Yesterday, I noticed a post from Peter LaBarbera concerning The Marin Foundation. I remembered hearing Andrew Marin’s story on a podcast from The Gay Christian Network (GCN) and something didn’t click. Marin was a self-confessed “bible-banging homophobe” brought up in the Assemblies of God. His life was changed by the coming out stories of his three best friends in college. It led him to immerse himself (Marin is straight) in the gay community to understand and identify with the struggles so many have.
He has a passion to be a genuine, unconditional representation of God’s love to both the gay community and the traditional evangelical community. These and similar terms he uses are not meant to express a false dichotomy, but simply to make it easier to describe his concepts. He now lives in Boystown, Chicago, with his wife and has formed The Marin Foundation.
I had always been under the impression that Marin was one of those few success stories, one of the truly “good guys” who is affected by the honesty and truth of the GLBT people in his life and changes because of it. To see him described on LaBarbera’s site as “the other side of the same coin” caught me off guard. I wrote Marin and told him this, and asked him if he had given the only real quote that LaBarbera used. He replied quickly, and sincerely, and it led to a conversation which you may hear below.
My own assessment of what I have heard is that LaBarbera has co-opted the good will and reputation of another for himself. He already has the idea that someone is spending millions of dollars just to counter his fringe voice, so there is no doubt that he is self-absorbed. But it would appear he is willing to negatively impact both friend and foe in his struggle to be noticed.
In matters of faith there is little agreement, but one does not need to agree with Marin to sense his sincerity. I found him willing to listen and teachable. Like Wendy Gritter, he had a profound sense of the hurt LGBT’s have suffered because of the actions of the Church. But he wants nothing to do with ex-gay anything; his work, concern, and love are unconditional. You can decide what you like about Marin, but I hope you will listen to the conversation and see what you think of LaBarbera’s actions toward him.
The first part is a quick background on Andrew Marin, then his description of the issue with LaBarbera.