Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation, an organization working to build bridges between Christian and LGBT communities. He is author of the award-winning book Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community and its interactive DVD curriculum. Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010, Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement and theological aspects of reconciliation. He is married to Brenda, lives in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and blogs at Patheos. Here he discusses the recent announcement that Exodus International is shutting down and why he thinks homosexuality is such a hot-button issue today.

JM: The evangelical world was rocked last week by Alan Chambers’ apology to the gay community and announcement that Exodus International is shutting down. What was your reaction?

AM: I ultimately think it is a good thing because the conversation, especially among conservatives, should no longer be if LGBTs will become “straight.” Rather, the conversation can now have the starting point that each person, including all LGBTs, are dignified children of God created in God’s image. Moving forward, the questions become, “What do LGBTs do with their understanding of Scripture and sex?” and then, “Regardless of the outcome, how can conservatives peacefully and productively live in relation to and relationship with those who are working from a different, some would say, opposing, worldview?” For me, this conversation is less about what one believes and more about what one does with what they believe.

JM: In your opinion, why is homosexuality such a divisive, hot-button issue for American Christians?

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Written by Jonathan