Queer and Queerer Ep. 76 – Is The Marin Foundation Building Bridges?

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This episode features Peterson Toscano’s tell-all about Andrew Marin and The Marin Foundation, best known for encouraging Christians to attend Pride events holding signs apologizing for how churches have harmed LGBT people. Zack listens as Peterson shares his roller coaster of confusing about whether or not The Marin Foundation is actually helping build bridges between evangelical Christians and the LGBT community — as it claims — or possibly humoring some dangerous ideas. The journey includes intersections with the work of Warren Throckmorton and Mark Yarhouse, both of whom have connections to the ex-gay movement. Are bridges being built, or are there reasons to be skeptical about this work… or both?

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Here’s some more information about what we talked about this week:

» Mark Yarhouse’s own reporting attempting to validate ex-gay therapy found that even those living an ex-gay life still admitted their orientations hadn’t changed.

» Check out the Trans Justice Funding Project, which Peterson helped support last week.

» Zack’s summer musical, Love, NY, opens this weekend, so if you’re in the DC area, check it out!

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There are 16 Comments to "Queer and Queerer Ep. 76 – Is The Marin Foundation Building Bridges?"

  • Jane says:

    I agree that new skills will need to be learned by all involved. I also believe that organizations such as the Marin Foundation have steps to take in truly making an invitation to listen and be allies. Being ally will mean that sometimes those of us who are LGBTQ will call out statements and behavior that is not helpful, or in fact wrong. Being an ally means that one doesn’t become defensive when these areas are pointed out. I think it also requires not telling stories that are not yours. I can not speak for trans* folk about their experience, and I do not want someone speaking for me.

    It is complicated, and it is uncomfortable. And sometimes I don’t want to do it. (Truth time.) I recognize the importance of this kind of work and so will begin to find ways to engage in a productive manner. I hope to see the same from organizations such as the Marin Foundation and LOVEBoldly.

  • Heidi says:

    I’m Heidi, the director of LOVEboldly, which Peterson mentioned very briefly. I just completed listening to this podcast and I really appreciate the openness and thoughtful examination in this conversation. I appreciate the healthy level of skepticism you have, challenging and questioning motives and intents, but also staying open to the stories of folks who are being uniquely helped through our efforts. I really do desire to have the voice of our critics to help us be more helpful towards ending the mistreatment of LGBT folks in the name of Jesus, so thank you for offering a helpful dialogue here!

    • Jane says:

      Heidi, I am glad to see that you’ve listened to the podcast, and that you are willing to engage in dialogue. I would be interested in talking with you.

  • Tim Walstrum says:

    But Heidi let’s be honest you have not been willing to listen to criticism. You have already blocked one person who was not rude or nasty for questioning your groups intentions. He was asking very pointed questions and you took it as an affront which truly baffles me. If you are truly a bridge builder the last thing you would be doing is blocking people who have the audacity to ask whether you support equal rights.

  • I appreciate everyone who listens to the whole 48 minutes of the podcast (sorry its so long). What I lay out is no easy answer. After many hours and days being in Chicago I neither endorse or denounce the Marin Foundation. What I do do is raise a question that we will all have to face more and more as more and more Evangelicals choose to no longer be outright homophobes. How do we proceed with people who are no longer our enemies but are not yet our allies? Are we seeing the beginnings of the end of the culture war? If so, what does the peace process look like?

    I will refrain from commenting further. I hope everyone who is concerned about these issues listens to the podcast and the roller coaster of a time I have had with Andrew Marin and the Marin Foundation. As a Quaker, I believe that everyone has the potential for good in them. Enemies can become friends. There is such as thing as restorative justice. I seek to be honest in all my dealings. That does not give me license to be naive. I proceed with caution and hope, so very different from the earlier days when it was simply, “Either you are for me or against me!” We are entering some new spaces. I welcome the changes but its hard working without a script.

  • Preston says:

    What is your argument for atheism?

    • Jane says:

      Preston, would you explain more about what you’re asking?

    • http://www./ says:

      Kettle: Thanks Mel! Chat soon on Twitter 🙂 @ Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes]: I hope you will like it!@ Photo-copy: thanks! Sorry to hear about your nasty fall. It's a long road to recovery.@ smalltownoven: Thanks! Hope you will enjoy my posts.

    • Vous oubliez qu’ils ne pourraient se livrer à de tels actes sans le soutien effectif de grandes puissances occidnetales. Le cas du Rwanda illustre parfaitement ce propos. Sans le soutien diplomatique, militaire et financier des américains, le Rwanda ne pourrait se permettre de soutenir le M23…

    • Åååh, herregudamann sÃ¥ koselig da, Marianne. Hvor er dette? Klør meg skakk, men klarer liksom ikke Ã¥ skjønne helt hvor det er. Lalala. Alt for lenge siden jeg har vært pÃ¥ Sortland og VesterÃ¥len. Vil dit nÃ¥!!! Vinteren der er herlig, sant? Spesielt nÃ¥r man slipper Ã¥ gÃ¥ sÃ¥ langt til skolen, tihihi. Kommer det interiørbilder, kanskje?

  • shirley says:

    Hi all.

    I’ve just listened to this podcast (a little late, sorry!) and I want to thank Peterson and Zack for the discussion and for how clearly they spoke about something which is complicated. I’ll be passing this on. Peterson will probably be aware of dicussions that have happened between ex-gay groups and LGBTQ people and straight allies here in NI. I have been at some of those meetings and have lost sleep trying to figure out what I feel about them. I have turned to reading some books about political conflict resolution to see if it could help, but maybe each situation has to have its own script that we have to write. I’d love to talk more about it with you all. Thanks again.

  • etseq says:

    I don’t trust Marin one bit and am surprised at how much benefit of the doubt Zach and Peteson give him. Have you not read Signorile’s reporting on this charleton? http://www.signorile.com/2010/07/more-of-that-false-prophet.html



    John Shore, a liberal christian, has alos repeatedly challenged and denounced Marin:


    The fact that he is working with Yarhouse makes perfect sense – Yarhouse and Throckmorton have both been trying to pass off their rehashed ex-gay pseudoscience as legitimate. In fact, they made a big push a few years ago to get the APA to accept it as an alternative to gay affirmative therapy. The APA rejected it as unscientific and basically not so well disguised christian theology. Yarhouse is on faculty at Pat Robertson’s Regent University and Throckmorton is at Grove (another evangelical college that has been sanctioned in the past for violations of academic freedom because they only produce pro-christian scholarship and censor their faculty).

    Also, every gay person I am aware of that ever worked for them has been a celibate evangelical (a Side “B” so-called gay christian). This again is just re-packaged self-loathing that masks dangerous homophobia. I mean, celibacy really? That is same crap Courage, the Roman Catholic pseudo-ex-gay group pushes and reflects the growing coordination of RC and right wing evangelical anti-gay political activism.

    I mean – who needs gay marriage if we all are called to be celibate right? Everyone of those so-called celibate Side B types I have ever met is either against gay marriage or silent on the issue.

    Come on guys – we are winning and this is just the last gasp of a dying religio-polical movement. The arc of justice is long and we haven’t reached the promise land yet. These last few battles are going to be nasty – let’s not go soft now!

    PS – Check out those audio tapes of Marin talking to his fellow evangelicals and you will find out what he really believes (and it ain’t pretty). He believes gay identity is formed late and if christians can get to gay kids early enough, they can convince them to be celibate or even marry a woman. Nasty stuff…but right in line with Yarhouse and Throckmorton.

  • Ben says:

    Hi, I just discovered your wonderful podcast and I love that someone out there is talking about religion and gays and actually has the experience and knowledge to know what they are talking about. I was a deeply closeted fire-breathing evangelical for many years and thought I was one of those types who was well-read that could intellectually defend my narrow-mindedness. (That is, I think I was a LOT like Peterson, except that maybe he wasn’t closeted, having confessed to buying those porn mags in college!) I was VERY involved as a board member of IVCF. So, I was particularly intrigued when Peterson brought up Tony Compolo and said he was “stuck” in a position that at one time would have sounded somewhat progressive. Like Jim Wallis of Sojourners (who recently, rather cruelly, didn’t want to include binational gay couples in immigration reform until forced to backtrack–sort of), these evangelical “social activists” must be all twisted in knots about how gay-friendly they should be. I heard that Tony Compolo’s wife is very accepting. Would you guys finish that discussion that you started about him? I’m insanely curious what guys like him are thinking and doing now. I hope your prediction is correct that evangelicals will turn quickly all at once, but with these guys still dragging their feet, where will the leadership come to make that happen? Thanks for everything you guys are doing. I love the podcast!

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