by Dan Savage
on Thu, Jul 1, 2010 at 12:05 PM
Same old shit, brand new bag. Michelangelo Signorile did an expose on the group and its leader in the Advocate in 2006. Says Mike in an email to me...
I can't say I'm familiar with what his org has done since I wrote the article, which was four years ago. He disappeared his web site after my expose in the Advocate and after gay groups dropped contact with him. But I don't think a leopard like this changes spots. Marin is it in for himself—beginning with naming a foundation after himself at the age of 27—and he is not a "bridge" to anything except to his own ambitions. He embelishes what his organization does, and at least in 2006, I could not find anyone from the gay community or the religious right who'd gone to his supposed seminars. He claims to be conducting a study—by quizzing people at gay pride events—that he says will be the largest study ever (like everything he and his group does—it's always the "only," the "largest," the "greatest," the "first," and on and on), and which at that time had no social scientists on board (maybe he's got some now, I don't know).
He tells the religous right what it wants to hear and tries to tell us what we want to hear—though he would not at that time say homosexuality was not a sin. I wouldn't say he's on some antigay mission. I just think he is trying to build himself up and if it means embelishing and being deceptive, so be it. His former friends attest to that as well. Even if he's changed his positions now, from his history I wouldn't think it was much beyond ambitiousnes and not a from-the-heart change—and would always question his true motives. Sure, if he wants to show up at pride with Christians apologizing, that's nice. But no one should give him a dime for doing it (I see on FB that he's now selling the "I"m sorry" t-shirts), as I don't think he's doing it for any other reason than to get financial and other support from LGBTs for his own career.
Here's the Chicago Readerpiece from 2006. It looks like Marin got called on his bullshit in 2006, decided to lay low for a few years, and is back at it now, peddling the same old condemnations wrapped up in a bright and shiny new lie.
Per a commenter in yesterday's post: Yeah, we're holding out for complete capitulation. When evangelicals are ready to admit that the bible got homosexuality wrong—just like it got slavery and shellfish and figs and masturbation and burnt offerings wrong—then we can talk. Until then: I'm not interested in accepting any hugs from "reformed" homophobes who still believe that being gay is a sin.
ALSO: Alice Dreger is going to be a guest on Mike's radio show today:
I interviewed Marin a few years ago and in my research prior to the interview found he often dramatically changed his message depending on his audience. To the gay crowd he'd be much more nuanced but when he spoke on Christian radio, etc., he was quite explicit that gays could/should change. I approached him in the interview as a Christian (I grew up in that community and know the language) and he didn't hide the fact that he thought homosexuality was a sin. I think I still have the mp3s of radio interviews w/him I collected prior to the interview. I really hoped he was different as well. I was wrong.