Marriage law supports religious freedom

In the coming days, our legislators have the opportunity to support a bill that limits government, increases equality and makes Minnesota a more robust, loving state — a bill allowing all Minnesotans to marry the person they love. If our legislators have our district’s best interests in mind, they will vote yes.

Opponents have appealed to “tradition” and “the Bible,” but it is clear that faith communities interpret their tradition and scriptures in different ways, and from the beginning of our nation, doing so has been a hallmark of our liberty. In the case of same-gender marriage, people of several faiths have discerned through prayer and study that affirming same-gender couples is true to their scriptures and God’s call. This law will support a cornerstone of democracy — religious freedom — and release government from arbitrating religious differences.

Opponents of this law have concocted fear that same-gender marriage is somehow bad for society. But the people of our district can see the goodness. We know same-gender couples raising children in loving families, struggling with the same challenges, hoping the same hopes and supporting their communities in the same ways. They serve on the same PTAs and civic boards, shop at the same stores and pay the same taxes that other residents do. Denying these citizens the freedom to marry violates basic human rights protected by the Constitution.

I trust that our legislators will pass this bill because I believe they want what’s best for Minnesotans. Our state has a long history of being ahead of the game, of seeing and embracing the future. To continue in that tradition, our legislators should vote yes to extend the freedom to marry to all loving and committed couples.

The Rev. Buff Grace
Episcopal Church of the Ascension