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Rev. Mark Pettis, Moorhead, Published October 24 2012

Letter: Minn. marriage measure: Vote ‘no’

As a pastor, I have given a great deal of thought to the importance of equal marriage. I have officiated at many weddings. I used to think that it was a point of pride that some of those weddings involved individuals who were the same gender, but recently my thoughts have changed. I have realized that pride is an improper emotion; it should be, and is, humility.

To suggest that I am proud is to suggest that I had something to do with these sacred unions, and that is simply not the case. Each of these unions, whether between two men, two women, or one man and one woman, are, at their core, a matter between those two individuals and God. I am but a privileged participant in their beautiful covenanting ceremonies and a humble witness to their sacred unions.

And as a person of faith, I believe that each of these couples was brought together by God, called into this very special expression of relationship. In the act of covenanting with one another, they are affirming their faith by living out this divine call to love and offer one’s full self to another.

In each instance, the marriage covenant, made in the sight of God, is truly sacred and beautiful, and in no way were any of these marriages threatened or weakened by the others. Instead, these expressions of love and devotion each serve to strengthen the institution itself, as they affirm God’s call to live in committed relationship with one another, embodying God’s love for all people.

Human limitations placed on the rights of some to live out God’s call to love is just not right.

Pettis is pastor at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Moorhead.