A topic that too often divides liberals and conservatives is the issue of rights for the LGBT community. Historically, the conservative movement has held a deeply rooted belief system in Jesus Christ and what the Bible says regarding homosexuality. This can cause many tensions between liberals and conservatives. Those who believe in the teachings of the Bible regarding homosexuality are often labeled as “bigots” and “homophobes” by the left, even if they have never shown hatred towards the LGBT community.

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As someone who has been raised a Christian woman,  it took me a long time to understand why conservatives were reluctant to show love towards this community, that historically has been plagued by injustice and has felt that they are outcasts in society. Prior to becoming an empowered conservative woman, I felt that the movement showed very little compassion for the LGBT community. The anger that the community displayed towards conservatives is one of the largest reasons as to why I felt separated from understanding the conservative perspective for many years. I understood why they were upset, and the discrimination they felt. For a long time, I was angry with many different sects of the church who refused to marry gay couples. Even today, it still breaks my heart when a gay couple is refused by the church when it comes to holding their wedding ceremony. I was taught that Jesus was supposed to love all of his children no matter what. So why did these priests have the right to turn away an engaged couple?

As I talked with more conservatives and libertarians, I came to hold a better understanding of their feelings. In 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the right for same-sex couples to marry was guaranteed by the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, in the Obergefell vs. Hodges Case. Thus, federal law has allowed for same-sex couples to obtain marriage licenses since June 26, 2015. At the time, I was happy that same-sex couples had the ability to marry anywhere in America, and I still believe that every same-sex couple should have the right to be married in the United States. However, as I opened my mind to differing opinions, I began to understand why many religious organizations felt uneasy over the new laws. Many Christian churches were concerned that they would be shut down over backlash if they did not conduct a marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple within their church, even if they showed love and support for that couple, yet didn’t want to go against their religious beliefs. Most traditional based churches that I have visited over the years are not hateful towards gay couples, their only objective within the church is for these members to seek a relationship with Christ. Over time, I realized that, as more churches became open to accepting LGBT marriages, same-sex couples would specifically target the churches who held a more traditional perspective of marriage instead of reaching out to the churches who would openly accept LGBT marriage. This alone disturbed me. Why do we, in a country that is supposed to be free regarding religion, support those that intentionally target and knock down the traditional churches who are simply trying to live out their beliefs? Christianity has gone through an impeccable modernization, still focusing on the word of the Bible, but understanding that Jesus taught us to love and accept one another, regardless of who they are. Having one’s own personal convictions about life should never result in hatred or violence from either side of the aisle, and it’s shameful that in today’s society, this still exists.

*The opinions expressed in this column are the author’s own.  They do not necessarily reflect the view of the FFL organization.*

Rachel P