Evangelical Leader Takes Heat For His “Shift’ On Same-Sex Relationships
NEW YORK — Truth Wins Out praised the National Association of Evangelicals’ top lobbyist today for resigning in a storm of controversy after he said on a Dec. 2 “Fresh Air” NPR broadcast that he had shifted his position on gay relationships. The Associated Press reported that he told Fresh Air, “I’m shifting, I have to admit. In other words, I would willingly say I believe in civil unions. I don’t officially support redefining marriage from its traditional definition, I don’t think.”
“We applaud Rich Cizik for opening his mind and speaking from his heart,” said Wayne Besen, Executive Director of Truth Wins Out. “It would have been easier for Cizik to have remained silent and continued collecting a paycheck. Instead he did what he thought was right and one can only admire such courage.”
Not surprisingly, Focus on the Family said they were glad Cizik was stepping down. “It was time for him to go,” Tom Minnery, a Focus on the Family senior vice president, told the Associated Press. “He no longer represents the view of evangelicalism. He has not represented those views for some time.”
“Focus on the Family is going to find that support for their outdated position on gay and lesbian equality is eroding, even among evangelical Christians,” said Besen. “As more gay people come out, Americans can see that we are their friends and family members — and certainly no threat to their lives.”
On Thursday, Truth Wins Out placed a hard-hitting full-page ad in The Salt Lake Tribune, under the headline, “Lies in the Name of the Lord.” It was in response to an ad in last Friday’ New York Times, that portrayed protests against Proposition 8 – a ballot measure in California that prohibited same sex couples from marrying — as mob violence. One of the people criticized by TWO was Cizik, who signed the ad.
“If I someone would have told me that I would have ended the week praising Rich Cizik, I would have told them they were living in a dream world,” said Besen. “But, Cizik’ evolution on this issue shows that we should never make blanket assumptions that individual evangelical Christians don’t support fairness and equality. I call on more fair-minded evangelicals to speak out in the name of equality and fairness for gay and lesbian people, as this courageous man has done.”
Truth Wins Out is a non-profit organization that counters right wing propaganda, exposes the “ex-gay” myth and educates America about gay life.
- 30 -