On Sunday, Oct. 28, Spirit of Hope United Methodist Church Pastor Edwin DuBose took a risk.
Out of thousands of sermons, DuBose for the first time shared how he will vote on a particular issue. DuBose told his congregation that he's voting “no” the proposed amendment to the state constitution that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
“Before I preached my first sermon, the head pastor said, ‘Ed it's a little bit like walking on thin ice,’” DuBose told church-goers. "He was right. Over time I got comfortable and found the safer spot. But today I'm going to go out again where the ice is thin."
For DuBose, who lives in Woodbury, walking on thin ice meant talking for 15 minutes about why he feels it’s so important to vote, and to vote “no” on this particular issue.
On Nov. 6, Minnesotans will decide if marriage should be solely between a man and a woman. DuBose hopes that voters will think about the potential harm the amendment could do to a select group of people.
“If you're voting ‘yes,’ I respect that. I can understand that,” DuBose said. “And I pray that you can respect those who disagree.”
In 2002, Spirit of Hope made a decision to become a reconciling congregation. This means that the church openly and explicitly welcomes people of all sexual orientations.
“For over 30 years I've stood at the pulpit and said the same thing every time an election has come: It is your Christian responsibility to make an educated vote, so vote.” DuBose said. “But today I've been challenged by one of our young people to say more.”
Dubose told the congregation that passing an amendment that limits marriage will not protect marriage, and it won’t turn back time.
“The reason I'm voting ‘no’ is because I agree with those who are voting ‘yes’ on one main point: Marriage is important,” DuBose said. “Marriage is big. It’s not something to be taken lightly. This amendment will not make marriage stronger. It will hurt a select group of people.”
At the end of the church service, DuBose provided attendees with a three-page article that he wrote explaining at length his reasoning for voting “no.”
“I respect your choices and I understand if you disagree. If that’s where you are, this congregation respects you,” DuBose said. “Whatever you do, take your soul with you to the polls.”