The United States takes two steps forward and one step back. While we have beautifully inspired the world by electing a minority to the highest elected position of power, President-elect Barack Obama, the state of California has voted to pass an amendment to their state constitution that re-defines marriage, essentially making all previous same-sex marriages illegal.
This is proposition 8, or as many now know it as proposition h8 (hate).
This is no doubt due to the influence of right-wing Evangelical Christians and their stubbornness to realize that their god (and probably my god), if he were so ever-loving, would at the very least, love all his children, including gays and especially ignorant religious biggots.
Look, when it comes to the issue of abortion, even if were absolutely unassociated with any religious organization, I would always believe that life begins at conception-- when the sperm and egg join. (I believe that the zygote is the beginning of human life. I have no problem with preventative contraception that stop the sperm and egg from joining. Because that does not destroy the life. But abortions are a different beast, and I am not entirely black or white on that topic, which is a post for another day.)
When it comes to homosexuality, I could never understand how some people could be denied their right to love. I understand that a church can make its own rules, but it is absolutely hypocritical that god proposes "love thy neighbor" but deny "love" for some. That's what irks me so much about Christianity. I grew up learning about how Jesus loves you, but as I grew older it seemed so contradictory that some people are loved less. I'm pretty sure that's not what Jesus had in mind, denying all people, embryos and homosexuals, a right to life and love.
That's what it comes down to folks. You could be the most religious person in the world, or you could be an agnostic, but what you all have in common is the right to life and the right to love. To have someone else deny you that right defeats the whole purpose of everything. If a single person in the United States of American is denied this right, then we still have a ways to go.
Love thy neighbor. Period.