A DVD outlining the Catholic Church's opposition to same-sex marriage has sparked debate in one Minneapolis, Minn., diocese, where a number of parishioners are deriding the message as "anti-gay" -- and drawn the attention of national media.
More than 400,000 of the DVDs were mailed to homes of Catholics across the state, courtesy of Minnesota bishops objecting the campaign to legalize gay marriage. The Star Tribune reports:
The 18-minute DVD includes an appearance from St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt in which he says it is time for Minnesotans -- not the "ruling elite" of legislators and judges -- to vote on a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Thirty-one states have passed such an amendment.
"It is the people themselves and not politicians or judges who should make this decision," Nienstedt says on the DVD. "This is the only way to put the one man, one woman definition of marriage beyond the reach of the courts and politicians."
Gay marriage advocates in and around Minneapolis are calling the video a political tool, meant to garner support for conservative politicians in the state.
"It's an effort to have Catholics vote the way the bishops want them to vote, but by and large Catholic voters are well-educated and they are independent-minded," Brian McNeill, president of Dignity Twin Cities, told the Star-Tribune. The activist group for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people reportedly works to overturn what it calls the "antiquated sexual theology" of the church. "We would like to talk to the archbishop about it, but he won't talk to us," McNeill said.
CNN has released this video report on the controversy: