The front page of the Sunday Style section of The New York Times features 22-year old biblical scholar Matthew Vines. Matthew, whose YouTube video explaining the biblical case for LGBT equality, spoke at a GLAAD sponsored event, “Being Gay is Not a Sin: A Conversation with Matthew Vines” at Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. The event, and subsequent interview, detail Matthew’s coming out, rejection by his own congregation, and the video he created that has been viewed 350,000 times, are all included in the profile.
The New York Times profile will brings more attention to the work of Matthew Vines and to those who are making a biblical case for LGBT equality. Last spring, GLAAD released ‘Missing Voices’, a three year study that found that most religious voices in mainstream media who talk about LGBT topics come from traditions that have policy or culture opposing LGBT equality. Evangelical Christians are quoted disproportionally high, and the vast majority of their messages about LGBT people are negative. Matthew is an Evangelical Christian who has positive messages about LGBT people, which has the opportunity to change the dynamic.
Since Matthew’s video has come out, GLAAD has been working to share his powerful story through media appearances like this. Matthew is a young, new voice to talk about Christians and LGBT people. He admits that none of his arguments are new, but they have been presented in a way that is digestible for Christians who are conflicted about LGBT equality. This makes his voice an important one.
At a time when media continue to give platforms to anti-LGBT voices of faith, Douglas Quenua and The New York Times should be applauded for devoting such a prominent amount of space to a voice of pro-LGBT Christians. We encourage people to share the article widely. By doing so, we encourage more pro-LGBT religious voices in mainstream media. GLAAD will continue to promote Matthew Vines and all religious voices that speak for LGBT equality.
Read full story: Turned Away, He Turned to the Bible, The New York Times, September 16, 2012