I've discussed this issue a lot lately. Especially with my ultra conservative parents. I would like to preface this by clarifying my political stance. I also consider myself a conservative however not an ultra conservative. I am a registered republican and have no problem acknowledging that.
Here's why I feel like I need to bring this whole thing up. I believe a lot of my generation feels this way but hasn't been able to vocalize it. Especially young people that grew up in the same type of religious household I was raised in. There is a misconception that self proclaimed Christians are ignorant, judgmental, and hateful people when in reality, that isn't the truth at all. I happen to have a few friends and clients that are gay. I haven't once denied them of help or an ear or shoulder to cry on when they needed it. I have never denied them love or support because of their sexual orientations. I am genuinely ashamed when Christians act ignorantly and hateful towards gay people. Most of the gay people I know happen to be the most loving, honest, hard working, and wonderful people I have ever met.
I believe that since we as the US of A decided it would be such a great idea to give people "liberty and justice, for all" it is our responsibility to uphold this right. We are obligated as American citizens to make those words a reality; our current president being a great example of this. That being said...I don't believe that Christians/Conservatives should be running around trying to make it illegal to be gay or to make it illegal to have homosexuality introduced to children during sex ed in elementary schools. Do I agree with homosexuality? Do I want my kid learning about that in elementary school? As a christian, it goes against everything I believe in - that being the Bible - but as a human being, and if the Bible did not exist, I think that good natured, just, and non-judgmental human beings wouldn't even be phased by it. Just as we being humans, find it harmless to lie, we all know that it is wrong. Just as we are women, we love to gossip, but know that it isn't right. Just as promiscuity is dangerous and wrong, as humans we like it because it feels good. If I did not believe in the values of the bible, homosexuality wouldn't be an issue to me. BUT, I am a christian, and I base the things i believe off of the Bible. I'm not the perfect Christian, but when I think about how much good that has come from being raised in a Christian home, I think about the values I would like to try my best to live by and raise my children by, and I believe that that is in Christianity. And what I believe is that as Christians, we shouldn't judge a person based on their sexual orientation. Because I wouldn't ever dare cast the first stone. As an American citizen, I believe that it is our responsibility to give every person their right to everyone having "liberty and justice, for all".
Tonight, the subject of civil unions vs. marriage came up. This is what I believe:
Give homosexuals civil unions and allow them to have the same benefits married couples have. Insurance benefits, protection benefits, contractual allowances, etc. If we as American's are going to play the "constitutional rights" card with burning an American flag and bash a president or to have 8 children while on welfare, then lets go all out and let homosexuals have the right to that card too. It is our obligation to allow the right for everyone to have the same rights as anyone else. I am 100% for civil unions.
That being said, as a Christian & American citizen, I have the right to protect marriage as a religious union between a man and a woman. Marriage has always been and always will be a religious and holy experience when a man and woman are united before God. Why should churches be forced to allow homosexual couples to get married when civil unions are being legalized left and right? On every other issue, the church is forced to separate itself from the state - until now, when the tables have turned and the state is expecting the church to change its views for the sake of a few boys with their panties in a bunch! Marriage is made for a man & woman, before God, as a contract between the God of the Bible, you and your spouse.
My point is this, just because the government didn't think about what the real meaning of a constitutional right was when they wrote that clause on your insurance coverage contract, there is no reason to be burning churches down, protesting churches, OR for christians to be protesting with signs that gay people are going to burn in hell, etc. The solution lies in the government realizing their hypocrisy and going all or nothing. If you're going to force churches to agree with the state and make gay MARRIAGE legal, if you're going to start teaching 5 year olds about homosexuality, start offering bible classes in public schools and allow us to say Merry Christmas during the Holidays.
ALL or NOTHING.
Either way, we are damned if we don't, damned if we do.