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Canadian Archbishop Urges Minnesotans: 'Vote Yes'

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A religious leader from Canada visited the Twin Cities Monday to speak out against gay marriage.

The Archbishop of Ottawa spoke at the University of St. Thomas, where the Minnesota Catholic Conference is underway.

Archbishop Terrance Prendergast says he's here because of Minnesota's upcoming vote on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and he's encouraging citizens to vote yes in November.

Canada's parliament legalized same sex marriage several years ago. Prendergast says since then, the people of Canada's religious freedoms have been under attack.

Prendergast was among several guests from Canada who talked about what they say are consequences of legalizing gay marriage.

The archbishop says businesses have been fined for turning away same sex couples. He claims Catholic schools that are publicly funded have no choice but to allow students to be a part of gay and lesbian clubs, even though it's something they don't believe in.

He points out voters in Canada didn't get a choice, but voters in Minnesota do.

"They have the chance to say that in my conscience that i really believe the best thing for society or the better thing for society is to continue with the traditional meaning of marriage between a man and a woman," said Prendergast. "For the good of society, for the good of children, for the good of everyone."

"The law in Minnesota already says gays and lesbians can't get married," said Kate Brickman, spokesperson for Minnesotans United for All Families, the main lobby group opposing the proposed amendment. "What we're voting on is whether we want to put this into the constitution and permanently shut down the conversation and say to future generations, you don't get to vote on this."

Minnesotans United's headquarters was abuzz Monday morning after Minnesota Vikings player Chris Kluwe stopped by to rally "vote no" supporters. Kluwe has publicly come out against the marriage amendment.

With only four weeks until Election Day, both campaigns are ramping up their efforts to get out the vote.

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