In 2004, the issue of gay marriage was under vote here in Missouri. We approved a constitutional ban on it, saying that marriage is specifically between a man and a woman. I can vividly recall my pastor at church instructing us on how to vote that Tuesday. I had turned 18 and had registered to vote, and I voted just as he had instructed. Still, I can recall thinking as I turned in my ballot: Did I do the right thing?
If I had known what I know now, I would have known that I had not.
I was fact-checking real quick to be sure of the year I voted and found this article asking how would Missouri vote if that issue was on the ballot this year.
I posted a long comment...
I am a Missouri voter who voted against gay marriage in 2004, and today I am ashamed of having done so. Even though my one vote would not have changed the outcome, I did not understand sexuality or love at the time, and can only hope my understanding has increased recently.
A few months ago, I came to the realization that I am attracted to other men, and have had to open my mind to understand this. I'd had gay friends before, but I'd never really considered what it was like to be one of them. Love between two men or two women is equal to that between a man and a woman. Gays do not want to make everyone else gay, we do not want to molest children or try to make them try being gay, we do not want to marry animals, and we do not feel attraction for every single person of the same sex. We simply want to be allowed to love our partners and be able to express this without feeling publicly discriminated against.
For the Bible-bashers, I grew up in a Christian home and actively took part in church ministry. That blinded me to seeing through someone else's eyes. I never turned away from God, even though it's been so easy to do so, but now that I've had the chance to walk a mile in the shoes of people outside of the Church, I see we are lacking in representing His love.
For the half-dozen verses thrown at homosexuals, there has been study proving what they really mean, and with this understanding, God does not condemn a loving relationship between two people of the same gender. People unwilling to embrace God's love but still calling themselves Christians have tried to refute these claims while continuing to share hatred for their fellow man instead of the love Christ shamelessly displayed. I think the fruits of these actions are speaking for themselves.
Understand where people come from before you take stereotypes to mind and judge them. Understand fully the translation and historical context of Scripture before using it to condemn, for that double-edged sword can cut into the wielder if used unwisely.
If gay marriage was under vote for Missouri again, I would vote YES and encourage my family and friends to do so as well. I have no idea if I'll ever meet my soul mate, but if I do, I would want to have the option to make a commitment before God and man that this is the man I have chosen to spend my life with.