I wish to discuss a topic that I know has a tendency to get people very passionate on both sides of the camp. As such I am going to start by saying a few things - just to make sure we're all on the same page.
1. I believe that homosexuality is wrong.
2. I do not hate people who identify as homosexual.
3. I do not even hate people who practice homosexuality.
4. I believe that marriage is a union between a man and a woman and that this definition should not be changed, that marriage is ordained of God, and that family is the fundamental unit of society.
5. I believe that ALL people deserve to be treated with decency, respect, fairness, and equality.
6. I do not believe that 'equal' means, 'the same'.
I got thinking about this when I saw a post on FB that showed two pictures: on the left, a lesbian couple and the words, "This is what love looks like". On the right, one of the women of the couple severely beaten and the words, "This is what hate looks like". They claimed that the woman had been attacked because she was gay and labelled it a 'hate crime'. With further research, I discovered that the attack, while terrible and inexcusable, was not because she was gay. You can find the link here.
There are always people who will find reasons to hate, but I really don't like how often people will try to further their own cause by making something look like what it isn't. Yes, this attack was a crime, whatever the perpetrator's reason was... but it wasn't an attack on an entire demographic of society. Perhaps I am wrong, but I think that these 'hate crimes' are over-represented. (The person who shared the post I saw being not among those who deliberately do this.)
In any case, it saddens me that many people - although not all - are quick to interpret things like, "Homosexuality is wrong", or, "I don't support marriage 'equality'" as - "I hate gay people." Again, there will always be a some that look down on those who are different than themselves, but this is not the case in the majority of instances where people say these things.
So, what's with the quotes around the word equality in that last paragraph? Because when people advocate for gay marriage, they are not advocating for equality - they are advocating to change the definition of marriage to include homosexual couples. Like trying to fit in to a dress that is a few sizes too small... you're going to rip the fabric. Everyone is free to love whomever they love. Any individual aged 18 or over who is not already married, may marry another person of an opposite sex. That is what puts everyone on equal ground. The law does not need to be changed to make us equal.
If, these things considered, advocates for gay rights still feel things are unequal, a different commitment would be more appropriate.
Advocating for the definition of marriage and the laws surrounding it to stay the same is not about hate. Intentionally taking things said by those you don't agree with out of context, or creating a version of events that does not reflect the truth is not about love. Turning the words or actions of others into something they are not is NOT decent, respectful or fair. You cannot ask for tolerance or acceptance while at the same time having no tolerance for those who do not share your views.
Thank you to those I know on both sides who discuss their differences with civility and respect.