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LGBT rights are the target of sample resolutions by religious right and Catholic groups ahead of Tuesday night’s caucuses.

Religious right groups hope to amp up opposition to the Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act at political party caucuses on Tuesday night with sample resolutions being offered by the Minnesota Family Council and the Minnesota Child Protection League.

Resolutions at the party caucuses can become part of the party’s platform if they garner enough support. They are a traditional way for party activists to get their issues to become the party’s issues.

The Minnesota Family Council’s resolution suggests that the anti-bullying bill will cause problems for “religious and moral values.”

Whereas:
• The occurrence of bullying in public schools is harmful to all
children and can create an impediment to learning; and
• The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act (the Act), falsely
called an “anti-bullying bill,” will not stop bullying; and
• The Act’s definition of bullying is so broad it could punish students
as “bullies” for merely expressing an opinion or belief; and
• A bullying policy should not be used to undermine the rights of
parents to bestow their moral and religious values on their
children; and
• A bullying policy should not be used as a vehicle to advance the
agenda of special interest groups; and
Therefore, be it RESOLVED that the Legislature and Governor
oppose the falsely labeled Safe and Supportive Minnesota
Schools Act.

The Minnesota Child Protection League, an anti-LGBT group opposed to the bill, is also circulating a resolution:

The Safe and Supportive Minnesota Schools Act, falsely called an “anti-bullying bill,” will
not stop bullying; and
• Whereas, its definition of bullying is so broad it could punish students as “bullies” merely for expressing a different opinion or belief.
• Whereas, its stated purpose is to create a cultural shift in the values and attitudes of the school and the community; and
• Whereas, it introduces controversial and sexually explicit course material throughout all classes to accustom students to various forms of sexual diversity; and

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has a resolution it is circulating regarding marriage equality through its political arm, the Minnesota Catholic Conference. It seeks to protect businesses that object to “homosexual conduct”:

Whereas the redefinition of marriage in Minnesota was supposed to only allow same-sex couples to marry and not infringe upon the freedom of others;

Whereas the Minnesota Department of Human Rights has threatened to punish individuals, businesses, and other organizations who refuse to participate in the solemnization or celebration of a same-sex marriage with hefty fines and even jail time (1);

Whereas the Minnesota Constitution has strong protections for religious liberty and conscience;

Whereas the Minnesota Human Rights Act already offers some protection for those who object to homosexual conduct;

Be it resolved that the Legislature and Governor enact broader accommodations for the religious liberty and consciences of individuals who refuse to solemnize, celebrate or perpetuate a same-sex marriage.

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Andy Birkey
Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.

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