Michael Coren on changing his mind about same-sex marriage
The Christian commentator and author opens up about what changed his mind — and why.
Michael Coren is a long-time broadcaster and columnist, known for bringing his conservative Catholic point of view into his commentary. He used to be vocally opposed to same-sex marriage, but lately he has changed his mind, becoming an advocate for gay rights. He describes his conversion in Epiphany: A Christian's Change of Heart and Mind over Same-Sex Marriage.
THE MOMENT THAT TRIGGERED HIS CHANGE OF HEART
It was about two years ago, when I was working at Sun News. John Baird was foreign affairs minister at the time, and he was critical of Ugandan policy because they were considering the death penalty for being gay. It's barbaric. He said, "You surely cannot pass this legislation." That was it. How could anyone disagree with him? John had been a great defender of Christians, so I spoke out in favour of him and I was stunned by the response I got. "How dare you defend this man? How dare you criticize Uganda?" I interviewed a leader of a conservative Christian organization for my show after that. I said, "You surely cannot support a government that wants to legislate the death penalty for one's sexuality." And she said, "It would be unwise." I was staggered that she could have a response like that. As my Christian faith deepened, my social liberalism strengthened. It was a long process, with a great deal of prayer and thought and consideration.
ON FACING THE ANGER OF GAY MARRIAGE OPPONENTS
I'm not unworldly, but I had no idea just how angry opponents of the gay community are. There are loving, wonderful people out there who simply believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman. I may disagree with that, but I understand that. But that is not the majority strain. The majority of emails I received were not criticisms — they were vitriolic. They were trolling my children's Facebook pages. My wife received an email saying "You know your husband is destined for hell." I was accused of being an adulterer, a thief, that I had a breakdown, that I was doing it all for money. I was surprised by the cruelty of people, who said they follow the son of God, but at the same time could be so incredibly ugly towards someone who disagreed with them.
Michael Coren's comments have been edited and condensed.