Why conservative Christians flock to a Chicago gay bar
“Can one man build effective bridges between evangelical Christians and Chicago’s gay community?
That is the hope of Andrew Marin - who has spent the last decade living in Boystown, Chicago’s officially-designated neighbourhood for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) residents.
For the first three years, everybody just called me Straighty Straighterson - I was literally the only straight male who continued to go to everything’
He works to try and bring Christians and gay people together in open conversation about sexuality and spirituality - and that includes running a large-scale meeting four times a year at Roscoe’s, one of America’s most famous gay bars.
That is no small achievement in a culture where openly gay people and evangelical Christians have long viewed each other with suspicion.
But Andrew Marin’s determination to bring polarised opposites together in dialogue has grown in ways he never imagined.
From small beginnings 10 years ago, he now takes his message around the world and has worked with governments as well as churches.
He is fast becoming a well-known figure in the United States, and has collaborated with one of the country’s largest Christian publishers to produce a course for churches wishing to address questions about sexuality.