Bit + Grain canvasses North Carolina and its neighbors, from mountain to sea, in search of exceptional stories. This week, they feature an interview with Pastor Nancy Petty, along with other local advocates who have worked to make marriage equality a reality in our state and nation.
As the decision came down on October the 10th of 2014, for marriage equality in this state, I was down at the Register of Deeds office. I became so overwhelmed with the fact that for almost 23 years, this congregation had been blessing same-sex covenants. It still blows my mind to think about that.
For years what I said to gay couples that I was marrying is that what really matters is that the church blesses your union. What really matters is that God blesses your union, and the piece of paper is just a piece of paper, and that’s really not what matters. I think I had conditioned myself to believe that because I wanted to be grateful for what this church had done. I didn’t want to create more conflict or cause more conflict, and so you just kind of settle for what’s given to you without really thinking about [how] this is a right that I deserve. This is a fundamental right given to me as a citizen of the United States, and I should be fighting for it. This is about people being treated equally. It’s much bigger than not wanting to create conflict. It’s about our rights as gay people. So I think I woke up to the realization that we’re not second-class citizens.