Full disclosure: I am Mormon and very active in my faith. I am a registered republican, but have been known to cross party lines. I have lived in Utah my entire life.
I mention those things because they may color my opinions. I try to be well read. I love sharing ideas and learning from others. I like to challenge the status quo and ask why.
And I have struggled with the issue of gay marriage.
For years, when I was young, it was a cultural thing. Everyone around me said it was wrong so it was wrong. The people around me were good people; I could trust their judgment. This was before the internet. Before I started watching the news and participating in the political process. Before I looked beyond my own little Happy Valley. Before I really studied my own religion and developed my own religious beliefs.
As I have grown I have been exposed to different ideas and different people. The internet has made our world smaller. Sitting in my living room I can read the words and thoughts of people from any walk of life. And I do.
And I still struggle.
My religion teaches that marriage is ordained of God and is a union between a man and a woman. I believe this. I wish that was enough. I wish I could just say that's it and take a stand and be done with it.
But I can't. My heart is torn. I know too many good people who are gay or lesbian, people doing good things, living good lives. People who love with all their heart, no matter who they love. People I want my children to know and associate with.
My religion does not teach that being gay is a sin. Many people think we do, but it's not the case. My religion does teach that sexual relations outside of marriage are a sin. Therefore, since a gay person cannot marry within our faith, a gay sexual relationship is considered a sin.
Sin or not, I don't believe it's my place to judge another person. That would be pretty hypocritical. I sin a lot. I don't want others judging me for it. Plus, it's just not the job of man to judge. No matter how much we think we know about a situation, we don't know everything. Only God does. Only God should judge us.
I judge situations. I judge actions. I judge choices. But only in regards to myself. I judge whether a decision is right for me. I judge whether I feel better about myself and the choices I make when I am with a certain person. But I try not to ever write a person off for who they are or how they choose to live.
All of that said, I still struggle.
Religiously speaking, I still believe marriage is between a man and a woman. That is my personal choice.
But I don't believe in choosing someone else's path. I don't believe in forcing others to live the way I want. I think legislating social issues is a dangerous thing.
I am a politically active person, but I don't want to have to take a stand on this. I'm just still so torn.
I welcome discussion and even passionate dialogue on this topic. However, hateful or abusive comments will be removed.