As a Christian minister, I share my call to speak in favor of marriage equality. I deeply respect that not everyone is of the same mind.

One of the wonderful things about being a United Methodist is our determination to make room for diverse opinions in our congregations even when it is difficult. When considering a controversial issue, we use a thoughtful faith process that honors our interpretation of Scripture, our sense of reason, our deep traditions and our personal experience of God. In the end, we believe that God’s grace is so pure and encompassing that anything that attempts to limit or control this love must be transformed. It is our moral imperative to act for the common good.

I believe that supporting the commitments made in same-sex marriages will strengthen and enhance all relationships. When we support commitments, everybody wins. Instead of placing obstacles in the path of gay couples, it seems that the wiser alternative from a societal perspective would be to encourage commitment, monogamy, durability and stability. The compassionate blessing of marriages by loving families, the church and a societal culture of acceptance have been proven to encourage commitment and sustainability, which enhances the well being of the whole human family.

The United States has a Constitution promising equality and liberty to all. When those promises are kept, we all have equal opportunity to contribute as best we can to our families, communities and country.

Love and commitment are beautiful things. Presiding over the union of our son and his partner one year ago was one of the happiest occasions in my 25 years of ministry. I look forward with great happiness to being able to sign a marriage certificate for them in Washington state in the near future.

The Rev. Marilyn Kallshian

Central United Methodist Church

Sedro-Woolley

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