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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.
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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.

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Catholic group petitions Archbishop to stop church support of marriage amendment

Catholics for Marriage Equality Minnesota wants Archbishop John Nienstedt to put a stop to the church's support a state Constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. The archdiocese has been a leading contributor to the campaign.

Agency: Anti-marriage amendment donor can remain anonymous

The state campaign finance board ruled Friday that a man who contributed $600 to a group opposing the Minnesota marriage amendment can remain anonymous. The man feared he would be fired from his Catholic employer if word of his contribution became public since the Catholic Church is in favor of the amendment, which would effectively ban same-sex marriages.

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.

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.

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The American Independent is reporting that someone apparently leaked a speech by Archbishop Nienstedt in which he says any clergy member who disagrees with the church's support of an amendment banning same-sex marriage should remain silent. A website pushing for church reform, Progressive Catholic Voice, published the text on Thursday.

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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.

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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 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.