Equality Means Equality

In other sad news, divorce continues to hurt children. Now, it’s not just “straight” divorce. Yesterday I read that Glee star Jane Lynch and her wife Lara Embry are filing for divorce; leaving two kids with only one parent. Again. Remember that argument, straight people ruined the sanctity of marriage with divorce before LGBTs ever had a chance. Humanity seems to always have a way to quickly catch up with itself.

Then in Florida, an eighteen year old girl was charged with statutory rape because of her relationship with a fourteen year old… girl. The eighteen year old’s parents are calling foul based on their daughter’s sexual orientation. No, it’s got nothing to do with their daughter’s sexual orientation. It has everything to do with her age. And the law.

I am not pointing out these recent examples to make fun of anyone. Nor am I attempting to make a political statement. Why I bring them up is that we all live in a new world–a new world that needs new categories and new engagement with our new reality.

Victims can’t play the victim card when they have been at the top of the power structure for hundreds of years (white, straight, conservative Christians) and are no longer in that position. Victims also can’t play the victim card when they gain what they have been fighting for and then don’t like the consequences (LGBTs and equality). **I am not suggesting that every white, straight, conservative Christian, or every LGBT fighting for equality, plays the victim card. There is nuance to all of this.

The greatest problem for united progress will be if both of these groups continue living in false models of their own ideal situations. The “ideal” I’m talking about is one that is not based in reality. It is based in what one wants to see happen and pretends it is happening when reality says it’s not. This is why I believe people get so surprised when things don’t go their way–the surprise comes from one’s ideal being shattered into reality. If we can learn to function in reality there will be no (or, at least much less) surprise when one’s not-yet-best-case-scenario (culturally, politically or religiously) doesn’t actually work out.

I obviously believe that is what The Marin Foundation is here for. But also, dear friend Jonathan Rauch is on the founding team of the Institute for American Values. They are working towards a new conversation on marriage and values–one that is not based in an ideal world of either traditional marriage or same-sex marriage. Rather, it is one based in the reality that there are both in our country, and there are children that will be deeply affected either way. It is my belief that raising a new generation based on love instead of the culture wars is the only hope for our country’s ability to reclaim a civil engagement with that which tears us apart.

There will never be unity in belief.

So the question becomes, what do we do with the strong differences in belief?

My answer? Not to try and force people into believing or voting in only one way. That’s for darn sure.

Rather, that we must work with our strongly held differences to create a more solidified country impenetrably based on the fabric of the freedom of choice–that one can live into their belief and have it protected as a baseline American right. From that, we can start viewing our differences not as enemies but as people who are a needed part of what makes our country work.

Much love.


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  • Rev. M. Vernon Hunt

    I disagree. Bigots are not “a needed part of what makes our country work.” Our country would be much better off without them. So many paragraphs spent saying so little of use or import. Typical.

    • What are you suggesting? Killing people? Shipping them all off to a distant island (like the extremists conservatives suggested we do w/LGBTs?). Playing in the same system does no one any good.

      Now, your statement depends on what you define as “bigots.” If you define a bigot as a conservative interested in the common good, then I have to disagree. They are not “bigots,” they are people with a conservative ideology. Just as you are, presumably, a person with a progressive ideology.

      The name calling goes both ways, as it is not productive at all for them to be calling you anything similar.

      You have just illustrated my point: “There will never be unity in belief. So the question becomes, what do we do with the strong differences in belief? My answer? Not to try and force people into believing or voting in only one way.”

      Like it or not, our country will never agree on whatever core issue is of the day. So my choice in that reality is to work with those who disagree instead of name calling and demonizing. There are extremes on both ends that DO cause a lot of harm, granted, but I hope they become further outliers in the future.

      Thanks for commenting.

      • Rev. M. Vernon Hunt

        It isn’t name calling to label a bigot a bigot. Anyone who believes that they are in any way superior to LGBT+ people is a bigot, like it or not. And bigotry is of no use in this world. It builds nothing and accomplishes nothing, and I reiterate, we would all be better off without it. I don’t need to cross a mythical bridge (which bears zero benefit for me) to see that. I’m not interested in coddling bigots so they can feel like they’re better people than they actually are.

        I suggest nothing. I do advocate for the deserved extinction of anti-LGBT+ ideas. I don’t have to rely on opacity and misdirection for my paycheck, so I’m free to speak the plain truth about what I think of people who espouse such ideas, in public or in private, honestly or from behind a mask. I have the courage of my convictions. I don’t need to mislead, obfuscate, or lie to make my point. I don’t pretend that the two sides in this battle are equal, because they are not. The LGBT+ community is not equal in the eyes of the law or society, and the religiobigot community is not equal in the eyes of logic, love, or truth.

        • Ben Hammond

          The difficulty I have with the term “bigot” is regarding who gets to decide what it means. In 200 years from now it’s probable that there will be some social change (i.e., for the better, that needs to happen, that we are currently blind to) that would view nearly every person alive in developed nations in 2013 as a bigot.

          It’s happened in the past many times; it will happen again in the future. We certainly have not “arrived” at finally knowing what is factually good and “unbigotted” (if such a thing even exists). A comparison that I can think of is regarding electronics (this is not a 1:1 comparison, so if it’s unhelpful please forgive me). Is every person that uses a smartphone that contains conflict minerals (i.e., all mobile phones) evil? Certainly we don’t like it and are “against” it, but we still buy them — therefore we participate in that ‘evil.’ We shout with our tongues, but communicate our true values with our dollars. Is that really that different than not carrying about it at all? Does this make us ‘evil’?

          I relate to where you are coming from, but I think this is what gives me pause about making final judgments regarding what people ‘are.’ We are all victims, and we are all perpetrators. When it comes to specific instances like this: are there people who are in the right and people who are in the wrong? Yes, I definitely think so. Does action need to be taken? Yes. I definitely think so. Does work need to be done to try and compel people to think differently… to act rightly? Yes. I definitely think so. But I think when one uses terms like “bigot” it elevates that person to a place of judgment/insight/clarity that I really don’t think any anyone deserves to be in, or even has the ability to be in.

          And those are just reasons that have nothing to do with what will actually provide people the opportunity to change. The other reasons to not (or very seldom) use the term is because words like that tend to only entrench people in their own views and beliefs. They do not compel people to change. How do people outside of the religious community act when the religious community uses phrases like, “I’m just telling the truth.” Why would we play the exact same game? Especially since it is certainly not working for them. If we are to be better, then we must have more than just ‘better’ values… the medium itself that we are communicating through must be better as well.

          Besides, I think that change that comes through shame and guilt is often short lived.

  • jontrouten

    I’m not sure about your premise, Andrew.
    One of the reason for marriage equality is actually to guide partners within the marriages when there is a death or divorce. It prevents one partner from legally screwing over the other or the other parent. It protects the surviving partner when one of them dies from family members. Also, the kids don’t now have one parent. They have two parents who no longer live with each other.
    In the Florida case, I agree it has little to do with sexual orientation. It has to do with high school students being charged with felony crimes that send them to prison for (in this case) up to 15 years and a lifetime on a sex offender registry for having a consensual relationship with a school-peer and fellow team-mate. I would (and do) rail against this type of thing if it involved a boy in the same situation. It’s an unjust application of the law and a perversion of the purpose behind sex offender registries.
    Lastly, who’s been forced to believe or vote for marriage?

    • Jon – Thanks as always for your well thought out statements. A few responses:

      -I am not suggesting one lesbian celebrity getting a divorce means there should be no gay marriage. The merits of the legal recognition of marriage are very important for LGBT couples, and their kids. And good call on the rewording on the “one parent.” I was referencing those kids would now only actively live with one parent instead of two.

      -I have a very good friend who was caught in this exact situation. He was 18 and his partner was 17. The 17 year old parent’s didn’t like their relationship, pressed charges and he was on the sex offender list for the rest of his life. It’s terrible. He’s nothing but a stand-up guy with the ut-most integrity. It’s beyond tragic what happened to him.

      -No one is forcing anyone to believe or vote in a certain way. However, the rhetoric from extremist activists on TV, etc, demonize everyone who doesn’t agree with their view (e.g. their ideal is that all believe and vote the same way, and think anyone who does not is not human). Such messaging over long periods of time makes many people feel forced to choose one and attack the other.

  • Jeremy Adkison


    I appreciate your attempt at bridge building. But I, like many of the people here seeing this, see it as a little more than two faced and dishonest.

    If you still believe I’m sinful, or going to hell, or acting against god, or are sexually broken because I’m gay, then… Well, I don’t want your hugs, I don’t want you snaking around our pride events, and I take great offense at your inability to talk about the actual specific differences you have about people like me, and the difference of belief we have with people on your side of the fence.

    Honestly engaging what divides us is bridge building(and you might actually have the other side your attempting to build the bridge to give you some land to set it down). Anything else is akin to swimming, but not wanting to get your head wet.

    This type of engagement is something only your side find commendable. On the whole we(mature, loving, well-rounded gay persons) see it as inherently dishonest, contrived, and plainly transparent.

    I appreciate what your doing. But you’re never going to get much of a bridge with persons when you can’t talk, honestly and openly, about your belief that we’re damned.

    Hugging the underwear boy at the pride parade doesn’t make up for the fact that you want to save him.

    You can do better, man.

    • Ben Hammond

      “people on your side of the fence”

      Did I miss him actually stating what his position is?

      • Jeremy Adkison

        Ben, that’s the entire POINT.

        Marin is another one of the evangelicals who have gone onto the apology brigade, and all the while never tell you what their true motivations are, what they actually believe, or what their goals when they engage us are about.

        Heck, look at that post above. I still don’t know what he was talking about, or what the actual subject was. In an effort to not offend anyone he shallowly avoids the entire point of contention, and ends up accomplishing less than nothing.

        • Ben Hammond

          Those are some fair points. It seems though, that because you’re not sure what he thinks that you’ve made the assumption that he is on the conservative side of the ‘fence.’ Perhaps it’s because you can’t imagine any other reason that he wouldn’t just come out and say, “homosexuality isn’t a sin.” (this is obviously an assumption that I’m making about your own opinions, forgive me if I’m wrong)

          But plenty of people on conservative side assume that he is actually on the liberal side of the ‘fence’, because they can’t imagine any other reason that he wouldn’t just come out and say, “homosexuality is a sin.”

          I still think he’s doing something very different than either of those — he’s not playing the same game (whether others like it or not).

          • Jeremy Adkison

            No, he’s playing the game of vagueness. An inability to seriously talk about these issues, to seriously engage the topic at hand, is going to result in less than nothing in terms of productivity.

            I mean, basic questions Marin, let’s see if you can answer them in a forward way that sets the topic to rest.

            Do you identify as straight, gay, “ex-gay”, or claim to be in a mixed-orientation “marriage”? (I think this is fair question, if your living a live of sexual repression based off your religious beliefs about your orientation then that’s kind of a fair topic to know before we engage you in personal conversation)

            Are loving, physically intimate relationships between two persons of the same gender sinful, against ‘God’, not in accordance with ‘God’s’ plan, or any other such terminology that means the equivalent?

            If you can get straight answers on that stuff, I think we’ll have a much more honest discussion with actual “bridge-building” by more than one side(whomever side that may be).

            Anything else is just smoke and mirrors.

            • Ben Hammond

              How you feel makes sense. So would you stand next to the conservative in agreement with their frustration about him also not affirming the opposite with regards to the scenarios that you put forth — views that they are frustrated about because they want to know if he is on their ‘team’ or not?

              I’m not saying that you should feel fine with his answers. What I’m asking is this: can you see how many conservatives feel the same way that you do, for very similar reasons?

              The reason I ask is because instead of just getting frustrated at his vagueness it seems that you are also, as a result just assuming the worst about his own views.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                No, Ben, I assume what is the most likely scenario. That he is untrustworthy, and is at least engaging one side, deliberately, and hiding his true motivations- whatever those are.

                I stand by that opinion, it’s a valid one. Essentially, the criticism from conservatives is actually the same- notwithstanding each side’s desired result. No one know what he stands for, and in not knowing we can’t really engage him.

                This is akin to a civil rights group supporting the equal treatment of racial minorities, or at least their respect, without ever talking about the issue of race.

                It’s mind boggling.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                I mean, think about this. A christian is holding up an ‘I’m sorry we hurt you sign’. Do you think its fair to know, before running out of the parade and hugging them, if they still want to “save” you?

                Only a supremacist, and this is where I’ll get kind raw, only an elitist religious person would think that NOT knowing that is okie-dokey.

                It’s not. It’s all so completely and unbelievably disingenuous.

                In a sense, I get what he’s trying to do, but I don’t trust him. I don’t have a damn reason.

              • Ben Hammond

                That makes sense. I can get that.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                Like I said, I’d really appreciate Marin chiming in, but I’m not sure he could give me anything more.

              • Ben Hammond

                Yeah, and obviously I can’t speak for Marin at all (nor do I want to).

                What if someone said, “I have my opinions, but I don’t need you to change at all. Much love”?

                (Note: none of my questions are in anyway ‘leading’ questions. Purely out of a desire to understand where you are coming from)

              • Jeremy Adkison

                That is fascinating, because it touches on something new.

                Now that the Side B christians- the self-hating, shame ridden, celibate, or mixed-oriented “married” types are growing to accept that they are in a world that is likely to be very accepting of gay people in a very profoundly different way than what they were used to. Christians are waking up on the evangelical/right wing side and coming to grips with a changing tide, and finding the beliefs that were acceptable only 10 or 15 years ago are neither acceptable publicly or mainstream.

                That question is a shift in itself in the discussion. The anti-gays, the one’s with the downright rotten views, are now moving into a “We all should be able to have our own independent truth” schtick. Which, I personally believe, is crap- there is only objective truth on a subject like this. Homosexuality happens, gay people exist, its a product of biological diversity, it clearly serves some purpose or it wouldn’t keep happening, it’s going to keep happening, their not immoral or rotten people by proxy, let’s integrate them into society and leave them alone.

                Now, that’s what I believe. As to your question, would I be okay with that? Yeah, in practice. But when you are sitting down and engaging someone, reading their ideas, trying to help them guide you along on this discourse, and you can’t tell(because they deliberately withhold) their actual views well, then you have no idea what they really believe.

                It’s really exasperating. It does way more harm than good, and turns off the very people they should be hoping to interact with.

                I have a sneaking suspicion, personally, that the Marin foundation is populated mostly by anti-gay persons, and celibate/fake married gay persons, who are trying to find an acceptance for what they now admit is a choice.

                The irony is, I must admit, grand.

              • Um, Jeremy, as I said in response to you above, The Marin Foundation has 3 LGBT employees, 2 of which are in relationships. Sorry to burst your theory. Much love.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                I think we’re seeing old posts and getting confused as to who said what and whose replying to what when. <_^ I posted this particular response before I saw your reply.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                I take the last comment on that post back. 😉

              • It does get hard keeping track of the order of things with so many back and forth comments. Thanks for hanging in there with me on this.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                Except the self-loathing one who doesn’t believe he’s deserving of intimate love, companionship, or a family of his own. 😉

              • So much to comment on Jeremy. Thanks for voicing your opinions. I’ve tried to pick up a on few themes on what you have said. Let me try to address some of them. No matter what I say, I am not under any delusion that you will one day understand, agree or want to be an advocate of our work. So I’m not writing any of this to convince you of anything, but rather trying to give you some more insight into where I’m coming from.

                1. We have 3 LGBT employees at The Marin Foundation, 2 of which are in relationships. So when you talk about the I’m Sorry stuff, it’s not just me. It’s them as well (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/loveisanorientation/2013/06/why-im-sorry/). We’re in this together, each of us committed not to try and “save” anyone, but rather trying to shift the cultural medium of engagement between two very opposing worldviews. Nothing can change in a more peaceful or productive fashion without each side sitting down with each other around our shared humanity (hence, our Living in the Tension Gatherings). Please do not underestimate that ALL of our critics have been from outside of Chicago, from people who have never experienced one thing of ours. Do you find it interesting that the LGBT community here in Boystown, who we are accountable to everyday, love and support us? By the way, the “apology bridge”…we were the first to do such a thing. You make it sound commercial. It’s not. It’s authentic, by hetero and LGBTs. Please read the link above by one of our lesbian employees.

                2. I think what people miss the most about our work is that they look at us through a lens of activism. We’re not activists fighting for one worldview or the next–theologically or politically. We’re instead a group of people committed to creating space to be reconciliatory agents that “pursue that which is disconnected.” This is how sustainable dialogue, and peace, happen. This is the reason no one at The Marin Foundation voices our personal beliefs. Each of us (4 straight and 3 LGBT) believe in The Marin Foundation’s goal of facilitating relationships between opposing worldviews; which cannot be done if a side is taken one way or the other. That is addressed here http://www.patheos.com/blogs/loveisanorientation/2013/04/my-response-to-dan-savages-accusations-about-the-marin-foundation-in-the-new-york-times/ and here http://www.patheos.com/blogs/loveisanorientation/2013/04/why-not-answer/. It’s not “smoke and mirrors,” it’s the tenants of any peacemaking and/or conflict resolution model that has been effective throughout history. And we’re seeing amazing things happen here in Chicago and further.

                3. Building building and neutrality does not equal silence. There are many occasions I have spoken out about this, here is just one: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/loveisanorientation/2010/10/andrew-marin-lgbt-bullying-public-service-announcement/

                4. I don’t expect you to trust me. I’m actually curious why you would even make such a point about “trust.” We don’t know each other. How can there be trust, then? What you read of me, my organization or our work means nothing, and should mean nothing–whether positive or negative–unless you have person experience. It’s the good and bad of the internet. People think they know you, positively or negatively, and then will defend or criticize you, but they know only what their filters are willing to judge. None of it is real without in-person interaction. My phone number is 773-572-5983. My email is andrew@themarinfoundation.org. My Skype is andrew-marin. Let’s talk. Where do you live? If I’m ever in/around your city, I’d love to get together.

                5. I never cut and paste anything. And I was waiting for your back-and-forth with Ben to finish before I wrote anything. Easier to try to be more thorough.

                Hope that gives you some more information. Looking forward to talking. Much love.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                That is food for thought, and I do get all of what you said- and the general idea of what your organization is to be.

                But, there was something I said awhile back. Is it wrong for the gay guy in the underwear to want to know what the person believes with the “I’m sorry” sign before he hugs them and accepts an apology?

                I think you get where I’m coming from, I suspect so.

                As for the trust quip- well, grow up in our shoes and trust might be a little more important to you. I wouldn’t undercut other people’s sensitivities, especially on a topic such as this.

                Could I ask you this question though, do you have any ‘Side B’ gay persons working for you? If you did it wouldn’t sully your organization, or cause me to defame, insult, etc. etc., but I’m genuinely curious as to the diversity present in it.

                Sorry for the deluge, this is the first time I’ve come across your organization- so I’m in /absorption mode.

              • No probs! I get it. A few things:

                1. As for the guy in his underwear, his name is Tristan, and since that picture he and The Marin Foundation have become very good friends; and he is a big supporter of our work.

                2. We do have one “Side B” person working for us as well. Let me give you a breakdown of our staff: 3 heterosexual, 2 lesbians, 1 gay man, and 1 straight man married to an out bisexual woman.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                I’ll pray for his freedom, that God will be kind someday to him. (Or her)

              • Jeremy Adkison

                I find it strange, that they would be so willingly part of a conversation that is clearly NOT steering to the direction they’d prefer.

              • I’m not sure I understand who you are referencing here?

              • Jeremy Adkison

                The “side b” gay celibate person you mention as being part of your organization.

                It seems so strange, that you would all work to facilitate a conversation when some of you have such divergent world views.

                I’m not dogging it, just commenting on it. I’ve never really understood the psychology of that “side”, if you will.

                Oh, and ten bucks says the side B person is the guy. It’s always the guys, big issues with their gender identity. 😉

              • Ah, thanks for clearing that up. A few thoughts:

                1. You mention the Side B individual is a part of “a conversation that is clearly NOT steering to the direction they’d prefer.” That is not actually the case. The Side B person chooses their path. We choose nothing for anyone. We try to practice 2 things very clearly: 1) An actual ethic of inclusion that literally includes all, everyone; 2) A come as you are culture–no matter who you are, what you believe, where you’ve been or where you’re headed.

                2. I don’t see that it’s strange, because one cannot build bridges between opposing worldviews without both of the opposing worldviews present! Together! I always say, if we on staff at The Marin Foundation cannot do this work building bridges between opposing worldviews amongst ourselves on a daily basis, who are we to tell anyone else they should invest time and effort into doing so?

              • Jeremy Adkison

                And what do you do when one of those world views causes pain, harm, shame, depression, isolation, and suicide? How many mixed-orientation “marriages” fail?(Queue John & Anne Paulk’s circus), how many celibate persons who are anguished their whole lives, etc. I could go on, but I won’t. I suppose it’s part of the discussion you have at some of your events, and I imagine they get quite lively.

                Also, the Side B person I was referring to wasn’t meant to be understood as you somehow encouraging them to choose a path. I was musing on that individual person, whomever he/she is.

              • We definitely discuss those things! As for your questions, because I am a straight married man who is not in a mixed orientation marriage, I cannot speak directly to any of your questions. But if you’re interested in hearing those staff member’s first hand experiences to ask whatever you are wondering, I’d love to put you in touch with them.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                Oh, I appreciate that- but I’ve had a bit of communication with those types already. I THINK I understand them a little, but not at all, not really. <_^

              • They are not “those types.” They are human beings with a face, story, blood and soul just like you and me. Whether or not anyone has ever recognized your humanity and journey, it doesn’t matter. Sustainable change happens when you stand up first and do the right thing first; regardless of anyone or anything else. Quit acting like a five year old, dehumanizing people, and start treating others how you would like to be treated.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                I wasn’t trying to insult anyone with the word ‘types’- I was just trying to not regurgitate the terminology ‘side B’.

                Your misinterpreting what I wrote- I wasn’t judging(or trying to judge) anyone, dehumanize them, or act like a five year old.

                But, thanks for looking out for me. 🙂

              • Guest

                So you despise “those types” while not understanding them/us. Not very logical or progressive thinking Jeremy. Stop dehumanising people you don’t understand, eh.

              • Guest

                So you despise “those types” while not understanding them/us. Not very logical or progressive thinking Jeremy. Stop dehumanising people you don’t understand, eh.

              • Jeremy – Also, maybe next time you’re in absorption mode when you come across something for the first time, instead of some of the name calling, etc, just ask for clarity. As you can see, I’m more than happy to explain about our work and why we believe in the methods we do. Also, I never want to underestimate the potential hurt religious folks have caused you or any other LGBT person. I know everyone works through their own experiential filters and we come in to any situation with our own biases; including myself :). I’m not asking you take those away. Just try to reach out first instead of going on and on with accusatory comments. Thanks.

              • Guest

                You’ve used the word “save” a couple of times. Do you mean in the religious sense of “saved” (i.e., become a believer of a faith), or to “save” someone into being straight?

              • Ben Hammond

                Weird that that posted as a “Guest”.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                I think it’s a distinctly fair criticism regardless. I wish Marin would engage me, but I don’t think there’s much he can say to me other than the usual cut and paste.

              • manlambda

                I can Ben and it is smart on his part because he can bilk suckers of their money on both sides.

              • Funny, I post The Marin Foundation’s IRS returns online every year for people to arduously study; including our salaries. Have a look http://www.patheos.com/blogs/loveisanorientation/2013/06/view-the-marin-foundations-2012-irs-returns/ PS- You should post your IRS returns online for everyone to see too. That would be awesome.

              • Jeremy Adkison

                I doubt they make much to brag about, lol.

          • Sandra Patton

            I as a Christian DON’T think homosexuality is a sin any more than thinking green eyed blondes are witches! I’ve come to learn that sexual orientation is in your DNA it’s hard wired! This post by Andrew is a bit of a non post – relationships fail and it’s not exclusive to straights. Perhaps he was trying to talk about evolvement where say fifty years ago divorce was frowned upon and conservatives pushed for “stay married, you made your bed now lie in it” , now we see 40% of marriages disintegrate! We live in a society where relationships can be legal (marriage hopefully for all) defacto relationships or single. Adopting the Christian principle of love and respect should be a compulsory mantra, and the references to female sexual aggression has to be treated the same as males.
            Of course there will be extremes, we live in a dualistic society, but it is up to those of us who believe in honour and respect for all to ensure that we head in the right direction

            • Geez, I should have just asked you to write the post. That was brilliant. Thanks.

    • jontrouten

      To be fair, I would have hugged the underwear boy at the pride parade if I could. Not that he’d appreciate my objectification of him, but…

  • Sonny Bellotte

    Dear Brother Andrew Marin:

    As a gay Christian, with a 50+ year relationship with our Father and our Lord, I just have to say that, while we in the LGBTQ Christian community applaud and appreciate your attempt to show remorse, we are not convinced, and that we feel you need to do more. In fact, until you come out squarely and publicly in favor of full equal rights for LGBTQ people, you might as well stay home and not bother attending, or *tainting* any of our community’s Pride *celebrations.* We are not so desperate for societal acceptance and recognition as to think that your apologies mean *anything* unless you become a true and ardent ally in our cause to gain full equality under the law. Instead I personally see your weak attempts at “loving” us as trying to lull us to sleep while you stab us in the back. You certainly are following Jesus’s instructions to His disciples when He told them to be “wise as serpents”. However, it does not appear that you are fulfilling the rest of it by being “harmless as doves.”

    • Thanks for your thoughts. Please see my longer response to Jeremy below. Much love.

      • Sonny Bellotte

        I’ve looked at your response to Jeremy, Andrew. And I’ve still got a question for you. Do you support full and complete equality for LGBTQ citizens, or don’t you? Direct question. I’d like a direct answer. No beating around the bush. You told Jeremy that your foundation doesn’t believe in stating where you stand on this issue because if you did you would be unable to “facililtate relationships between opposing worldviews.”

        I’m here to tell you that until you come squarely down on the side of full equality for LGBTQ people, then you are still NOT going to make reconciliation possible. The HARM that conservative Christians and ex-gay ministries have done to thousands, if not millions, of LGBTQ people is not going to be undone by patting us on the back and telling us that you love us, while still hiding in your prayer closets and praying for us to get saved and be delivered from homosexuality. I do not *NEED* to be delivered from homosexuality. And I know whereof I speak. I’m *very* familiar with the conservative belief, because I used to be a conservative Christian who believed that it was sinful to be gay and have sexual relations with a member of the same sex. I bought that fundamentalist lie, for almost 30 years.

        But see, Andrew, I’ve known God since I was 5 years old, when He personally revealed Himself to me, So tell me that I cannot be a *practicing* gay male and *also* a Christian. I dare you. I *KNOW* Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto HIM against that day. And again, that means I’ve known God personally for over 50 years. Can you say that?

        And ON THAT DAY, I believe that there are going to be many hardcore, fundamentalist, conservative Christians who have literally run millions of LGBTQ people AWAY from Jesus, and I believe JESUS will hold them accountable for all the LGBTQ who WILL PERISH because of CONSERVATIVE BELIEVERS!!!


        I’ll be looking forward to you growing a pair of BALLS and making a firm stand FOR FULL 100% LGBTQ EQUALITY. Until THEN, you are not going to fool the LGBTQ community. Yeah, you’ll win some weak people who are so needy for acceptance that they’ll buy your line. And then they’ll live in pain and misery the rest of their lives because YOU sold them a bill of goods that is worth less than the marriage license you refuse to let them have.

        See, what conservative Christians fail to accept, is that this country is not a theocracy. Our laws are not Sharia, like many Muslim countries have. We have a secular government. And the same 1st Amendment that protects your right to harass gays and lesbians also entitles me to believe that I can be both a practicing gay and Christian. If MY rights are not protected, then how can you expect your rights to be protected? So it is a very important issue. And you need to answer it, if you want to be serious about “bulding relationships” with the LGBTQ community.

        I wish you the best. And I hope you will not brush me off this time, as you did when you so presumptuously told me to see your response to Jeremy — as if I’m not worth your effort.

        In Christ’s Love,