Anti-Marriage Advocates Have no Case

First published at on June 17, 2011 New York may be on the brink of extending marriage to same-sex couples. As of this writing, the state’s marriage-equality bill appears to be one vote shy of passage. Several state legislators are still undecided. It’s a nail-biter. Which means that our enemies are out in full… Continue reading Anti-Marriage Advocates Have no Case

Are we Defined by our Sexuality?

First published at on March 18, 2011 Why does “love the sinner; hate the sin” ring so hollow in the gay-rights debate? One reason, as I’ve argued before [], is that part of loving the “sinner” is making an effort to understand him—something our opponents seldom do. If they did make that effort, it… Continue reading Are we Defined by our Sexuality?

Gay People Have Work to do

First published at on March 4, 2011 Let me begin with a huge Thank You to readers who weighed in thoughtfully on last week’s column [], which pondered the changing attitudes of audiences at my “Gay Moralist” lectures. Although I have a general policy of not chiming in on the comments thread—partly because of… Continue reading Gay People Have Work to do

What Marriage Isn’t

First published at on January 21, 2011 The recent Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy article “What is Marriage?” [], by Sherif Girgis, Robert George, and Ryan Anderson (hereafter GGA), has received considerable attention—as it should. (Jonathan Rauch’s incisive retort links to much of the discussion; see here: That’s because the article… Continue reading What Marriage Isn’t

Friendship, Gayness, and Death

First published at on November 12, 2010 When I first acknowledged to myself at 19 that I was gay, there were two friends that I needed to tell right away. I told Scott first. We were fellow candidates with the Capuchin Franciscans, aspiring to be priests. (We continued to affectionately call each other “Brother”… Continue reading Friendship, Gayness, and Death

What do We do With Evangelicals Who ‘Want to Help’?

First published at on October 29, 2010 I’ve been engaging in quite a bit of dialogue lately with conservative Christians. It usually involves their asking me a question along the following lines: “Look, we feel awful about the recent reports of gay teen suicides. We believe each of these kids is a child of… Continue reading What do We do With Evangelicals Who ‘Want to Help’?

Why “Love the Sinner” Rings Hollow

First published at on October 22, 2010 In my work as “the Gay Moralist,” I often pursue dialogue with opponents of LGBT equality. I do this for various reasons: to understand them better, to help them understand us better, to help bystanders understand the controversy better, to promote truth more generally, and ultimately to… Continue reading Why “Love the Sinner” Rings Hollow

A Skeptic’s Faith

First published at on August 13, 2010 “The trouble with atheism,” my friend said with a smile, “is that you don’t get any holidays.” Sometimes even tired jokes can be insightful. The friend was a Catholic priest, speaking to me (an atheist) as I spent a week with him and several dozen other priests… Continue reading A Skeptic’s Faith