Minnesota Bishops Ask Churchgoers to Pay for Anti-Gay-Marriage Ads

State’s 400,000 Catholic households asked to foot the intolerance bill.

A gay couple exchanges vows. (Photo: Getty Images)

And lo, from on high came the Word from a Holy Source: Please, everyone, give money to this group pushing an anti-gay-marriage amendment.

So said sources in Minnesota, where the Star Tribune reported this week that the local Catholic leadership will send an appeal to the state’s entire 400,000-household Catholic community to back a traditional-marriage-only campaign.

Religious leaders calling for the flock to support legislation on social issues isn’t particularly revolutionary, but church leadership prodding that flock to toss in a little more wool breaks new holy ground.

MORE: Maryland Senate Okays Gay Marriage

“I’ve never heard of anything quite this comprehensive,” a political science professor told the Star Tribune of the fundraising push.

At issue is a proposed Minnesota state constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between the familiar man and woman variety. Specifically, it’s titled: Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman.

To push for the amendment—and counteract recent TV ads opposing the amendment—the church prepared to ask the state’s Catholics to financially back a campaign by the group Minnesota for Marriage.

That group describes the impact of potential gay marriage in its “threat to marriage,” Web site section, in part, as such: “Ultimately, we as a society all suffer when we fail to nourish a true, thriving marriage culture.”

In its instructional video to pastors on how to support the no-gay-marriage amendment, Minnesota for Marriage describes marriage as “a universial institution,” but whatever. “Universal” as in its traditional definition: “among straight people.”

Leading the charge in the other direction is the group Minnesotans United for All Marriage, who have released at least one kill-the-bill ad:

It’s a little inadvertently offensive (“Look!” say the Republican Straight People, “these people can raise kids even though they’re gay, and they don’t even bother us like we feared they might!”), but they’re trying.

News of the Catholic push for cash comes at the same time as a report out of St. Paul that the parents of a gay soldier who died in Afghanistan are launching a campaign to oppose the amendment.

The parents of the soldier spoke at the Minnesota capital Tuesday saying they will mobilize veterans to fight the amendment, citing the effect it would have had on their son, the AP Reports.

That effort may portend gay marriage fading as a wedge issue. More evidence LGBT issues are not alienating any meaningful voter blocks comes from New York, where a second Republican state senator who voted to approve gay marriage there won his primary recently (also from the AP).

And back in Minnesota, the renewed push to pass the amendment calls attention to standout Catholic priest Bob Pierson, who crossed the Pope to tell people it was okay that they vote to defeat the bill.

“I believe this amendment violates an important principle in Catholic teaching,” Pierson told his congregation. “And that as Catholics, we can vote no.”

Are gay rights fading as a wedge issue? Does that mean America is more tolerant than political strategists judged? Talk it out in COMMENTS.

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