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'I Don't Believe God Hates Me Any More'

So says former Christian pop star Ray Boltz as he resumes career, releases new CD

Singer Ray Boltz, who came out as gay in September 2008, tells the New York Times, "I don't believe God hates me anymore. I always thought if people knew the true me, they'd be disgusted, and that included God. But for all the doubts, there's this new belief that God accepts me and created me, and there's peace."

After more than five years of self-imposed absence from stage and CD, the now openly gay Boltz, who lives in South Florida with his partner, Franco Sperduti, has released his first album since coming out. True includes songs about same-sex marriage ("Don't Tell Me Who to Love"), and bias crimes ("Swimming Hole"). The song "Who Would Jesus Love?" includes these lyrics:

Would He only love the ones / Who looked the same as me / Would He only offer hope / When He saw similarity / Would He leave the others waiting / Like a stranger at the gate / Would He discriminate.

Boltz performs these days with just a guitar, while Sperduti is his booking agent. He has played at gay pride events and at liberal Christian churches. Boltz told the newspaper, "When you start to live an authentic life, you stop pretending. When I started writing these songs, I didn't know if it'd be for a record. I didn't know if anyone would even hear these songs. But I realized I could write whatever I want, and that opened up the floodgates."

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