Contact: Rev. Robin R. Lunn
KENSINGTON, MD - Minnesota Baptists will gather Monday morning July 30th at the First United Church of Christ in Northfield, MN to prepare to Vote NO! on the proposed amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. A Press Conference is scheduled for noon in front of the church.
This gathering, co-sponsored by local, state and national religious and secular organizations, is an opportunity for a progressive Baptist voice to be heard in the debate over civil rights and religious freedom. "Baptists have historically advocated for freedom. Our heritage is one of advocating freedom to worship and serve God without state interference. This constitutional amendment seeks to undermine the freedom of our congregations to express our faith. It seeks to codify discrimination into our constitution. As Baptists we ought to advocate for the preservation of freedom, not the limiting of freedom," said Rev. Doug Donley from the University Baptist Church in Minneapolis. UBC is part of the statewide coalition of religious communities working to defeat the amendment.
Rev. Travis G. Norvell, the newly called pastor of the Judson Memorial Baptist Church in Minneapolis added, "In a few weeks my family and I will move 1,300 miles north and make our new home in Minneapolis, MN. We are moving because of the progressive history of American Baptists and because of the progressive hope for a more just, equal and loving community. My family and I will be voting No to the constitutional amendment to define marriage in a discriminatory fashion because as Baptists we believe in freedom, love, and equality." The Executive Council of Judson Memorial stated that, "At Judson Memorial Baptist Church we are comprised of and welcome those who are married, partnered, single, gay and straight. We are families at all ages and stages of life. And we oppose the proposed ammendment to the Minnesota Constitution, which would deny same sex couples the freedom to be married."
Rev. Robin Lunn, Executive Director for the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists said, "While AWAB is an association of Baptist churches that have gone on record as fully inclusive of lesbian, bisexual, transgender and gay people, we stand for the freedom of any church to perform marriages based on their particular community's ethics. What we don't support is the imposition of one theological view on an entire people. We believe we can retain our religious freedom and continue to expand basic civil rights for all Americans. Civil marriage is a basic civil right."
For more about the the July 30th event go to Baptists Vote No! at http://www.manyvoicesonelove.com/minnesota.html