An Evangelical pastor publicly endorsed marriage equality on Sunday. Author and television writer Rob Bell spoke out against his own American Evangelicalism on Sunday at San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral and told some 200 people that he supported marriage equality.
Considered the heir to Billy Graham, he responded to a question concerning his personal view on marriage equality.
“I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man,” said Bell during the forum.
“I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.”
Bell also spoke about his frustrations of conservative American Evangelicalism.
“In general, it’s great seeing more people in favor of marriage equality in different corners of life from conservatives to republicans,” Equality California spokesperson Steve Roth told 429Magazine.
Roth said the tide is changing on public opinion and marriage equality and added that a precedent was seen as 100 Republicans signing the court brief over DOMA and Prop 8.
“A leading senator in the GOP party changed his opinion when his son came out,” said Roth. “It shows how powerful it is when you know someone that is gay personally. We have rights like everyone else.”
Known for writing New York Times bestselling novels Love Wins and Velvet Elvis, Bell was promoting his latest book, What We Talk About When We Talk About God.
“Rob Bell, one of the leading voices in the Evangelical world, has come out in support of marriage equality,” GLAAD’s Director of News and Faith Initiative Ross Murray told 429Magazine. “As the evangelical world is still one of the areas of strong resistance to LGBT equality, his voice will have a significant impact.”
“This is a big story to watch, especially as the US Supreme Court hears arguments on DOMA and Prop 8,” said Murray.
“I think we are witnessing the death of a particular subculture that doesn’t work. I think there is a very narrow, politically intertwined, culturally ghettoized, Evangelical subculture that was told ‘we’re gonna change the thing’ and they haven’t,” said Bell.
“And they actually have turned away lots of people.”
Bell was named one of Top 100 most influential people in the world in 2011 and he founded the Mars Hill Bible Church in Grandville, MI. Bell is also known for his NOOMA video series, which is an inspiration for church youth groups and young adult ministries across the country.
“We have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we’ve done it in the name of God and we need to repent,” added Bell.