Opponents of legislation to legalize same-sex marriage in Minnesota gathered Thursday for a rally at the state Capitol.
The group Minnesota for Marriage brought together its members from throughout the state to hear from several like-minded religious leaders and legislators. House and Senate committees have scheduled hearings next week on the marriage bill.
The sponsor of last fall's failed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in Minnesota, Republican Sen. Warren Limmer of Maple Grove, told the crowd that the battle continues.
"And we have to understand that we are fighting for our children and our culture and our way of life," Limmer said.
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Limmer was among three-dozen GOP lawmakers at the rally. A spokesman for the group Minnesotans United, which supports the bill, said he is confident that it will pass.
Joe Rigney, a professor at Bethlehem College and Seminary in Minneapolis, told the crowd that legislators have no authority to re-define an institution invented by God.
"We did not send them here to undermine fundamental institutions of society," Rigney said. "We did not send them to here to perform a social experiment on our children by defining marriage in a way that no society in the history of the world has ever defined it."
Jake Loesch, a spokesman for the group Minnesotans United, said there are also many people of faith who support legalizing same-sex marriage. Losch noted that the bill includes a religious exemption so that churches would not be forced to perform same-sex marriages.