If Andrew Marin has lied about The Advocate having "retracted" my 2006 expose of him, what else is he lying about? And shouldn't LGBT people be concerned about that?
I've written about Andrew Marin and his surfacing again, with his group, The Marin Foundation, showing up at Chicago Pride last month, and "apologizing" for Christians. 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. Below are some audio clips which we played on the show two weeks ago when his group received some attention on the blogs for the Pride "apology." The audio is from a 2008 seminar where he counsels youth pastors on how to deal with gays, and I think you'll agree -- though I'd like you to judge for yourself -- that what he says is very disturbing and ultimately antigay.
I'd exposed Marin in an interview on my radio program and further in The Advocate in an article back in 2006, and he seemed to go underground, his website having disappeared, as the article reports, after the interview on my show and after major LGBT groups dropped any association with him. But as Dan Savage observed, he was just laying low, waiting to come back. Marin is now lying to people -- yes, something good Christians are not supposed to do -- telling people that The Advocate "retracted" the article and that everyone in the article said they were misquoted. (He publicly states this as well in a comment on his blog).
The Advocate did no such thing. The reason that the article is not on its website is because nothing from that time is on The Advocate website. You can look for any other article from that issue and it is not up there. (But you can find it here if you want to read it.) I have now spoken to several of the people quoted in the article and they stand by it completely. From my recollection, only one person in the article (besides Marin himself) wrote in to defend Marin at the time -- Steve Forst from the gay Catholic group Dignity, which had given Marin's group money, believing him to be a "bridge," and probably got flack from its members -- and it hardly revealed any major inaccuracy or any significant factual error in the article. Forst simply stood by Marin and was unhappy with my criticism. And I responded to Forst's letter in the Advocate, standing by what I reported and giving my side of what Forst told me. Surely this exchange on the letters page -- which happens at publications every day, thankfully, because dialogue is good -- was not a retraction of any kind.
Last week I interviewed Bruce Steele, who was the editor of The Advocate at the time. Here is what he had to say: "The Advocate stood by the piece and never retracted any portion of it. The only reason it wasn't on the web site is the same reason why nothing from then is on the web site: The Advocate has been through several owners and several servers."
I think it's important to refute the lies and distortions of Andrew Marin (and as I asked above, If he's lying about the Advocate piece, what else is he lying about?). 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, from the audio clips below, 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. He is welcome on my show any time and we can go through all of his claims -- about his beliefs and about what he says about me and my work, more of which I've heard or read, and which is filled with lies and distortions -- so those of you who have an interest in this should urge him to accept the invitation.
The clips below (full transcripts of which are here), which we played on the show two weeks ago, are from a seminar Marin gave to youth pastors in 2008 on "How to Answer LGBTQs." You be the judge of what he is saying.
In this first one he says that pastors have a "window" between the critical age of 13 and 15 when they can reach young people with same-sex attraction before they "integrate" into the gay community.
Here, he describes what happened when his best friend "Dan" came out and how he'd become what Marin clearly sees as freakish and as what happens when people come out: "lost a bunch of weight...got the little 'fauxhawk'...started acting effeminate, talking effeminate...the stereotypical flaming gay guy."
In this clip he says Christians must intervene in gay youths' lives before they come out because if they don't being gay will become their identity.
Here, Marin addresses the question, “What if you’re asked if people can change their sexual orientation?”His answer: Be evasive!
In this clip Marin addresses a question from the audience: What do you do when you encounter a gay youth who thinks he or she could be Christian and also openly gay or lesbian? Answer: There's "hope" for someone like that because it's hard for youths to realize at 15 what life might be like at 35, when they can't get married or have kids -- implying gays shouldn't/can't get married or have children as adults -- so give them the "big picture," of what it might be like at 35, but whatever you do, DON’T mention sexuality!
Those are really just a few clips, just the tip of the iceberg re: that seminar. You can listen to it in full here. If Andrew Marin is interested in coming on my show, I'm happy to have him. And if he wants to keep lying about me and about himself, I'm happy to keep exposing it. I'd rather him very much above the radar and I'm glad that his group got the attention it did at Chicago Pride because it gave more of a chance to expose him and his group. I hope they keep doing high profile events.
UPDATE: Here are full transcripts of the above audio clips.
UPDATE II: Marin, not surprisingly, has declined to come on my show to discuss this -- after first chiding me on his blog for supposedly not inviting him. (We reached out to him last week, after we'd discussed this audio on the show, but he'd apparently chided us the week before, when we ran the audio; I made sure to invite him on). I knew he would not come on the show because he knows he's been caught in lies, trapped. If he has nothing to hide, why not come on the show and have a discussion? Again, let's keep him above the radar.
Update III: Marin has now responded in an almost hilarious statement that creates all kinds of straw men, distorting what critics have said and then shooting down the criticisms, as well as responding to some of my criticisms with truly weak excuses for every one of the deceptions and lies he's been caught in. And, what I think speaks volume is that he has shut off the comments. So much for dialogue and being "a bridge" between communities. Go and check it out and then please do come back here and comments on what he said.