Catholic leaders call on Minnesota parishioners to fund anti-gay marriage initiative

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letter

A mailing from church leadership to Minnesota Roman Catholics asks them to donate to the political campaign to pass a constitutional amendment strengthening the ban against gay marriage.

The money is to be used by Minnesota for Marriage for television ads urging a “yes” vote on the amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman. The vote is Nov. 6.

The StarTribune reported that the letter was on its way to more than 400,000 Catholic households in Minnesota this week.

Church leaders also are calling on parishioners to vote “yes” on the ballot measure, according to the StarTribune’s report of a memo to priests and church administrators from the Minnesota Catholic Conference. The MCC was described as the public policy voice of the church in the state.

The memo announcing the group’s plans specified that the church is not collecting money at services and has not made a direct appeal for money. MCC is funding the mailing, which is estimated to cost about $100,000.

Also, the memo outlining the mailing specifies that some people will be receiving a request for donations and a vote while others, who don’t have a history of giving to the archdiocese, will be asked for their “yes” vote.

The church has raised more than $1 million for the anti-gay initiative – about $500,000 this year and $750,000 last year from the MCC. The largest chunk of money came directly from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

A poll on the initiative shows voters evenly split.

On the equality side of the fight, the parents of a gay Minnesota soldier killed in Afghanistan have launched a statewide tour by veterans against the amendment. Jeff and Lori Wilfahrt's son, Andrew, died in 2011.