation that’s been introduced has very expansive religious exemptions to ensure that no church or clergy member is ever going to be forced to violate their own convictions or their deeply held religious convictions,” Loesch said.