Churches enter marriage amendment battle

Some churches around the U oppose the marriage amendment.

Reverend J. Cody Nielsen, a minister with the Wesley Foundation, speaks to congregants during their worship service on the front lawn of the University Baptist Church on Sept. 9 in Dinkytown. The Wesley Foundation welcomes members of the gay community to their ministry.

Reverend J. Cody Nielsen, a minister with the Wesley Foundation, speaks to congregants during their worship service on the front lawn of the University Baptist Church on Sept. 9 in Dinkytown. The Wesley Foundation welcomes members of the gay community to their ministry.

Annie Michaelson

As the marriage amendment battle heats up in Minnesota, some churches around the University of Minnesota have openly opposed the issue.

Leaders of Grace University Lutheran Church and United Methodist campus ministry have come out against the amendment.

Rev. Cody Nielsen, the pastor at United Methodist, said the church has an inclusive approach toward the University.

“Our community is very sure that we would never, ever stand for this amendment to pass,” Nielsen said.

The church is looking for ways to get involved as November draws nearer, he said.

Mary Halvorson, co-pastor at Grace University Lutheran, said churches have varying interpretations of the Bible, including in their views on same-sex marriage.

“Congregations interpret the Bible literally and see the text in different light,” Halvorson said. “Scripture is inspired by God, but it is a multi-faceted text that must be read carefully.”

She said the church provides a place for students on campus to be comfortable.

“Some people don’t feel welcome elsewhere and feel at home here,” Halvorson said.

Some churches around the state have spoken in favor of the amendment.

The Minnesota Catholic Conference, an advocacy group for the Catholic Church in Minnesota, supports the amendment.

In a statement, executive director Jason Adkins said the church’s support of the amendment “is rooted in our fundamental responsibility as Catholics to help promote and preserve the common good, particularly when it comes to ensuring justice for children and preserving the right of every child to live in a society that recognizes the importance of growing up in an intact home with his or her mother and father.”

If the amendment passes, Halvorson said it could hurt future talks on the issue.

“If it does get passed, that means it puts a kibosh on conversation. Dialogue is needed. This is about real people’s lives.”