Magazine article Church & State

Don't Wed Civil Marriage Law to Religion, Says AU Minn. Activist

Magazine article Church & State

Don't Wed Civil Marriage Law to Religion, Says AU Minn. Activist

Article excerpt

Denying civil marriage equality to same-sex couples on theological grounds violates the separation of church and state, an Americans United activist in Minnesota opined recently.

Jonathan L. Eisenberg, an attorney and vice president the Minnesota chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, penned a column on the topic for MinnPost, an online publication that covers news from around the state. Eisenberg argued that the push to amend Minnesota's Constitution to limit marriage to heterosexual couples is anchored in religious beliefs. "The amendment is, at its core, an attempt to impose one specific religious view on all citizens," Eisenberg wrote. "That is not the proper role of government under our First Amendment guarantees of free exercise and non-establishment of religion.

"The proposed amendment," he continued, "is based on conservative religious views about homosexuality and 'traditional' marriage. Its supporters rely on select biblical passages that, by their interpretation, condemn homosexual relations and support the view that only male-female marriages are allowed."

Minnesota is one of four states this year that faced a vote on a ballot measures limiting marriage to one man and one woman. (The other three were Maine, Maryland and Washington; this issue of Church & State went to press prior to Election Day. …

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