The BBC Got It Wrong With Their Story On “Pro-Gay” Christian Andrew Marin

The BBC recently ran a story on its website about Andrew Marin, a straight Christian who lives in Chicago’s gay Boystown neighborhood and works to “bring Christians and gay people together in open conversation about sexuality and spirituality,” as the story describes. He even hosts meetings in the back of Roscoe’s, a legendary queer watering hole on Halsted Street, which attract everyone from ex-gays to queer atheists.

His method is clear—facilitating conversations between gays and Christians  started.

His goals are little fuzzy, however.

In the BBC piece he comes off fairly harmless, talking about how his friends’ coming out made him question his knee-jerk homophobia and that the purpose of the Marin Foundation is “[to] help the person live the most faithful, God-honouring life that they can through their understanding of where God is leading them.” He’s even put together a course for churches wishing to address questions about sexuality.

But he won’t say whether reparative therapy is wrong or right. He won’t explain whether ultimately gays and lesbians would have to abandon their sexuality to get right with God. He just sort of says how its terrible some Churches turn their backs on the gays.

What Marin leaves out is, it’s a shame they’ve turned they’re backs because you can get more flies with honey than vinegar. Why burn us in effigy when you can weasel your way into our confidence with nice-sounding but vague rhetoric about reconciliation.

Don’t take our word for it. Check out this quote from The Talented Mr. Marin’s 2008 seminar to his religious disciplines:

“Think about this. We have a window here of thirteen, fourteen, and fifteen years old, and that window gives us the realization of attraction of same sex, and there’s a quick two years before they totally come out and say hey, I’m gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

“And we all know when someone comes out and declares their orientation, they tell everybody — family, friends — and what happens is that then their identity becomes wrapped up in being gay. How much more difficult is it for somebody whose identity is already wrapped up in being gay than it is for someone who might have a same-sex attraction and their identity is not wrapped up in being gay?

“There is a huge, huge period within those two and a half, three years. And what we have to do is start deconstructing the integration. Because once everything is integrated… it is going to be rough!. It’s going to be rough for us, it’s going to be rough for them, it’s going to be rough for parents and family and everybody. So if we can hold off the integration part, the better off we’re going to be with all this. So just understand once again: thirteen, fourteen, fifteen years old. “

Radio host/journalist Michelangelo Signorile has debunked Marin’s “loving Christian” con both on his show and in the pages of the Advocate.

His group claims to be a “bridge” between Christians and gays but in fact he refuses to say homosexuality is not a sin and tells gays and Christians both whatever they want to hear while he tries to promote himself.

I worry about young LGBT people, many brought up in very religious homes, who really want to believe Marin is a “bridge” between gays and evangelicals. Because it seems to me… his goal, beyond promoting himself, is to try to get to young LGBT people before they come out, so they can find his version of Christ and take a different route — and one decidedly not about being out and proud or within the LGBT community. His disdain for the LGBT community and LGBT culture is evident here and his disdain for those who ‘come out’ is obvious.

Obvious to everyone but the BBC, which was so busy dreaming up a nice, neat feature package about Gays and God and America, they didn’t bother giving Marin anything but a surface glance. Peep the last lines of the BBC story:

And there is little doubt that the relationships that he has built between Christians and gay people in Chicago would, for now, be unimaginable in many cities around the world—and may just offer a hopeful model for the future.

Uh, no thanks. We’ll take the Devil we know.

Image via

Get Queerty Daily

Subscribe to Queerty for a daily dose of #andrewmarin #bbcnews #media stories and more


  • Michael

    Charlatans and con artists always get exposed in the end.This guy is no different then they are.He reminds me of the Benny Hinns of the world lying to people all over the world telling them to donate money to their organization claiming it is GODS work.Im surprised this guys not like Benny :

    Benny this lady has had cancer for 5 years and just wants to be healed once and for all.

    Benny: In the name of the lord jesus chrissttt chrisssttt I lay my hands on your head jerk them back theatrically then claim you are healed…. then later on i thank you for your ACTING! :)

  • Juhnuppi

    BTW, is god and religion the same thing?

  • DB

    It certainly sounds like this guy is a false Christian and has not gotten past the grave sins of homophobia, hating others, and judging others. While all really Christians are pro-gay and pro-heterosexual, this guy is not. The strangest aspect of the quotes from this story are not that the BBC mistook this guy for pro-gay but that they said “the relationships…between Christians and gay people”. Obviously, Christians and gay people are not separate groups – 10% of Christians are gay and 72% of gay Americans are Christian.

  • Drake

    It’s true that Marin’s true objective falls in the grey area and that he clearly has a hope that the LBGT community have a relationship with God and his quotes during his 2008 Seminar do lead one to believe he’s trying to convert LBGT-ers before they realize their identity on their but consider some things he’s written in his book “Love is an Orientation” :

    “Christians must be the first to apologize and admit that we have wronged people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.”

    “Validation is different from affirmation, and it is an essential starting point to take gay people at their word”

    “If a GLBT person says that God has indicated that it’s OK to bey gay, the Christian community has to deeply trust and rely on the knowledge taht we can never know the end to God’s best journey for someone else’s life”

    I’m still on the fense about Mr. Marin but as an out and proud gay men who devoted his early years to Christ, the church, and various mission trips, I have never heard a Christain say or write these words and am encouraged by this man’s goal of building bridges. Both communities have a lot to learn from eachother and I appauld Mr. Marin for his boldness in attempting to reacho out to a group of people who have been so hurt and marginalized by the church.

    I like that he doesn’t give black and white answers to such polarizing questions like “is being gay a sin”. I know have a response to ready for either answer. What he appears to be doing is taking the question and conversation to another level. I’m curious to where that new level will lead this debate.

    He’s going to get some things wrong and it looks like he has but at least he’s trying. Have we honestly tried to reach out to the church community in such a way?

  • Little Kiwi

    Drake, which community are you specifically thinking “we” need to reach out to, and how?

    Here’s the thing: anti-gay bigotry is a CHOICE. It’s actually not in the judeo-christian bible. this guy, like many, has an excuse for everything and legitimate reason for nothing.

    there are a great number of religious denominations that don’t merely “tolerate” LGBT people, but wholly and whole-heartedly accept us, embrace us, and do not believe that anything about us is “sin”.”

    those that continue to cite “the bible” as their excuse for anti-gay bigotry are pious hypocrites. they practice selective amnesia when it comes to Scripture. it’s very hard to “reach out” to people whose entire set of beliefs hinge on ignoring facts, realities, truths and empirical evidence.

    you can’t “build a bridge” if you don’t make it expressly clear that being gay is not a sin. you’re just trying to dupe people.

  • Michael


    He’s only trying to pull the wool over peoples eyes especially the gay community.It’s a trick a ploy there is no sincerity or genuineness about this man .He is as transparent as it can possibly get.

  • Ogre Magi

    This “build a bridge” strategy seems to be a common technique. It’s yet another in the bag of tricks that stealth evangelism uses. The link above is just one example, but it’s pretty exemplary. They base this whole technique on what they call “felt needs,” i.e. providing a secular service with the purpose of evangelizing during, or immediately after, providing the service. Rick Warren, one of the modern gurus of evangelicalism told how one church used a “potty training” seminar as a front for their evangelism. It looks like this Marin guy is up to the same sort of antics.

  • Drake

    Just because it’s hard to reach out to those people who “practive selective amnesia” doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

    The religious right who use the Bible as a weapon against us are the same people who vote against our rights in the political spectrum. We can no longer afford to use the same tactics against them to change hearts and minds.

    I believe if we attemtped to build a bridge like Mr. Marin is doing we can find ourselves in a place of learning and listening where everyone will benefit and be free to believe what they believe but not at the cost of our human rights.

    Did you even read the quotes I presented? What are your thoughts on those?

    Let’s be the example to Christians that an open mind and caring about what someone beliefs in and trying to understand can hopefully teach them to do the same.

  • Juhnuppi

    Let him that is without a sin to thow the first stone.

  • Little Kiwi

    Drake, my point is that ‘trying” doesn’t mean half-assing it and catering to bogus and illogical (not to mention impossible-to-back-up-with-scripture) prejudices.

    I’d know, I’m an active member of the United Church of Canada.

    there is no “bridge” when you’re not being truthful and honest.
    he’s not changing hearts and minds, he’s pussyfooting

    the quotes you gave are irrelevant. you know who else “talked to God”? David Koresh. Know who else? Michelle Bachmann.

    Let’s stop letting people believe that their own reinforcement of bigotries are “Godly” – let’s address reality.

    starting with the simple historically-backed-up fact that the bible doesn’t mention homosexuality. for real.

    Nowhere did I say that we shouldn’t “try” to reach out – i am however flatly stating that Marin’s tactics are bogus bullshit. He’s not “trying” and if he thinks he is then he’s utterly going about it in the wrong way.

    I know his ways won’t work because they’re intellectually dishonest and intentionally vague. that’s not helping.

  • Little Kiwi

    anyone who thinks that “love the sinner but hate the sin” is a useful tactic ought to have their head examined.

    it’s not. it just turns into Anita Bryant – you smile sweetly while you spread your hatred, and you pretend the blood on your hands is sweet cherry juice.

  • Little Kiwi

    trying to curb homophobia while ‘allowing’ people to promote the idea that being gay is a sin is like trying to curb racism while allowing people to promote the idea that “non-whites are inferior savages”

  • Drake

    You’ve already judged this man Little Kiwi so this back and forth will not accomplish anything. Why are you continuing to keep this conversation on Marin when I’ve tried to evolve it to learning and listening? Are you in place to do that? The Christian right believes what they believe just as firmly as you believe what you believe.

    You can’t fight someone’s faith and that’s what you’re trying to do. I agree with you that the Bible has been used incorrectly when it comes to homosexuality.

    How do you propse we “stop letting people believe that their own reinforcement of bigotries are Godly”? I can assure you it’s not with the the stance and rhetroic that you’ve shown here.

    Until we all can put aside our snap judgements about eachother and are ready to listen to the other side we’ll be left chatting in the comment section of a biased blog until our fingers are red at the tips.

    I’ve said I’m still on the fense about what Marin is doing but you’re all ready on one side of it and that leaves you trying to convince planks of wood that you’re right instead of hearing out someone who, gasp, believes differently then you.

  • Little Kiwi

    Drake, it’s very simple – if the man will not give clear and direct answers then he’s not taking an actual stand against the promotion of intolerance. i’ve absolutely judged his words and his actions, – not the man.

    its’ not about “believing somethign different” – it’s about being able to BACK IT UP.

    everyone is entitled to their own opinions, everyone is not entitled to their own facts.

    you ask your average anti-gay bible thumper which scriptures lead them to their beliefs and you’ll either get a blank stare or a quote that doesnt’ actually back up their stance. i’ve done it. that’s why i know “my” route is successful – it’s produced results.

    not all sides are equal. i’ve “heard” their side. i studied the bible and world religions. there are no “new and valid arguments” on their side, just the same old nonsense buzz-terms that get repeated.

    you show people their hypocrisy when it comes to their “biblical stances” – the selectivity, the incorrect assumptions, and the plain and simple fact that the bible is nowhere NEAR as “anti-gay” as they’ve been told it is. they don’t read the bible, often. they sit in a pew and get dictated to.

    again, though, it’s not about differences of opinion, it’s about showing them that their opinions have neither merit nor solid base and thus cannot be claimed to be the set-in-stone realities they’ve been told they are.

    i’m not fighting the faith, i’m saying people need to grow a spine and point out to these people that they’re actually misinformed about what “their faith says” on the topic.

  • Little Kiwi

    to be more clear: its not just saying “being gay isn’t a sin” it’s pointing out, using their own religious texts, how their belief that being gay is a sin is in no way backed up.

  • Drake

    Telling someone thier faith is misinformed will get you no where.

    You’re trying to convince people they’re wrong using your rhetoric just like the church has tried to convince you you’re wrong with theirs. It’s gotten us know where.

    I find it refreshing that Marin is avoiding the gotcha questions that have been used to perpetuate both sides of this debate to no avail.

    All picking a side does for Marin is make him a false phrophet for whichever side he agrees with. What he is doing is letting people make their own decisions like an adult. You’re not giving the church that chance. You’re trying to convice them their wrong.
    Good luck with that.

    I guarentee you you’d fine your “route” to be more successful if you put down your talking points and listened to why these people believe what they believe. It’ll be harder, it won’t bring about the results you’re hoping for as fast as you’d like, but you’d both be better people in the long run.

    And you’ve only judged the words and the actions that has presented to you. I’m more then the comments I’ve written here just as you are just has Marin is more then what this blog has shown. And why would you even want to judge anything at all? That’s not your place.

    Just because you go to the United Chuch in Canada and have studied the bible and world religions does not make you the final authority on anything.

    I hope you will come to the place in your life where you listen more then you type. I look forward to reading your last word over my microwave lasgana while watching Samantha Who on netflix. Have a great weekend!

  • Michael


    To be fair most Christians are what are considered FALSE PROPHETS they preach FOR their God they act as if they speak FOR their God and in all honesty half of them act as if they are ABOVE their God.Most believe they have some kind of delusional authority so they them deem themselves judge jury and executioner.They would rather point the fingers at everyone else instead of pointing it at themselves.

    Just because you go to the United Chuch in Canada and have studied the bible and world religions does not make you the final authority on anything.

    Wonderful statement also you are indeed correct it does not make a person a know it all nor an expert on one specific subject just because they deem themselves to be that.

    You are also correct about Judging but unfortunately that is what most Christians do in this world they feel that them judging someone is helping them or guiding them to THEIR God.But realistically they are only pushing people farther and farther away from their religion their beliefs and their God by their own hypocritical words and actions.

    A person can not claim to be Christian whilst at the same time preaching hatred or deeming themselves above everyone else that is extreme hypocrisy right there if so.

  • Tag724

    I feel like this whole interview is very telling (especially 38:00) . He basically admits he thinks homosexuality is a sin: “I believe in a traditional interpretation of scripture…”

  • Mk_Ultra_Again

    I agree with other commentators. This man is a fraud. I personally believe that it would be wonderful if the religious and gay community could come together. But so far, whenever something like that has been put forth, it’s been by people and groups like this man, who intentions are dubious and who seem very disingenuous. They want good PR, they want more followers and usually their “bridging the gap” means “let’s try to convince you out of the “gay lifestyle””. “Why don’t you try celibacy”. Trying to manipulate someone into celibacy or anything else using guilt and shame is vindictive and probably one of the most selfish things you can do.I don’t think good intentions sprout from guilt, shame, manipulation and vindictiveness. Usually it’s malice. I can tell you already, that’s what this guy is selling.
    We do, as a community, need to reach out more to other communities like the religious. But not to these people. This man is selling a product, the same product we’e seen from so many like him before. The same anti-gay sentiment dressed up as pro gay. Literally, Orwellian double talk. “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is the most loaded piece of passive aggressiveness I think anyone has ever thought of.

  • Michael


    I know yet more hypocrisy within Christianity exposed.That lame old tired line love the sinner hate the sin exposes how hypocritical they are IMMEDIATELY.

    Christians are supposed to LOVE not hate period in any capacity whatsoever so that stupid line contradicts what Christians are SUPPOSED to be about period.

  • Frank

    Ugh, take from a gay man who has met Andrew Marin. He can’t answer the questions with a yes or no answer with regards to “do you support gay marriage” because he would instantly lose one half of the people he is trying to unite. These questions just function to say “are you with us or against us?” and stop the conversation. We need a much deeper conversation in order to begin acceptance of lgbt peoples in many Christian communities. Chicago is a unique place for Andrew’s foundation and the gay community really benefits from it.

  • MikeE

    There can be no reconciliation between the LGBT community and the right-wing christian community as long as the christians continue to falsify their very document of faith.

    You cannot misquote the Bible and call yourself a real christian.

    And anyone who uses an English version of the Bible, is misquoting the Bible, as there are NO official accurate translations of the text.

  • Little Kiwi

    Drake….. you can choose to argue, but I look back on more than 10 years of of seeing what I’m talking about produce actual results.

    It’s not “telling someone that their faith is misinformed” – it’s showing them, with their own religious texts.

    “both sides of the debate”?

    You’re missing one vital piece of truth – there aren’t two valid sides. one side has truth, one side has misinformation borne of bigotry.

    I know why these people believe what they believe – I’ve been doing LGBT Outreach for more than 10 years. That’s why I’m saying what I’m saying – I actually know for a fact, and from more than 10 years of work, what produces results and what doesn’t. Marin is useless.

    You listen to them explain why they believe what they believe. I’ve done that, and continue to do it – and they always give the exact same “reasons” – when you’ve been doing this for as long as I have you soon realize there is no “diversity” in the birth of anti-gay bigotry. You hear them say the same things, and you show them with their own religious texts how what they claimed was a part of their faith in fact is NOT.

    I get it though, you’re basing your opinions on imaginary theory, not anything applicable that you’ve actually done in life. Time for you to listen to those who know what they’re talking about. You’re now just arguing with “me” rather than being real. in the words of Beyonce as miss Deena Jones.. “LISSSTENNNNNN!, LISSSTENNNNN!”

  • Little Kiwi

    “You’re trying to convince people they’re wrong using your rhetoric just like the church has tried to convince you you’re wrong with theirs. ”

    No, I’m showing them that the “source” they cite for their beliefs actually does not back-up their beliefs. It’s not “rhetoric.”

    If you can take a big deep breath and check your ego so this is not about “winning an online argument” you’ll understand what I’m talking about. It’s not “telling someone that they’re wrong with rhetoric” – it’s using their own religious texts to show them that they do not in fact have any religious reason to continue to harbor the beliefs that they have.

    and it works. i’ve seen it work for more than a decade. that’s why people like me say what we say – we actually know what we’re talking about.

  • Michael


    Ignore the egotistical boy he always thinks he is right no matter what anyone says.Pity him all he has is his arrogance and haughtiness .

Comments are closed.