Every week or so, Minnesota for Marriage posts a new “Marriage Minute Video” on their website and YouTube channel. I’ve spared you from those videos on this blog as many are simply infuriating. They are nothing more than propaganda designed to rally their base supporters.
With that said, I do believe it is important that each of us understands what messages the other side is sharing, especially if they just happen to conveniently leave out pieces of the story as they did in their video: “Canada Has Recognized Gay Marriage for Many Years. What Has Occurred There?”
In the video, Minnesota for Marriage claims that:
Bishop Frederick Henry of Calgary was investigated by the Alberta Human Rights Commission for doing little more than writing about the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality in a newspaper column.
Can you just imagine the response from amendment supporters? Frustration, disgust, outrage… A Bishop was investigated for little more than writing about the Catholic Church’s teaching?
Well, it turns out that there’s a lot more to the story… In January of 2005, Henry wrote a letter to the Diocese of Calgary that was read to 250,000 Catholics. In the letter, he actually speaks very little about the Church’s position on same-sex marriage. Instead, he compares being gay to adultery, prostitution and even pornography. To top it off, he goes on to say that the government should use its “coercive power” to put a stop to same-sex marriage “in the interests of the common good.” (source)
According to Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance:
Many readers of Bishop Henry’s letter have assumed that he is suggesting that governments harass, fine, or assign jail sentences to persons engaging in same-sex behavior, even if performed in private as part of a loving committed relationship. Certainly, governments in other countries use this type of coercive force.
Oh, so that’s why he was investigated… Followers of Minnesota for Marriage don’t realize that, though. Instead, they listen to the misleading information provided and then spread that information to their family and friends. That’s the most concerning (and damaging) part: the spreading of misinformation.
But that’s how these elections are won and ballots passed. As infuriating as it is, we need to stay close to the other side and call out misleading or misinformation when it is shared. I guarantee you, there’s a lot more of it to come from amendment proponents.