Christian author reverses stance on gay weddings after book boycott

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A Christian author has retracted comments he made in support of same-sex marriage, after facing a boycott.

Eugene Peterson is a well-known evangelical author who has written over thirty books, including modernist Biblical translation ‘The Message’.

A major Christian bookseller dropped the author’s books this week, after he made comments suggesting he supported same-sex marriage.

In an interview with Religion News Service, the author had said that gay people can have “a good spiritual life” and that “that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over”.
Eugene Peterson

His books were dropped by Christian book seller LifeWay, with a spokesperson explaining: “LifeWay only carries resources in our stores by authors who hold to the biblical view of marriage.”

After the decision, Mr Peterson attempted to row back his comments in a follow-up interview today.

He said: “To clarify, I affirm a biblical view of marriage: one man to one woman. I affirm a biblical view of everything.”

Despite initially suggesting he would perform a gay wedding, he now says: “I’ve never performed a same-sex wedding. I’ve never been asked and, frankly, I hope I never am asked. “

He added: “When put on the spot by this particular interviewer, I said yes in the moment. But on further reflection and prayer, I would like to retract that.

“That’s not something I would do out of respect to the congregation, the larger church body, and the historic biblical Christian view and teaching on marriage.

“That said, I would still love such a couple as their pastor. They’d be welcome at my table, along with everybody else.”

Mr Peterson added: “I regret the confusion and bombast that this interview has fostered. It has never been my intention to participate in the kind of lightless heat that such abstract, hypothetical comments and conversations generate.

“This is why, as I mentioned during this interview, I so prefer letters and will concentrate in this final season on personal correspondence over public statements.”

It is unclear whether the swift about-face was a reaction to the decision to drop his books.

It is not the first time a well-known Christian figure has been shunned over LGBT rights.

Trey Pearson, lead singer of popular Christian band Everyday Sunday, came out as gay in an emotional letter last summer.

Pearson was later dropped by a Christian music festival over his sexuality and has been shunned by the anti-LGBT elements within the faith music world.

Another Christian music megastar, Vicky Beeching, came out in 2014, and faced similar treatment.