The Southeastern Minnesota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), met in assembly in Rochester, Minnesota, May 4, passed a resolution explicitly opposing the proposed “marriage amendment” to the Minnesota constitution that would preclude same-gender couples from seeking through legislation and other legal means the same rights and benefits granted to others. The margin was 229 in favor of the resolution, 179 opposed.
The Southeastern Minnesota Synod is the third synod of the six ELCA synods in Minnesota to have met in assembly and passed resolutions expressing opposition to amending the constitution of the State of Minnesota to state that marriage was solely between a man and a woman. Previously, the Northeastern Minnesota Synod and Minneapolis Area Synod assemblies passed such a resolution. The remaining three synods in Minnesota will meet in the coming weeks and months.
The resolution does not bind the individual members of the synod to voting in any particular way. It is nonetheless an important sense of the synod’s reaction to the attempt to change the constitution to restrict rather than protect freedom of conscience.
Emily Eastwood, Executive Director, Lutherans Concerned/North America, said of the vote on this resolution and the opposition to amending the constitution, “Once again debate was lengthy and thorough as the voting members turned back all attempts to water down the resolution. We are gratified by the growing Lutheran witness in support of continued conversation about marriage for same-gender couples and against any decision which would limit that possibility. We give thanks for the courage of those voting members at the assembly who came forward to witness for the protection of all families, including those of same-gender couples.”