Andrew Marin

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Marin, at one of The Marin Foundation's Living In The Tension gatherings, in Chicago, Illinois (2012)

Andrew Marin (born December 16, 1980, age 33) is an American author, evangelical Christian,[1][2] and founder and current president of The Marin Foundation,[3] a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose purpose, according to their mission statement is "to build bridges between the LGBT community and the Church through scientific research, biblical and social education, and diverse community gatherings."[4]

Marin has come under scrutiny from various members of the LGBT community, for purportedly misrepresenting his beliefs about LGBT people to various LGBT organizations.[5] The Marin Foundation had previously claimed endorsement from such organizations as the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), GLAAD, and the Gay Men's Health Crisis, but the Marin Foundation no longer claims affiliation with any LGBT organizations on its website.[5]


Early years[edit]

Andrew Marin was born in 1980, to parents Beth and Peter Marin. The family lived in what Andrew described as "a very white, very conservative upper middle class suburb of Chicago."[2] Marin's parents are Pentecostal Christians, the family attended church services with the Assemblies of God.

Marin attended Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora, Illinois. Marin (then known as Andy) was involved in team sports, playing on his high school's baseball and hockey teams. In a 2010 interview, Marin described himself, in his youth as being "the biggest Bible-banging homophobic kid you ever met."[2] He graduated in 1999.

College years[edit]

Marin attended the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on a Division I athletic scholarship, where he played baseball for the UIC Flames.[6] Marin studied Applied Psychology. In the summer of 2001, after his sophomore year, Marin moved to the predominantly LGBT Boystown neighborhood in Chicago.[2]

While in college, Marin was named the NIDRR Scholar through the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), for the summer semester in 2002, where he conducted research through UIC's Department of Disability and Human Development.[7] In 2003, Marin received his college's Chancellor's Student Service & Leadership Award.[8] Marin received his BA in Applied Psychology from UIC in 2003.

After college[edit]

In 2005, Marin founded The Marin Foundation.[9]

In 2011, Marin graduated from Eastern University with a masters degree in Urban Studies, with a concentration in Social Change.

In 2013, Marin began working on his PhD in Cultural Theology from the University of St. Andrews.[10]

The Marin Foundation[edit]


Marin states that in the year 2000, the summer after his freshman year in college, his three best friends all came out to him, and that these experiences experience affected him so deeply that he was moved to create the Marin Foundation (in 2005).[11]

Two lesbians assert Marin outed them[edit]

In an October 2006 interview with LGBT interest magazine The Advocate, two women named Emily Webster and Melissa Garvey identified themselves as two of the "friends" to whom Marin had referred, in his story.[5] Webster and Garvey stated that Marin, without their knowledge or permission, had posted the women's full names and photos on his website, publicly identifying the two women as gay. Garvey asserted (and Webster agreed) that Marin had outed the two women for his own purposes. Marin later removed the photos, but left a description of how "Emily and Melissa" had come out to him, and how these experiences had marked a turning point for him. In the interview, Emily Webster and Melissa Garvey asserted that neither of them had ever come out to Marin, and that the entire story was a fabrication.

I'm Sorry campaign[edit]

The Marin Foundation is most well known for their I'm Sorry campaign,[12] where their LGBT and straight members attend gay pride parades, and hold up signs apologizing for how Christians have treated LGBT people. A photo of one of these demonstrations, labeled "Christians Hugging a Gay Man in his Underwear" went viral and, according to Marin, was shared "over 34 million" times and viewed "over 116 million" times.[12] On Buzzfeed, photo was the top-listed photo in a collection of "Pictures that will restore your faith in humanity".[13]

Other activities[edit]

Besides the I'm Sorry Campaign, The Marin Foundation holds public gatherings in a series called Living in the Tension. They meet twice monthly in Chicago. The Marin Foundation has made appearances on major conservative media outlets such as the 700 Club,[2] and on LGBT outlets such as The Gay Agenda Show.[14] The BBC World News featured The Marin Foundation's gatherings held at a popular gay bar in Boystown, in print and on a 30 minute World News special.[15]


When asked, Marin has refused to answer the question of whether he believes that homosexuality is immoral,[16] citing an interest in promoting dialogue.[17] The reaction from LGBT community members[18][19] and religious conservatives[20] has been disapproving.

In an April 2013 review, syndicated advice columnist Dan Savage referred to The Marin Foundation as "sneakily homophobic".[21] Marin responded to Dan Savage's statements in a blog post, citing supportive comments from various people, including LGBT people.[22] This prompted responses from various other bloggers.[23][24]


  • Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community (paperback, May 2009, InterVarsity Press)
  • Love Is an Orientation DVD and Participant Guide: Practical Ways to Build Bridges with the Gay Community (disc and paperback, December 2011, Zondervan)
  • ReEngaging Civility: A Framework for Bridging Opposing Worldviews (ebook, September 2013, Patheos Press and Bondfire Books)


For "Love Is an Orientation" book[edit]

Andrew's first book, Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community (InterVarsity Press, 2009), won the following awards:[25]

Besides the Bible named Love Is an Orientation as one of the "One Hundred Books of All Time that Have, Should or Will Create Christian Culture".[26]


  1. ^ Crumm, David. "444 Conversation with Andrew Marin on a moratorium from anti-gay preaching". Read The Spirit. David Crumm Media, LLC. Retrieved 2013-09-05. "Broadly speaking, I call myself evangelical." 
  2. ^ a b c d e Sells, Heather. "Christian's Outreach to Gays: I'm Sorry". Christian Broadcasting Network. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  3. ^ "The Marin Foundation". Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  4. ^ "Mission". The Marin Foundation. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  5. ^ a b c Signorile, Michelangelo (2006-10-10). "The Preacher Lied". The Advocate. Here Media. Retrieved 2013-09-05. 
  6. ^ Andy Marin, profile, UIC Flames Baseball
  7. ^ NIDRR Scholar Andrew P. Marin, National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research
  8. ^ Chancellor's Student Service and Leadership Award[dead link]
  9. ^ "The Marin Foundation". GuideStar. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  10. ^ Big Announcement and Transition at The Marin Foundation
  11. ^ Marin, Andrew (2013-06-20). "Andrew Marin on Alan Chambers and the Closing of Exodus International". Love Is An Orientation. Patheos. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  12. ^ a b The Marin Foundation. "I'm Sorry Campaign". The Marin Foundation. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  13. ^ 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity, Buzzfeed
  14. ^ The Gay Agenda Show
  15. ^ Why conservative Christians flock to a Chicago gay bar, BBC
  16. ^ Homosexuality - Answering the Tough Questions, with Andrew Marin
  17. ^ Belmont May Change Actions Toward Gay Groups 1-24-2011, WSMV
  18. ^ More on False Prophet Andrew Marin, The Gist, Michelangelo Signorile
  19. ^ Part 3: Note to Skeptics, Love Is An Orientation
  20. ^ Truncated Love: A Response to Andrew Marin’s Love Is an Orientation, Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D., graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
  21. ^ Savage, Dan (11 Apr 2013). "What God Wants ‘Does Jesus Really Love Me?’ by Jeff Chu". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-06-22. 
  22. ^ My Response to Dan Savage’s Accusations about The Marin Foundation in the New York Times, Love Is An Orientation
  23. ^ Why Straddling the Fence on LGBT Issues Doesn’t Work: Andrew Marin’s Response to Dan Savage
  24. ^ Dan Savage vs. Andrew Marin
  25. ^ Love Is An Orientation, InterVarsity Press
  26. ^ Besides the Bible, Relevant Magazine

External links[edit]