Churches split on gay marriage bill

10:17 PM, May 12, 2013   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - On a Sunday when people pack into Twin Cities churches, a divisive issue hangs in the balance.

With the passage of the Marriage Equality Bill in the Minnesota House last week, one more vote is expected in the Senate on Monday. The decision will likely decide whether Minnesota
becomes the 12 state in the country to legalize same-sex marriage.

"We stand at the threshold of a historic moment," Pastor Justin Schroeder told his congregation.

As the senior pastor of the First Universalist Church in Minneapolis, Schroeder says this decision is the result of hard work.

"This reality seemed impossible a year ago, but now it's very moving for me. There are a lot of tears today."

As the debate moves to the Senate floor Monday, there are church leaders who are urging their congregations to not only reach out to legislators, but to pray as well.

"We are praying for our government leaders and those in St. Paul," says Matt Morrell, senior pastor of Fourth Baptist Church in Plymouth. "We don't see this as a political or social issue, this is a Biblical issue."

Pastor Morrell says if the bill passes, there is fear among some church leaders that more changes could happen down the road.

"We are afraid for the day in which in this state or in this country those positions might be imposed on us," says Pastor Morrell. "But we are confident God is still in charge."

Rev. Jerry McAfee at New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis also remains committed to traditional marriage. He's burdened by the effort to "eradicate God out of our culture," but also frustrated that some lawmakers are answering some needs, while others go unmet.

"They can move quickly on gay marriage," he says. "Meanwhile they couldn't even pass a gun bill. That's something that would've helped us right away."

The Senate begins debate at noon on Monday.

(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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