July 2015 and marriage equality is a real thing. Who knew this would happen?
In 2010 I was fresh off the boat, so to speak, back from a year of intense missionary training and missionary work in Africa. I’d been isolated from the “normal” world and seeped in an environment which made it easy for me to only think in one way. I’d gone back and forth on my thoughts about homosexuality up to this point; I couldn’t see how it could be wrong, looking at the facts, but I couldn’t see how it could be right, looking at the Bible. Missionary culture made this easy; the Bible is always right, and anything else is just an error. We even heard testimony from an ex-gay man, who said God had shown him he’d marry a woman someday.
In this mindset, there was no question in my mind what I should do. So confession time: The Iowa Supreme Court had just legalized marriage in Iowa, and there was quite a bit of uproar. In 2010 there was a movement to vote out as many of those justices that were up for retention. I was glad, at the time, to be part of the movement voting them out.
I’m happy to say two years later, the remaining justices that had made that decision were up for retention, and this time I had the pleasure of voting to keep them. At this point, the tide had turned against Bob Vander Plaatz and his coalition. The vote for retention caught on, not just as a pro-equality thing, but as a “protect our democracy” thing, with the idea that judges shouldn’t be subject to the whims of the electorate. The remaining judges won retention by a wide margin, and I have to say I’m proud I was part of that.
What about you? How have you changed in your thoughts on homosexuality and gay marriage? Do you have votes and positions you made that you just look back on now and shake your head? I’m sorry I voted against equality, but I think on a day like this all of us former anti-gay folks can look back and celebrate how far we’ve come, and how much we’ve changed.