In an interview with the Huffington Post last Friday, Sojourners CEO and Christian leader Jim Wallis spoke out in favor of marriage equality. Jaweed Kaleem was able to ask the right questions to solicit Wallis' affirmation of marriage equality.
"I want a deeper commitment to marriage that is more and more inclusive, and that's where I think the country is going," he said. When pressed and asked specifically if he supports marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples, Wallis said, "yes."
This marks a decided shift from Wallis' position just two years ago. When Sojourners Magazine refused to run a Mother's Day advertisement from the trans-denominational organization Believe Out Loud because it was believed to promote marriage equality, Wallis and the organization came under sharp criticism, both from members of their progressive Christian audience and from LGBT advocacy organizations. GLAAD worked with Sojourners to highlight LGBT-inclusive causes that fell within Sojourners' central mission. Since then, Jim Wallis and Sojourners have been on a gradual shift to increasingly embrase full LGBT equality.
Wallis' shift mirrors the shift we have seen in several leaders over the past few weeks. Last month, Rob Bell broke his silence on the issue and said to a San Francisco Episcopal congregation that he believes all couples should be able to marry. During Holy Week, Ryan Bell of Hollywood Adventist Church was fired for his vocal support of marriage equality and LGBT rights. After his interview, Wallis is now part of a growing and encouraging number of high-level, white, evangelical American leaders who are speaking out for marriage equality.