I grew up listening to what I was told & searching for the faith that was part of the religion I claimed as my own. My friends did the same, but some of them who heard what I heard from the pastor/preacher/teacher grew up naturally having feelings for members of their same sex. The whole nature/nurture argument between some religions/churches & others is the misconception that homosexuality is a choice. My friends who have found love with other lovely people of the same sex, grew up wanting the love and rightness of their religion. Every person I know who is gay or bisexual grew up not wanting to be who they are, and all of them used to pray. They would pray to be different. They loved who they loved & were made by God, but they wanted to be different. This song is one of the most beautiful and poignant ways I have heard what I believe explained. Listen to it, then you should read on.
My friends and I grew up with religion and church as our means of understanding God, but there is a point when you start growing up with God, when church and religion come under the umbrella of faith in God. I genuinely believe church & fellowship are important for one's spiritual growth, but just as a kid grows up to find out their parents aren't perfect (and that's okay), their church, as controversial as it is to admit in church-going crowds, also isn't perfect. Some of you are thinking, "Don't go there", & some of you are thinking, "Duh". Bear with me, because I come from both sides of the arguments, and as polarizing as this topic may seem, I'll do my best to describe the in-betweens.
To those who use their religion in a way that will inhibit a gay person's rights, whether in your head or out loud:
My greatest clarity (which is not always that clear but feels right in my soul nonetheless) is that religion is constructed by people... humans who are not perfect. As a means of understanding the incorporeal, human beings have laboriously created, over centuries, the best constructs they can find to delegate a way to live that is altruistic and could help lead individuals to their own best relationship with God. No matter what you call your God or what rules your denomination has set for you, your faith and love of God is the most important.
So what I have learned is that we never understand everything God knows. This is how He made us. He made us to live with love and kindness. Getting gay married or straight married still will probably lead to a 50% chance of divorce, which you're not supposed to do either, but gay rights set a precedent for human rights and that is the love that most religions talk about. The love for the stranger who lives next to you; the care for the person you don't get along with; the love of your faith; the love of your friends; and the love that supports and builds loving families.
To those of you who blame God for the disrespect, hatred or judgment that an individual or group that associates themselves with a religion:
Religion is a means for people to get to the best part of themselves. It is a way for people to feel loved and give that love and constantly, inexplicably be refreshed with love from God. Many people take their human frame of thinking and assume that because they associate themselves with God that what they think is what God thinks. The point is not to be blameful. The point is that faith and love for God shouldn't be blamed.
Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm using my human misunderstandings to justify the hurt that I have seen healed by love. Maybe I'm right, but in all the questions and debates about human rights and religion, what I do know is that God is love. Love, for some, is epitomized in a legal partnership that comes with legal rights and families and equality. This is why getting gay married is important. It's about equal rights. It's about love. It's a great place to start repairing the hurt.