I was living in Utah in November of 2004 when, as a 22 year old, I experienced for the first time how hurtful bigotry and fear can be when enshrined into law.
On November 2, 2004, a majority of Utahns voted in favor of Amendment 3, an amendment that defined marriage as a union exclusively between one man and one woman. It was a hard day.
In a state where a large number of its residents have ancestors who were persecuted, terrorized, and even killed for their non-traditional beliefs about marriage, I was shocked at how quickly they’d forgotten... at how empty their empathy banks had grown because of fear and disgust for their LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
Many of them didn’t even realize that what they’d done was hurtful. “It’s just a difference of opinion.” “We live in a democracy, so majority rules.” “It’s just not something I believe in, no offense.”
But it was offensive.