Marin heads down under for Mardi Gras
Prominent US Christian activist and LGBTI ally Andrew Marin is set to hit Australia’s shores in time for Mardi Gras.
Marin is founder and president of The Marin Foundation, which works to “build bridges between the LGBT community and the Church through scientific research, biblical and social education, and diverse community gatherings” according to their mission statement.
Author of the award-winning book Love is an Orientation, Marin is also the creator of the 'I'm Sorry Campaign', which reaches out to and apologises to LGBT people who have been discriminated against by the churches and mainstream society.
His photo of Christians Hugging a Gay Man in his Underwear, taken at a Chicago Pride parade is world-renowned having been viewed and shared some 20 million times through social media sites.
“Throughout my travels over the years, I have had the opportunity to meet some wonderful Aussie brothers and sisters in Christ who identify both as LGBT and conservative straight Christian,” Marin said in a statement.
“In each of these relationships, they have made it clear there are relational problems within the progressive and conservative religious and political realms.
“Unfortunately, such is the case in so many developed counties where most cultures are sitting at a crux between the ever-growing mainstream progressive movements and the conservative frameworks that have been traditionally recognised as the cultural norm.”
Marin said he hoped his upcoming visit to Australia would “spark the imagination of those in attendance to know bridges can be built amongst division [and] provide practical frameworks for peaceful and productive engagement” between LGBT people and conservative Christianity.
In addition to his work with LGBTI communities world-wide, Marin is also an advisor to the United Nations on bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement and theological aspects of reconciliation.
Marin will be a guest speaker at a freedom2b Mardi Gras dinner on Friday March 1.
Co-founder of freedom2b Anthony Venn-Brown said there had been “encouraging signs” of growing acceptance of LGBTI people in some churches and he hoped Marin’s visit would “move the conversation along”.
“As a young, straight, evangelical Christian leader, the message of Andrew's book 'Love is an Orientation' is profoundly relevant to his peers in Australia, who have felt uncomfortable and even ashamed of the way senior Christian leaders have publicly condemned LGBT people, the community and their relationships,” Venn-Brown said.
After his Mardi Gras engagements, where he will be accompanied by his daughter and two grand-daughters, Marin will also be speaking at other events in Sydney and in Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle and Auckland during a four week tour of Australia and New Zealand.
The freedom2b function will be held on the evening of Friday March 1 at the Redfern Oval Community Room, Redfern Park. Check out freedom2b.org for more details.