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MINNEAPOLIS—July 13, 2011
 
On June 1, 2011, The Minnesota Atheists filed an amicus curiae brief in the Minnesota Appellate Court on behalf of three same-sex Minnesota couples who are suing the government for the right to get legally married in Minnesota.  At least two of these six individuals are atheists. The Appellate Court accepted the brief on June 20, 2011.


The case is titled Benson, et al. v. Alverson. In their complaint, the plaintiffs charged that, “By denying the Plaintiff couples the right to marry solely because they are of the same sex, Minnesota law violates the due process, equal protection, freedom of conscience, and freedom of peaceful association provisions contained in Article I, Sections 7, 2, and 16 of the Minnesota Constitution.”

They also asked the judge to declare that the 1997 Minnesota Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as “only between persons of the opposite sex,” to be unconstitutional under the Minnesota Constitution.  For more information about this case or to download copies of the legal documents, please visit marrymeminnesota.org. 

Highlights of the amicus curiae brief filed by the Minnesota Atheists include:

• With no valid secular reason to deny same-sex couples equal civil marriage rights, the government is enshrining one particular religious belief (theocracy), when it should not be basing laws on any religious beliefs.

• In a Minnesota Senate Committee hearing on April 29, 2011, six religious leaders used religion as a reason to oppose same-sex marriage.

• “Ex-gay” ministries such as the Christian group Exodus and Jewish group JONAH believe homosexuality is “outside of God’s will” and attempt to change gay people’s sexual orientations.

• The American Psychiatric Association and the American Medial Association support legal recognition of same-sex unions.

A pdf file of the entire amicus curiae brief can be downloaded at the Minnesota Atheists website at: mnatheists.org/mna-amicus.pdf

Minnesota Atheists, a positive atheist organization actively promoting secular values through participation in public affairs, educational programs and hosting the only live atheist radio talk show in the state: Atheists Talk, Sundays, 9:00-10:00 a.m., KTNF AM 950. Minnesota Atheists is Minnesota’s oldest, largest, and most active atheist organization.  Additional information can be found at www.mnatheists.org.

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