Minnesota Social Workers Demonstrate Against Gay Marriage Ban

By Jeremy Griffith

Minnesota voters will see a new constitutional amendment proposal in their ballots this November protecting the traditional definition of marriage, a proposal that his highly supported by the Catholic Church. Meanwhile, on Monday Minnesota social workers marched to the capitol to demonstrate in opposition.

Members of the Minnesota Association of Licensed Social Workers met at the History Center in St. Paul in the morning to attend training sessions. In the afternoon, they marched the short distance to rally on the capitol steps. Governor Mark Dayton and several state legislators made brief remarks.

Mike Arieta, a licensed clinical social worker and therapist, attended the rally.

“People were carrying signs and talking about the issues,” said Arieta. “I was particularly moved by a couple of the signs I saw.”

According to Arieta, it is the duty of a social worker to advocate for the less fortunate and to take up those issues on behalf of clients to political leaders. He is against the marriage amendment as written, he says, because it would discriminate against people who have an alternate home life.

“The state used to promote the traditional marriage because it was viewed as the most stable situation,” Arieta explained. “Things have changed a lot. We aren’t the same farm based economy we were a hundred years ago. Our idea of what a marriage is should change with it to better reflect who we are today.”

According to October editions of The Blaze and the Minnesota Independent , the Minnesota Arch Diocese has sent an open letter out to every Minnesota priest advocating support for the amendment. The letter signed by Arch Bishop John Nienstedt says in part:

It is imperative that we marshal our resources to educate the faithful about the Church’s teachings on these matters, and to vigorously organize and support a grass roots effort to get out the vote to support the passage of the amendment. .  .”

The letter calls for “Church Captains” who would advocate in their churches, forming ad hoc committees, a tactic that worked well in California’s successful Proposition 8 bill initiative.

If passed, the amendment would make it so that only unions between one man and one woman would be recognized by the state as a legal marriage.

Social Workers gather in St. Paul -photo by Mike Arieta

Social workers rally at Minnesota state capitol carrying signs -photo by Mike Arieta

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