I respect others beliefs and the right of others to believe what they choose to believe - which is why I favor a secular state system over any form of religious government. Religion is and should be a private matter for the individual. Trouble is, Christianity doesn't as a whole like to stay private - its supporters - particularly the fundamentalists - seek to "transform" the world around them into little Christian clones of themselves - and many would favor conquest as the means to satisfy that end. (Take the Spanish conquest of South America, or the Crusades as examples.) On the whole, the concept is rather frightening - like the Borg in Star Trek whose slogan seems to be "Resistance is futile" and whose life aim seems to be the assimilation of all other groups, religions and cultures - or their annihilation.
People should be able to live side by side without questioning (or judging) each others beliefs or ways of life - or other intrinsic factors which make every individual unique. How else could there ever be peace?
My personal feelings may differ from all those around me, but I can still work with them or socialize with them - without openly judging or criticizing them or trying to tell them how to live their lives. I work with Christians, Jews, Moslems and even those of traditional African beliefs, and nobody to my knowledge has ever attacked the beliefs of others there! Honestly, in SA in general it is like that - though some people tend to answer the fanatical drive to criticize, attack and make other people - who have done them no harm in any way - feel like lesser human beings, and even as monsters who "threaten" society, the so-called "family unit" and their conveniently "fragile" religion which seemingly will fall apart because gay people suddenly get treated as equals. This I cannot excuse, and as a former Christian, it shames and sickens me to bear witness to such things which they claim are the will of a God who has never been quoted directly as attacking GLBTIQ people, even in a book which is more corrupted, edited and manipulated than any other in history - let alone unprovable and which cannot be authenticated in any way.
The fight for equal rights for GLBTIQ around the world has become mistakenly entangled with religious rhetoric - precisely because it is from the religious quarter where we find our most fanatical resistance to change and acceptance. It has become a religious issue because it is the religious fundamentalists who hate us, persecute us and who would wipe us from the face of the universe if they could. (Don't think they haven't been trying). Meanwhile, back at the ranch, our battle for equality is actually a human rights issue, not truly a matter of religion. In a secular state, no one religion should be allowed to dictate policy to the government - nor to the populace. If the state shows favor to any one religion then it devalues the very principle upon which a secular state is founded. Religion should stay out of politics. And if it keeps sticking its finger in the door, it shouldn't complain when the door gets slammed shut.
60 years ago it was the Jews, 40 years ago black civil rights around the world - but along with all that, it's always been us GLBTIQ as well. We went to the gas chambers too. The hate of some people runs deep, and as long as religious hate speech by bigoted pulpit-pilots is allowed freely in whatever public spaces, we will be the scapegoats and targets for the mad, the vicious and the vile.
It should be made clear that religious freedom DOES NOT include the right to persecute others, nor the right to take away their humanity equal treatment before the law.
Anything less is not equal!