Religious institutions played a big role in the long, emotional and sometimes contentious debate Minnesotans had leading up to the Legislature's vote to legalize same-sex marriage earlier this year.
The state will legally recognize same-sex marriages beginning Aug. 1, and a rush of weddings is expected. But how many of those weddings will take place in churches or other houses of worship?
MPR News reporter Sasha Aslanian has been covering the same-sex marriage debate and joins The Daily Circuit to explain some of the discussions happening in different religious communities in the state.
While churches are not required to perform same-sex weddings, Minnesota law against discrimination based on sexual orientation does apply to others who might play a role in wedding celebrations.
"That means businesses that historically provide wedding services and goods — like photographers, cake decorators, or wedding planners — can't deny services to gay and lesbian couples based on sexual orientation," writes Baird Helgeson for the Star Tribune.
LEARN MORE ABOUT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND THE CHURCH:
• Where will the wedding bells ring? A cross-section of faith communities' approaches
Same-sex couples can legally wed in Minnesota on Aug. 1. Marriage in the eyes of the state's many faith communities, however, is a different matter. ... MPR News surveyed a cross-section of faith leaders to see where some of the most common religious groups in Minnesota stand on the issue. (MPR News)
• ELCA: Implications for Pastors and Congregations
This is essentially a local, congregational question — as has always been the case with non-sacramental rites of the church such as marriages, funerals and confirmations. We who serve you on the synod staff will be available to consult with pastors and congregational leaders, but we will not be proposing synodical policies regarding what has always been a matter of congregational discernment. (Larry Wohlrabe)
• Some Minnesota pastors say decision still to come on same-sex marriage ceremonies
In Moorhead, First Congregational United Church of Christ has already announced it will perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. That church helped fight against a failed constitutional amendment on the ballot in November that would have banned same-sex marriages. Others are sure to take the approach Asleson is planning: discussing the issue with his congregation. (Dickinson Press)
• A Brief Catechesis on Marriage from the Catholic Bishops of Minnesota
We, the Catholic Bishops of Minnesota, believe it is our responsibility to speak in support of marriage as a lifelong commitment between one man and one woman in an enduring bond of love. This union is ordered to both the mutual good of the spouses and to the procreation and raising of children. (Minnesota Catholic Conference)
• Minnesota bishop sets process for same-sex marriage
Some Episcopal Church congregations in the Diocese of Minnesota will decide to marry same-sex couples when a new state law goes into effect in August and some will not, and Bishop Brian Prior says that difference "represents the diversity and the comprehensive nature of who we are as Episcopalians and Anglicans." (Episcopal News Service)