All couples deserve marriage

To the editor:

When Katy and I went to our pastor to show off her engagement ring, Rev. Pennybacker leaned back in his chair with a huge grin. “Great!” he said. “Let’s talk.” And we did, about money, kids, communication, and sex; church, grad school, and employment. At some point, he said, “Promise each other that if things get rough, you’ll call me before you call a lawyer.”

For 23 years of married life and pastoral life, I’ve become the one who gets to lean back and grin. Couples tell me how they met and fell in love. They tell silly stories about “his cat, who hisses when I sit on the bed.” We laugh and talk about how relationships deepen and progress, and how they’ll grow in faith.

But some couples also share pain. Their love is real. They long to share life in covenant with each other and with God. They even promise to call me before they call a lawyer. But they face things Katy and I don’t face: unsupportive families, judgmental communities, political scorn, religion wielded like a weapon.

The tears I’ve seen! One bride said, “I fought being lesbian because my church told me it was sinful, and for years I believed it. I hated myself.” And now? “After a long struggle, I’ve come to trust God loves me. I’m even beginning to love myself.” What’s still troubling you? “Dad always said when I fell in love for life, he’d walk me down the aisle. But because my ‘love for life’ is a woman, he won’t even come to our wedding. I have to walk down the aisle alone.”

Every couple I marry, gay or straight, deserves to be able to say: “Our families love us. Our church embraces us. Our neighbors welcome us. Our children are proud of us.” The path is hard enough without the state constitution also standing in the way.

As a pastor privileged to unite loving couples, straight and gay, in marriage, I’ll vote no on the marriage amendment. It’s how I say to loving families a joyful and supportive yes.

Spirit of Joy Christian Church pastor

  • Michele

    The monsters in this world, the real monsters, come from the hating of self. If you do not love and accept yourself, in my humble opinion, you cannot love God, because He is the One who created you.

    Every act of horrible cruelty, every mindless act of violence, every murder, comes from self-hatred and a disconnection from the Creator.

    So, it is in our own best interest, and society’s best interest, to encourage each individual to embrace who they really are, and to love themselves for who they are. And we must love and accept them, because they are created by whatever God we worship, whatever science we follow.

    Sir, I’m not a churchgoer, but I wish you and your congregation well.

  • RollieB

    Great letter, David! Speaks to the heart.

  • Rosie from Rosemount

    Pastor Cobb,

    Your words are correct and quicly to the point. Nice work and best wishes.

  • Jan Dobson


    I don’t see any correlation among monsters, monstrous behaviors and homosexual relationships.

    • Michele

      Jan, that’s a good question. When people are taught to hate themselves, that hatred turns outward.

      Simple as that.

      • Jan Dobson

        It seems you are a little confused. The proposed amendment seeks to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Its purpose is legal semantics. It isn’t antigay relationship. It isn’t antigay romance. It isn’t antigay family. And it is certainly not an anti self-loathing proposal. Even if it were, history proves that marriage is no guarantee against self-loathing and abhorrent behavior.

        By the way, your attempted correlation among monsters, monstrous behavior and homosexuality still eludes me. If anything, the gay community is being used as a pawn. Gay partners are being agitated into believing they need external validation for their relationships and families to be legitimate. Nonsense.

        The fact is, this matter affects much more than gay relationships. Traditions of our American culture are under attack on a number of fronts. Family structure is one of those fronts. Need proof? Proposed legislation in California seeks to allow parental rights to more than two individuals per child. That is, child rearing will become a committee project. In Massachusetts, a man convicted of raping a child is seeking parental rights over the baby that resulted from the rape. That is, a child rapist wants to claim the rights, privileges and honor of parenthood.

        Vote YES to preserve the integrity of marriage and family structure. Vote YES to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

        • Paul

          Well said!

          There are many gays that I know personally that abhor these supposed “allies” and groups that force them out and try to make them militant.

          Most gays just wish to be left alone and live their lives in peace without them having to take front and center every time some radicalized LGBT group puts out some “warning” and demands their participation.


  • RollieB

    First, traditionally marriage was not between one man and one woman. It was one man and multiple women.

    Second, traditionally marriages were not based in loving relationships between a man and woman but were arranged affairs usually connected to property rights.

    Third, some posit that men and women are equal. That may be the case in the latter part of the 20th century and now in the 21st century, but it certainly was not the case in traditional marriages. Women were considered the property of their husbands and were not allowed to own property. Husbands were even allowed to beat their wives to ensure they would obey their husband.

    Fourth, up to the 1960s it was illegal for individuals of different races to marry. The argument for these laws was the protection of traditional marriage.

    Is this the same traditional marriage that you’re supporting, Jan?

  • Jan Dobson

    You also seem a little confused, Rollie. Try giving my comment another read through. Maybe you will get the point.

  • RollieB

    No confusion here, Jan. This vote is about gay marriage and the attempt to justify some folks’ homophobia and bigotry, pure and simple.

    • Love the water

      RolliB ignorance is bliss for you

    • Jan Dobson

      Homophobia? Bigotry? Rollie, when you try to demonize people who disagree with you by calling them bigots and homophobes you’re not debating. You’re name-calling. And if name-calling is the only way you can justify you side of an issue—any issue—you’re on the wrong side. It’s possible to disagree without being hateful.

      • RollieB

        …and you never answer a direct question.

    • Paul

      No. Not pure and simple.

      This is why others don’t even try and debate people like yourself.

      Instead of using actual facts you resort to name calling slanderous statements.

      Have fun with that.

      Proud to vote YES on the marriage amendment : )

      • RollieB


        Please tell me the basis for your yes vote. Really, I curious.

  • Rosie from Rosemount

    As I have said before, reading RollieB’s posts is like driving behind someone on 494 who sports a “Green Peace” bumper sticker, and witnessing them throw their Burger King wrappers out the car window.