Use the language of your Catholic faith and the teachings of the Church to inform and bolster your support of marriage equality and your opposition to the proposed “marriage amendment.”
Explain how your support for marriage equality is informed by your Catholic faith. You can begin by noting that as a Catholic you value compassion, justice, family, truth-telling and love, and that you’ve witnessed all of these qualities and values in the lives and relationships of LGBT people. As one Catholic puts it: ‘I see the face of God in the love of same-sex couples.”

Also highlight the fact that your support for marriage equality is informed by Church teaching. For example, the Church teaches that:
(i) The “intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.” [3]
(ii) The “fundamental human rights and responsibilities of all people” – including LGBT people – must be recognized, and “any and all forms of injustice, oppression or violence against LGBT people must be eliminated.” [4]
(iii) In 1991 Minnesota Archbishop John Roach noted that “homosexual persons . . . like all people have a right to human respect, economic security and social equality.” [5]
Note how you believe that civil marriage is a “fundamental human right” necessary for “social equality,” and that the effort on the part of the bishops to legalize a ban on same-sex civil marriage is unreasonable, unjust, oppressive, discriminatory, and hurtful. Furthermore, these same efforts are a violation of the Church’s own teaching.
(iv) “Government is to see to it that equality of citizens before the law, which is itself an element of the common good, is never violated, whether openly or covertly, for religious reasons. Nor is there to be discrimination among citizens.” [6]
How discriminatory is the proposed “marriage amendment”? If passed by a simple majority of those voting in the 2012 election, this amendment would write discrimination into the Minnesota Constitution, and perpetuate such laws as the following five current Minnesota Statues – along with 510 other statues – that deny same-sex persons in long-term committed relationships those rights automatically guaranteed by state law to married heterosexual couples.
The same-sex partner of a patient in a hospital is not included at all on the list of people who may provide consent for treatment if the patient were unable to give his or her own consent. In some cases, same-sex partners might not even be allowed to visit a partner in the hospital, even with legal paperwork describing the couple's wishes. (Minn. Statutes, Section 253B.03)
Important events in the family of the same-sex partner of a child's parent, such as family emergencies or the death or serious illness or funeral of an immediate family member, might not qualify as a legitimate exemption from school absence. (Section 120A.22)
A surviving same-sex partner cannot inherit any of the deceased partner's estate if his or her partner dies without a will. (Section 524.2-102)
The coroner is not allowed to release to a same-sex partner personal items – such as clothes and other personal property of limited value – routinely given to the spouse or any blood relative of the person who has died. (Section 525.393)
A long-term same-sex partner is not allowed to receive workers' compensation benefits if their spouse is killed at work. (Section 176.111)
Enshrining such a discriminatory approach to marriage in the State Constitution would make future legislation guaranteeing the legal equality of same-sex couples very difficult, if not impossible. Further, if this amendment becomes part of the Minnesota Constitution, future challenges in the courts would be very difficult.
3 Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Letter to Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons. 1986.
4 U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Always Our Children: A Pastoral Message to Parents of Homosexual Children and Suggestions for Pastoral Ministers. 1997.
5 Roach, J. “A Statement on Homosexual Persons and the Protection of Human Rights.” Catholic Bulletin, September 26, 1991.
6 Dignitatis humanae (the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom), December 7, 1965.
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