Minnesota voters will decide this November whether to add an amendment to that state’s constitution that would constitutionally eliminate the freedom to marry for same-sex couples, which is already illegal under state law. We’ve covered it rather extensively here at Truth Wins Out, especially because the state’s Catholic bishops have launched an aggressive campaign to lobby for passage of the discriminatory amendment.

The bishops’ spiritual bullying has upset a large portion of Minnesota’s Catholics (which is hardly surprising, given that a majority of Catholics nationwide support LGBT rights, and 58 percent endorse marriage equality). And according to the Star Tribune, they’re continuing to organize (emphasis mine):

About 20 Catholics sat on folding chairs and old sofas in Ed Burg’s basement, snacking on cookies and candy and talking about why they don’t like the proposed marriage amendment.

“It’s a matter of further restriction on gay or GLBT people of whom there are number in my family, particularly my son,” said Burg, 88, who attends St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Bloomington.

Last week’s meeting was one of several recently organized by Catholics who oppose the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, putting them at odds with Catholic bishops and underscoring the deep divide and tension among Catholics over the issue of gay marriage [sic]. On Wednesday, several hundred Catholics met in Minneapolis’ Loring Park to sing, dance, pray and show support for same-sex marriage.

Kate Brickman of the group Minnesotans United for All Families told the Star Tribune that pro-equality Catholics have had to meet in private homes and other non-Catholic spaces because church leaders won’t allow them to meet in Catholic spaces, due to the anti-gay views of the Catholic hierarchy.

Reporter Rose French asked political science professor Laura Olson, who has researched constitutional marriage discrimination amendments, why Minnesota’s Catholic bishops have chosen to make the push for marriage discrimination so prominent in parishes and dioceses across that state. Olson’s answer is rather revealing (again, emphasis mine):

Olson said bishops may believe the amendment has a good chance of failing and are putting a lot of energy into trying to get it passed, although such actions could have the opposite effect with some, who’d rather see church money used for “social justice issues.”

“Among Catholics, and this would be true in Minnesota and nationwide, you’ve got about a third who are pretty … traditional in their interpretation and adhere to what the bishops say. What the remaining two-thirds do is really the issue.”