Wasn't your wife worried that you'd always be attracted to men deep down?
Before she met me, she'd seen me on TV. So she knew my story. She'd also grown up as a competitive swimmer and had known men who were gay-identified -- men who, because of their Christian beliefs, had chosen the path I'd chosen. So when we met, there wasn't a whole lot of explaining I had to do.
She also understood that my issues weren't bigger than her issues. I called her Snow White for years, because she was the quintessential Christian girl -- she didn't drink, smoke, or have sex. But she told me that wasn't really fair. She'd had her own struggles, and she asked me why God would look at her struggles any differently than mine. So I really lucked out.
She's also lucky in that it's my nature to be very, very honest. I don't have any other option. So we have no mixed understandings. I am who I am; I struggle with what I struggle with. I chose this marriage not under pressure or duress, but because I want to spend the rest of my life with her.
It sounds like marrying a woman worked out for you. But there are plenty of gay Christians who would say that they're enjoying that same kind of closeness in a same-sex marriage -- and that Jesus doesn't love them any less for it.
Of course Jesus loves them! Jesus's love for us isn't in question, regardless of whether we completely accept Him and hang on His every word. God loves us no matter what. It's really the fault of the church that we have, as Christians, ever caused people to doubt the fact that Christ loves all of us the same. That's something we absolutely have to correct.
When it comes to someone who is a believer, we all still struggle. We're all still human. Some of us choose very different lives than others. But whatever we choose, it doesn't remove our relationship with God. That's not possible. It's not who God is.
Does that mean a person living a gay lifestyle won't go to hell, as long as he or she accepts Jesus Christ as personal savior?
My personal belief is that everyone has the opportunity to know Christ,
and that while behavior matters, those things don't interrupt someone's
relationship with Christ. But that's a touchy issue in the conservative group I run with. And there are definitely differing opinions on it. I don't think you could even look at any one denomination and find that everyone believes exactly the same thing.
On the other hand, I do believe there is a right and wrong. I believe there is clarity on the issue of all sexuality in the Bible -- on every aspect of it.
Where in the Bible do you find that clarity?
I believe the Bible is very, very clear about God's creative intent related to sexuality. Anything outside a monogamous, heterosexual marriage is very clearly stated as sinful in the Bible. Though there's no place in the Bible that says this sin is worse than any other. We're guilty in the church of creating a hierarchy of sin, and that's done tremendous damage.