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While working for a conservative interest group in Iowa, I was amazed by the high number of Christian people who would turn out to oppose homosexuals politically. Yet when I presented opportunities to reach out in love to people who identify as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender), my efforts were often met with apathy and sometimes even hostility. Anger at the homosexuals' political agenda often seemed to overshadow the task of learning how to love homosexuals as Jesus would.

But if God's people are not equipped to give homosexuals the special kind of love they need in order to heal the wounds of their past and move into heterosexuality, do we really have the right to oppose them politically? And if we are to show love, what exactly does that look like within the context of the debate over same-sex marriage?

Certainly, what cannot be loving is an approach to loving lesbian and gay people that stops at opposing same-sex marriage. Today many churches have created an emotional Catch-22 for LGBT people by opposing their right to marry but neglecting to provide them a safe place to heal. From the gay person's perspective, it seems that Christians are demanding that they simply disappear.

Knowing how to show love begins with knowing how to communicate, and it's important to understand how people think before trying to communicate with them. Trying to have a discussion about gay marriage with someone who is lesbian or gay is often like trying to play a game of baseball while the opposing team is on a soccer field. Each side is basing their arguments on completely different assumptions about homosexuality. As Christians, we know that homosexual feelings can be overcome, but most LGBT people view their attractions as an immutable ...

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August 2004

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