Dozens Protest Lutheran Benefit Society in MN Over Allowing Donations To Pro-Marriage Groups


Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is the largest fraternal benefit society in the United States, serving nearly 3 million members.

But because two individuals used Thrivent to direct personal donations to pro-family groups (one of them seven years ago), gay marriage activists held a protest outside of Thrivent's corporate headquarters in Minneapolis:

On Sunday, a crowd of 100 protestors assembled in front of Thrivent Financial in downtown Minneapolis. The group called "Join the Impact" pledged to "Call Out Funders of Anti-Gay Bigotry and Demand "Marriage Equality Now." There was not much media coverage.

"We're here to demand that Thrivent Financial stop its funding of anti-LGBT hate and bigotry," protestors said, referring to donations from Thrivent's Lutheran Community Foundation to the Minnesota Family Council and Focus on the Family, a conservative group based in Colorado.

Chis Anderson, executive director of The Lutheran Community Foundation, said the foundation runs 3,500 donor advised funds in which donors make their own charitable selections. Seven years ago, a donor directed $500 to the Minnesota Family Council.

Last year, a donor gave $5,700 to Focus on the Family. Anderson said the Foundation takes no position on social or public policy issues such as the marriage amendment. -- Minnesota Public Radio