ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The reverend of a St. Paul church says he needs to raise $200,000 to pay off a church loan after most of his followers left because of his support for gay marriage.

The Rev. Oliver White runs Grace Community United Church of Christ in St. Paul. The 69-year-old said he needs to raise the money by June 30.

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“We lost our income when we lost a number of people from our congregation.” White said.

White said two-thirds of his followers left after he said he supported same-sex marriage, and said he was against the marriage amendment that will be up for a vote in November.

“I think people are scared — scared of change, and what has been in the closet is finally coming out, and too many people are not willing to accept it,” White said.

He argued they have to accept it, adding that it’s a civil rights issue.

“It’s time for our society to do as Rodney King did and say, ‘Can’t we all get along?’ That should be the 11th commandment as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “We should not try to legislate morality, in terms of who should get married and who can’t get married.”

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White said they are praying for a miracle donation, but says even if they lose the church, those remaining members will find another place to worship.

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