I was torn until this weekend on the issue of gay marriage.

I admit that before, I was against the idea. I felt that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, and if two people of the same sex wanted to get married, they should leave it up to the voters of the state to approve ďcivil unionsĒ in those cases.

I was wrong.

Life, my friends, is too short to fill it full of such hate.

I have not known too many members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Growing up in Alice, there arenít too many examples of that, and those who are do not express it too often in public.

Just last week a student at Alice High School was taken off the cheerleader squad because he was caught on a security camera at AHS kissing another boy in the band hall. As a former band student in AHS, I can tell you, more goes on there than just kissing. The school has pregnant students. The school has had pregnant cheerleaders in the past.

There is a word for the schoolís actions in this case. Itís called discrimination.

So a boy kissed a boy. So what? What business is it of anyone else who that boy kisses? If the school is now punishing people for kissing, the line to detention should be a long one.

The Alice High School incident got me thinking about the issue, but it was a video I watched on television last weekend that really changed things for me. It was of gay and lesbian couples in South Carolina, trying to obtain marriage licenses from a state office.

Two woman who had been in a relationship for over 30 years tried to obtain a license. They along with several other couples, including manywith children, were shunned by the office workers. Politely shunned mind you, but sent away nonetheless and told that a marriage license would not be possible for them at this time.

The thing is, they went in there knowing they would be rejected by the state. They chose to walk in there and face that kind of rejection, because they had principles, and they wanted to show how ridiculous our system can be.

If I had spent 30 years of my life in love with another person, living with them, sharing my life with them, I think it would be a small thing for my country to recognize that with a piece of paper. You would think. Hell, they did all the hard work. Loving someone and being there for someone over a long period of time is hard work, but it is also the most rewarding.

But today, we still have people in the LGBT community walking the streets in protest, even here in Corpus Christi. On Saturday, more than 200 people came out and marched for marriage rights, the rights they and their loved ones deserve to have in a country that claims to cherish freedom and individuality.

The problem is the government hasnít caught up to what most of our society already knows is true.

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr. is a reporter with?The Nueces?County Record Star. Readers may contact him at mauricio.cuellar@recordstar.com.