400,000 Catholics asked to help pay for marriage amendment ads

With just weeks to go before a vote in Minnesota on a ballot measure that would ban gay marriage, state bishops in a letter to Minnesota Catholics this week are asking them to contribute to Minnesota for Marriage, the leading pro-amendment group, the Star Tribune reports. It's an unusually direct and explicit ask of the church's faithful, one observer says.
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With just weeks to go before a vote in Minnesota on a ballot measure that would ban gay marriage, state bishops in a letter to Minnesota Catholics this week are asking them to donate money to Minnesota for Marriage, the leading pro-amendment group, the Star Tribune reports. It's an unusually direct and explicit ask of the church's faithful, one observer says.

Minnesota for Marriage aims to counter Minnesotans United for All Families, which launched TV ads last week. In one of those ads, a Catholic couple discusses why they oppose the amendment.

In other news, Minnesota for Marriage has put up 25 pro-amendment billboards in the Twin Cities, Duluth, St. Cloud and Rochester.

The vote on Nov. 6 could be close, according to one recent poll.

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Can 'true Catholics' support same-sex marriage?

Former Roman Catholic priest Jim Smith left the church about 10 years ago. He told CNN his main concern was with the church's stance against same-sex marriage. Smith says he is still a Catholic despite actively campaigning against Minnesota's constitutional amendment that would define marriage as only between one man and one woman. He has also formed a group to persuade other Catholics to vote against the measure this fall.

Catholic Church a powerful supporter of traditional marriage

Catholics makeup the single largest denomination in Minnesota. With more than a million members and hundreds of thousands in financial contributions, Minnesota Public Radio calls the Catholic Church "a powerful force in the debate over a constitutional amendment" that would essentially prohibit gay marriage.

Marriage amendment mobilizes faithful on both sides

Discussions about same-sex marriage have been playing out in faith communities for years, and the debate has grown louder in Minnesota as a vote looms on a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Catholics and evangelical churches strongly support it. On Thursday, more than 100 religious leaders who oppose it will hold a faith summit in Minneapolis.

Group fights marriage amendment with first TV ad

Freedom to Marry, a national group fighting to defeat the ballot measure to define marriage as solely between one man and one woman, will air its first television advertisement in Minnesota on Thursday. MPR reports the 30-second ad will run on television and cable networks in the Twin Cities and Duluth. It features a Duluth couple who have been married for nearly 60 years. Yvonne and Fred Peterson say gay couples should also be allowed to marry.

Group against marriage amendment airs first TV ad

The group Minnesotans United for All Families, the leading opponent of a ballot measure that would ban gay marriage, has released its first TV ad in the Twin Cities and Duluth. It features a Catholic, Republican couple from Savage who opposes the measure.

Former Minnesota Catholic priests urge 'no' vote on marriage amendment

Flying in the face of the beliefs of the archdiocese, a small group representing more than 80 former Catholic priests from throughout Minnesota gathered Thursday to encourage a "no" on a proposed state amendment that would legally define marriage between a man and a woman. The group said the anti-gay marriage measure would violate the principles of justice and love.

Northland priest quietly donates money to group against marriage amendment

Campaign finance records show Rev. Peter Lambert of St. Louis Catholic Church, about 45 miles west of Duluth, donated $1,000 about six months ago to Minnesotans United for All Families -- the primary group fighting the controversial ballot measure to essentially ban same-sex marriage in Minnesota. The News Tribune reports no other Minnesota priest in a recognized diocese has contributed to any group trying to defeat the constitutional amendment.