Gay Marriage And Public Policy: Personal Reflection, Apology

When it comes to gay marriage as a public policy issue, I was once very outspoken on the topic. From the 2003 to 2008 I lobbied for marriage amendments in Massachusetts, Florida, New Jersey, California, and on other national media platforms (interviews.) I went to Washington DC more than a few times and lobbied for the Federal Marriage Amendment on Capitol Hill. I also visited the Bush White House a couple of times and sat 20 feet away from when President Bush made a statement in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment.

Because those experiences are not something I enjoy reflecting on lately, I have avoided writing this post. However, I can’t get away from it. If I was passionately willing to lobby for banning gay marriage at one point, I feel I should speak up on the topic if my views have changed.

To be clear, my view of marriage in a spiritual context has not changed. I believe the wedding union of husband and wife bears the image of God uniquely. Individually they bear His image equally and beautifully. Together they bear His image in a way that neither can do alone. I believe marriage between a husband and wife is transcendent; that Christ refers to the church as His Bride is stunning. One of my favorite meditations is to consider Christ and His Church in the symbolism of marriage.

What I am also trying to learn is how I can state my beliefs without being a jerk about it. I don’t have to contextualize my personal belief by insulting gay couples who have married or gay people wanting to get married. The beliefs that guide and direct my life also compel me to seek to be a blessing and friend to gay couples; to see God’s presence in their lives as individuals and as a couple.

I have also come to believe that trying to make our secular government impose my spiritual beliefs in this matter is not helpful or appropriate. Let me explain …

The night that Prop 8 in California and Amendment 2 in Florida (both banning gay marriage) passed I was jubilant. I truly believed what we had done was right and good. In the following days, and for a while afterwards, I repeated the talking points I had willingly adopted. I truly believed what I was saying. What I didn’t make widely known was how heart-broken I was when I saw the gay community in California take to the streets. Their protests that night and in the days afterwards tugged at me. When I saw their grief-stricken faces my heart twisted in my chest. It was the first time in a long time I remember thinking, “did we do something wrong?” I quickly shoved that thought out of my mind as I joined my fellow religious activists celebrating the marriage “wins.”

Yet, the gay community with their protesting and sorrow filled faces would come back to haunt me over the years. Eventually the doubt over what we had done would get louder in my mind and change from a question to a conviction; a conviction that indeed we had done something terribly wrong.

The following may seem like a rabbit trail but hang in there. It does come to a point relevant to my conclusions.

When I went to meetings in DC, I would often hear DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) cited as the best example to “preserve traditional marriage” in our country. It was the pinnacle of “wins” when it came to the culture war over gay marriage. DOMA was signed in 1996 by President Clinton as the law of the land and officially/legally disenfranchised gay couples from marriage benefits and protections under the law. I heard DOMA repeatedly used as an example of how to craft laws and state amendment language to “preserve” marriage in this country.

However consider this, in order for a bill to become law it has to pass both the House of Representatives, the Senate, and then sent to the President to be signed into law. Meaning that at the time, Newt Gingrich and the President of the Senate (also the Vice President) Al Gore both presided over the passing of the bill in their respective chambers. They along with President Clinton had to oversee and sign off on passing DOMA. Now also consider this, two of these men were in the middle of having adulterous affairs at the same time that they were defending and touting the need for DOMA (Clinton with Monica Lewinsky and Gingrich with Callista Bisek.) Not only did DOMA completely fail at having any effect on two of the men who were personally invested in its passing, DOMA also failed to affect the people at large in any way to “preserve” marriage in a culturally Christian context between the years of 1996 and when it was ruled unconstitutional in 2013.

Can anyone say that “traditional” marriage improved as a result of DOMA during those 17 years? I don’t think so. Instead of touting it as an example to follow, perhaps we could have considered how ineffective it was to change the state of marriage in our culture and how hurtful of a wedge issue it had become.

I don’t say that to shame President Clinton or Newt Gingrich, or anyone really. I bring this up to show that using public policy battles to raise money, manipulate wedge issues in election cycles, and make ourselves feel like we had done something important is to place our focus on something other than what the Great Commission calls/compels us to do. At the time, I and many people I know truly thought what we were doing was the right thing to do. I met some great people during that season who remain friends today. Even so, I now believe the marriage battles were hurtful and not helpful

The part that breaks my heart, is that the night that Prop 8 (and other marriage bans) passed, we made it very clear to the gay community that policy was more important than they are. We made it clear that we thought that investing in rules was more important than sacrificially serving in honest relationship. We communicated that we valued the letter of the law more than the authentic expression of grace in the context of humbly living our lives and loving our neighbor. The message we sent was deeply damaging to our relationships with our gay neighbors and family members.

For my part in this, I deeply apologize.

Today, I can honestly say that I am glad that the courts are striking down all the marriage bans across the country. It is my hope that we (Christians) can learn from the past, make the appropriate amends, and rebuild dialog and relationships with the LGBT community.

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Comments

  1. Dann Youle says

    I really appreciate your heart here, Randy. I also believe Biblical marriage is one man, one woman for a lifetime. However, I think the religious right has done far more to drive away people we should be reconciling to God than we have drawing them to Christ. I also have many LGBT friends who are believers and non, I respect and love them, regardless. There isn’t a “yes, but”. . .Instead it’s I love you here and now, regardless of your philosophy of “hot button issues” like gay marriage. Very well written, brother-Thank-you!

    • Randy says

      Dann, as always it is great to see you and thank you for speaking up. We all need lots more respect and love for where we are at and leave our “buts” out of the picture :).

  2. Michael Bussee says

    Wow. I am both surprised and encouraged that you and Alan now seem to support marriage equality — after previously fighting so long and hard against it. I applaud your change of heart and your desire to make “appropriate amends” for the “terribly wrong” things Exodus did to LGBT people and their families. Have you given thought to what form those amends might take to put this apology into action? Perhaps a financial contribution to the American Foundation for Equal Rights? Even a little would mean a lot.

  3. says

    “Today, I can honestly say that I am glad that the courts are striking down all the marriage bans across the country” Sorry Randy, I don’t agree with you on this one. While I appreciate your desire to build bridges with the LGBT community, and not barricades, there is a place for the laws of our country to reflect God’s original design for marriage being between a man and a woman. I personally bridge gaps with my LGBT friends, but publicly vote for laws on gay marriage bans. I don’t bring politics into my freindships with those who have identified as LGBT. As a voting Christian, however, I must vote my conscience as I understand scripture to direct me. I do separate the issues of my political stance and my friendships. This can be a tricky line to walk, but I have managed to do it so far and not alienate LGBT friends.

    • Randy says

      Sorry Randy, I don’t agree with you on this one.

      No need to apologize, I didn’t expect everyone would :). Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    • says

      Laura, what about Randy’s point that DOMA did not improve the state of marriage one iota in 17 years? Do you think imposing your view on scripture on public policy is a duty as a Christian and comes before ALL other considerations? (i.e. you would have the US exactly as your view of scripture…. e.g. banning divorce, abortion, death penalty)

    • Eye_Tee says

      I know people like you, who would claim to be friends with those of us who are LGBT but vote for bans on equal marriage. I would not consider anyone a friend who would attempt to deprive me and my wife of our civil rights. Or our religious freedom –our mainline Protestant church happily marries LGBT people, something your marriage bans would try to prevent.

      Just a point of view.

    • RedMann says

      Here’s the problem, Laura, this country is ruled by the Constitution, not the Bible, and there is nothing in the Constitution that would forbid same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage does not threaten “traditional” marriage, it does not threaten the well being of children, it actually does not threaten anyone, so the government has no reason to forbid it. You are asking the government to implement a purely religious view which violates the 1st Amendment. It also asks for the government to legislate inequality, violating the 14th Amendment. You are free to believe that your religion forbids same-sex marriage but you cannot impose that belief on others.

  4. says

    I really enjoyed this post! I liked that you pointed out the hypocrisy of supporting DOMA and yet having adulterous affairs. I think it’s very telling of where people’s hearts are. It’s probably not that people are so zealous for God’s ways, but are rather just uncomfortable with gay marriage. Currently, I’m torn. Keeping people from getting married in a nation that is obviously not predominanly Christian seems rather futile. However, to support gay marriage by lobbying or voting for it bothers my conscience because I would be supporting a further move from where I believe God originally intended. How can Christ’s representatives accurately reflect him by doing this? …….. lots of questions and searching! If you have any thoughts, let me know :-) . Again, thanks for the post.

    • says

      Great thoughts, Ty… When it comes to feeling conflicted about actively lobbying or voting for something, it just makes sense to me that some folks will make conscience-based choices to neither press for gay marriage, even/especially if they’ve lobbied/voted to deny gay marriage previously. For my part, many Amish tenets of faith don’t always make sense; and yet, I can be 100% behind the freedom of Amish people to live according to their faith, neither creating civil enforcement of dress codes for them, nor denying drivers licenses to those who leave their communities.

      What if God is big enough to offer grace & comfort to those who remain uncomfortable with gay marriage for Christians, yet not require them to fight for acceptance of it?

    • Randy says

      Ty, I am considering (not sold on it yet) writing a follow up post explaining how I can support gay civil marriage equality. It’s easy to “say” when I am talking with friends but writing… have to get the time to work it out on the screen. Thanks for your comment and I am glad you enjoyed the post.

    • Ben L. says

      Consider this profound possibility: Your position just may be… could be… miiiight be…. just. plain. wrong.

      Beliefs are nothing more than choices. You choose to believe what you believe…. until you choose to believe it no more.

  5. Bill says

    You are a gay man. ALL of the things you said and did to harm the gay community you perpetrated against your very own self, young man.

    You haven’t learned a thing from this.

    You just need to wipe your guilty conscience.

    And it does indeed need a wiping, you fraudulent, coward of a man.

  6. Mitch Wood says

    Mr. Thomas, many thanks for this heart-felt and moving statement. I appreciate your candor and integrity. — from a gay American happily partnered since 1997 and married since 2010.

  7. J. Stephen Clark says

    I stopped reading after the paragraph extolling the spiritual superiority of heterosexuality. Anything following that insulting subordination of gay couples is nothing more than you trying to put a happy face on your continued wallowing in bigotry. Spare us.

  8. says

    It’s a good statement, but do you have any specific response to the hurtful gloating you engaged in on your website the night Prop 8 and Amdt. 2 passed?

    http://www.exgaywatch.com/2008/11/ex-gays-show-their-political-colors-post-election-day-others-show-great-insight/ (your favorite website, I’m sure)

    9:00 Randy Thomas: Amendment 2 at 62% with 39% percent of precincts reporting!!! We have to have 60% to win….
    9:01 Randy Thomas: In FL… you have to have 60% :-(
    10:49 Randy Thomas: Amendment 2 just dipped under 60% :-(

    11:36 Ellie: So we now have one state with legal gay marriage, one state with explicitly illegal. Hopefully we can add two more.
    11:37 Randy Thomas: YAY! :-) I think AZ’s 102 got less attention because it was doing so well.

    11:37 Randy Thomas: CNN says that Amendment two is still at 62% with 87% of the precincts reporting in. :-)
    11:38 Randy Thomas: I JUST GOT AN EMAIL FROM THE AMENDMENT 2 CAMPAIGN SAYING THAT IT PASSED!
    11:39 Randy Thomas: That’s a big wow. I will be honest… this is the second time I have gotten emotional tonight.
    11:40 Randy Thomas: :-)

    And then when Jay Holloman called you out on it, you responded with this:

    “9:28 Randy Thomas: Jay, you won’t ever see me cheer for any public policy that binds same sex couples together. ”

    You also claimed that “both sides” of the marriage equality fight were being terrible, but only one was trying to deny others civil rights. The things you said were extremely hurtful, and to be frank, morally wrong. But it’s nice to see that now that the popular tide has turned and even many conservative Christians are starting to read the writing on the wall, you’re changing opinions.

    • Randy says

      Emily, maybe you missed this part of my post:

      The night that Prop 8 in California and Amendment 2 in Florida (both banning gay marriage) passed I was jubilant. I truly believed what we had done was right and good. In the following days, and for a while afterwards, I repeated the talking points I had willingly adopted. I truly believed what I was saying. What I didn’t make widely known was how heart-broken I was when I saw the gay community in California take to the streets. Their protests that night and in the days afterwards tugged at me. When I saw their grief-stricken faces my heart twisted in my chest. It was the first time in a long time I remember thinking, “did we do something wrong?” I quickly shoved that thought out of my mind as I joined my fellow religious activists celebrating the marriage “wins.”

      Yet, the gay community with their protesting and sorrow filled faces would come back to haunt me over the years. Eventually the doubt over what we had done would get louder in my mind and change from a question to a conviction; a conviction that indeed we had done something terribly wrong.

      The part that breaks my heart, is that the night that Prop 8 (and other marriage bans) passed, we made it very clear to the gay community that policy was more important than they are. We made it clear that we thought that investing in rules was more important than sacrificially serving in honest relationship. We communicated that we valued the letter of the law more than the authentic expression of grace in the context of humbly living our lives and loving our neighbor. The message we sent was deeply damaging to our relationships with our gay neighbors and family members.

      For my part in this, I deeply apologize.

      I feel terrible for the way I acted that night and I have apologized. I apologize to you directly for being hurtful. My change in opinion is truly from my own conscience and nothing to do with the change in political wins. My apology in general, and to you directly is sincere.

  9. Eye_Tee says

    As one of those many heartbroken gays who marched post-Prop8, I congratulate you on recognizing the difference between civil marriage and religious matrimony. Religious freedom means you are indeed free to hold your own spiritual beliefs, but not to impose them on others. So it doesn’t matter that I disagree with you on your theological interpretations of gay relationships. Rather, it is appropriate that regardless of our disagreement, you agree that gay couples should be able to marry in churches that hold different beliefs, or marry in purely civil ceremonies, and that you support and respect their right to do so.

    Admitting a change of heart is courageous. While deep, deep harm and hurt has been done by religious opposition to the rights of LGBT people, we move ahead by recognizing our common humanity…and the value of forgiveness, something else that is taught by the Christian faith.

    • Randy says

      …we move ahead by recognizing our common humanity…and the value of forgiveness, something else that is taught by the Christian faith.

      Absolutely. Thank you for your comment.

  10. David Lauri says

    The words in an apology are only part of a good apology; the actions taken to mitigate the harm done are perhaps the more important part of an apology. What actions have you take or will you commit to take, Randy, to mitigate the harm you caused?

    • Randy says

      David, I agree to a degree. Part of it is to be outspoken on my changed beliefs and continually present in remembering that while my past is past, it informs and has consequences for the present. I have/am talking with several gay leaders in different areas about serving/helping/contributing in various ways. I have done other things that I think are more appropriate to keep private because of what/who was involved. But in a nutshell, I want to do something and am praying through and thinking of how to best work that out.

      • Eye_Tee says

        I would say that one big thing you could do is advocate for a similar viewpoint amongst other conservative Christian leaders.

        After all, the Roman Catholics are able to recognize a difference between divorced people re-marrying civilly or in other faiths, and forbidding those marriages in their own church. This should be no different.

  11. says

    Thank you, Randy. This debate has torn at the heart of many of the people I minister to, as well as my own life. The Church (capital ‘C’) has portrayed itself as a very hostile and unwelcoming place, and hurt & distanced many people in this. Your post is encouraging. Yr post is a healthy way of recognising difference, with respect, while not oppressing others. Religious freedom =/= religious oppression.

  12. says

    I find myself often trying to tell Dominionists exactly what you have said above–that the Pope is not our president, therefore the government does not abide by sacramental reasoning, nor is our government founded on exclusively Protestant Christian principles, but also on the philosophies of Plato, John Locke, Thomas Paine, and men who were Deists. There is a reason that they put “freedom of religion” in the Constitution–so the government did not become the arbiter or the promoter of one faithway exclusively. They just don’t make the connection between Dominionist Christians taking over the government and running it “according to the Bible” with what has happened with the Taliban and running things “according to the Qu’ran.” Our Bible is not the Constitution, and is meant to be a secular entity, not a synod. Thank you for examining your heart. Now, we need more people like you to step up and be louder than the clanging gongs and clashing cymbals of the right-wing religious. And we need to reclaim “evangelical” to its original meaning–spreading the message of Christ.

  13. Clayton says

    I really really appreciate the apology and sentiment. It means the world to us, it really does. I do however, take issue with a statement you made, as it is something quite personal to me: “To be clear, my view of marriage in a spiritual context has not changed. I believe the wedding union of husband and wife bears the image of God uniquely. Individually they bear His image equally and beautifully. Together they bear His image in a way that neither can do alone.” Is that really necessary to say? Whenever I hear these statements, even by those like you who claim to love us regardless of who we are, it still takes me right back to when I was a boy, hearing these statements and hating myself. I know that you don’t know what it’s like to grow up gay, thinking that you’re unwanted and unloveable by everyone, even the God you serve who made you that way in the first place yet apparently doesn’t want you to marry someone you love. But please, put yourself in our shoes sometime. What are we supposed to do??? Agree with you and stop being homosexual? Marry someone of the opposite sex and never fall in love the way everyone else has the privilege of doing courtesy of a “loving” God? We can’t. We’ve tried. We have prayed. We have hated ourselves for it. And we are stronger because of it, and as a result our love is REAL. I think that’s amazing. I think that’s a gift from God. You may not think that two people of the same sex who are married represent the image of God, but we have come a lonnnng way to think that we are. So please be respectful.

  14. says

    Randy – thanks for sharing your journey to this place. We don’t agree on the definition of marriage in a spiritual context as you put it, but it encourages me when those with your opinions about marriage in a church context are able to see how much damage and pain has been caused to the LGBT community around this topic. As you know in Florida the issue of civil marriage for same-sex couples is in a critical moment. It would be great if you, and other evangelicals could publicly declare your support of civil marriage by signing this pledge… http://www.freedomtomarry.org/page/s/florida-faith-leaders-for-marriage .

      • Randy says

        Amira, and Helen, I haven’t responded because I haven’t had time to take a look into it. I am sure Helen and this organization are nothing but reputable and worth supporting, I simply don’t know really anything about any of the marriage organizations at the moment. Because of my history, I might also be a bit hesitant to jump on any bandwagons too quickly. That said, I will continue to check out the FreedomToMarry.Org and other pro civil marriage equality orgs.

        • says

          Randy – I’d be happy to explain more – I am working in partnership with Equality Florida and Freedom to Marry on encouraging faith leaders to sign this pledge. You have my email address – would be happy to chat more about what is involved.

  15. RedMann says

    Well said, Randy. I am glad you came to realize that any particular religiuos view should not be applied using the law, and that these ill-made laws are hurting many and benefiting none. I an a happily married (48 years) straight man who supports equality and dislikes religious interference with the law. If religion cannot hold its own without using the law, that religion is failing.

  16. says

    Sorry but Christians “don’t learn from the past”. Just now right wingers including right wing Christians are calling for a sort of Crusade against ISIS and Islam itself. You may want to apologize for the hate and bile you spewed over the last 10 years but no intelligent, sympathetic, kind or loving “Christian” would have taken that stance to begin with. Rot in your own Hell.

    • says

      I understand that your vitriol probably comes from past hurts, but it’s wrong to generalize “Christians” just as it’s wrong to generalize “homosexuals.” All people, regardless of their label, are individuals. It’s so offensive to me, being Randy’s friend for 25 years, that you would lump him in a group that wants to wage a war on Muslims, or whatever correlation you were trying to draw. Maybe you should look at the hypocrisy involved in telling someone they spew hate and bile, while you are spewing hate and bile. Oh and the irony of defining what a sympathetic, kind, or loving person would act when you are being unsympathetic, unkind and unloving. How can someone take you serious? By the way, I’m not Christian, I support gay marriage, and I have my own inner drag queen and Randy has *always* loved me as an individual regardless of where his personal beliefs have been at the time. You obviously don’t know him.

  17. renn says

    Not to sound mean, but what about what God (Father, Son & Holy Spirit) says about this issue in Romans 1:18-29? Are you saying that we should ignore the Truth because it makes us “feel bad?” You said: “Yet, the gay community with their protesting and sorrow filled faces would come back to haunt me over the years.” How will it make you feel knowing that you condoned their trip to hell?? My “flesh” doesn’t like it, but I sure don’t want to practice/condone ANY sin knowingly!

    • says

      In each clobber passage, the context is men who are married to women engaged in adultery–these are not LGBT people.

      Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 both include the phrase “as with a woman” indicating the men who are lying with each other are MARRIED to WOMEN. This is why the penalty for adultery with a man (Leviticus 20:13) is the same as the penalty for adultery with a women (Leviticus 20:10). But how we would apply these passages to a boy being molested by a priest? Or a heterosexual man who was raped by another heterosexual man in prison? Leviticus 20:13 says both men should be put to death, yet do we honestly believe God intended this to apply to innocent victims of rape or clergy sex abuse….or was it confined only to that which violates the 10 Commandments: “You shall not commit adultery”

      Romans 1:27 says the men “turned from” relations with women. But only men who HAD relations with women can “turn from” them. If they had relations with women, Paul considered them to be MARRIED (1 Corinthians 6:16). Romans 1:26 similarly says the women “exchanged the natural use” for an “unnatural one” or “one against nature.” Again, only women who had “natural use” can “exchange” it for one that is “against nature” (sex with animals as worship to Roman gods). So the men and women were MARRIED and engaged in ADULTERY in order to worship Roman mythological gods represented by birds, beasts and reptiles (Romans 1:23). We see similar worship practices in Acts 14:8-18 when Paul and Barnabas are mistaken for Zeus and Hermes. A Google search on “symbols of Roman gods” reveals that indeed each god and goddess was represented by either a bird, a beast, or a reptile.

      Notice the difference in Paul’s language when describing the women’s acts in Romans 1:26 compared to the men’s acts in Romans 1:27. Only the women’s acts are referred to as being “against nature” or “unnatural” (because sex with animals indeed is). But Paul does not use that language when describing the men’ acts. Conversely, Paul does not say the women “burned in lust for one another,” but uses that language only to describe the men’s acts. This verifies the women were not having relations with each other, and the men’s acts are not considered by Paul to be “against nature” or “unnatural” These acts violate 2 of the 10 Commandments: “You shall not commit adultery” and “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

      That is why Paul later says in Romans 1:26-32 that these folks were “deserving of death” under “God’s righteous decrees,” which God made in:

      Leviticus 20:2-5 regarding the penalty for worship of other gods,

      Leviticus 20:15-16 regarding the penalty for copulating with animals,

      Leviticus 20:10 and Leviticus 20:13 regarding the penalty for adultery, whether with a woman (Leviticus 20:10) or man (Leviticus 20:13),

      Leviticus 20:9 regarding the penalty for being disosbedient to parents,

      Exodus 20:17 regarding covetousness, Exodus 20:13 regarding murder,

      Exodus 20:15-16 regarding stealing and lying,

      Exodus 20:1-12 disregarding God,

      and Leviticus 19:18 regarding loving your neighbor.

      In each case, the sins listed in Romans 1:28-32 are violations of the 10 Commandments…yet being LGBT and Gay Marriage are not.

      Finally 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 addressed a priest who was molesting boys in his congregation. The context of the details are provided beginning in 1 Corinthians 5:1 as an “impurity of a sort not even the heathen engage in it, for a man has his own father’s wife.” At first glance, this appears to be man/mother incest (which would be heterosexual), but that practice was so common among the heathen that Moses addressed it in Leviticus 18:7-8. We know by this that Paul is speaking metaphorically regarding the man’s own father (Jesus) and His wife (His Bride, the Bride of Christ, the Church). Paul confirms by asking “Shall I take the parts of the body of Christ and make them parts of a prostitute” in 1 Corinthians 6:15-17.

      Further, we see from 1 Corinthians 5:13 that only 1 person is expelled from the Church for what 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 lists out, yet nobody can “participate in homosexuality” all by themselves.

      While most Christians do not make all these observations, it is without question the context of the clobber passages have nothing to do with LGBT people or same sex marriage.

    • says

      Letting people live their own lives is not ‘condoning’ sin. Why do so many Christians feel it’s their duty to make sure that ‘others’ are living their lives the way YOU want? I don’t get it. Your relationship with God is between you and God. No one is making you get “gay married.” Did Jesus make people qualify themselves or their beliefs before he was kind to them? No.. he never asked, because it didn’t matter. He was way more pissed about so called ‘religious’ people exploiting God for their own gain (the money changers) just like our politicians do today. So who is condoning sin?

  18. says

    Randy, wow.. I had a lump in my throat reading this. I have a lot of questions, although I don’t think this is the place for it. I love this article, and it made me cry. Even though we are separated by distance, for whatever reason, you are one of my soul people and you always have been since the first day we met. It has been *really* hard for me to accept some of your beliefs and at times – such as the above topic- it has been painful. Watching your evolution is a beautiful thing. I hope I can be as open and honest in my personal growth as you are. Love you. <3

    • Randy says

      I know, we have both had our “really hard” moments with each other but I do believe you are my soul sister :) and I do and will always love you. I appreciate you, your friendship, and perseverance :) with me.

  19. says

    After reading through these comments, it is not surprising that there are people upset with you. That’s why I quit church. I wish there were lots more Randy’s and a lot less of these folks that belief legalism is more important than relationship. I am trying to be diplomatic, but I am furious and what I really want to say is Fuck all you Haters. Keep on alienating people… I’m sure that’s what Jesus would want. ?!?!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Randy Thomas, formerly a leader in the ex-gay organization Exodus International, writes about his change of heart about the anti-gay-marriage initiatives in which he was once involved. He hasn’t changed his Side B (“tradionalist”) views on marriage or sexual morality, but he looks back on his involvement in attempts to ban gay marriage with embarrassment. He says: “The night that Prop 8 in California and Amendment 2 in Florida (both banning gay marriage) passed I was jubilant. I truly believed what we had done was right and good. In the following days, and for a while afterwards, I repeated the talking points I had willingly adopted. I truly believed what I was saying. What I didn’t make widely known was how heart-broken I was when I saw the gay community in California take to the streets. Their protests that night and in the days afterwards tugged at me. When I saw their grief-stricken faces my heart twisted in my chest. It was the first time in a long time I remember thinking, “did we do something wrong?” I quickly shoved that thought out of my mind as I joined my fellow religious activists celebrating the marriage “wins.” Yet, the gay community with their protesting and sorrow filled faces would come back to haunt me over the years. Eventually the doubt over what we had done would get louder in my mind and change from a question to a conviction; a conviction that indeed we had done something terribly wrong.” Here: Gay Marriage And Public Policy: Personal Reflection, Apology. […]

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