xx
  • NYC to Istanbul, connecting flight from Istanbul to Uganda delayed two
    days, June 30 - July 2
  • Uganda and Rwanda, July 3 - 19
  • Istanbul, July 19 - 22
  • New York City, Home in the Bronx, July 22 - 24
  • Peurto Rico, Interview and connecting flight to St. Lucia, July 24 - 25
  • St. Lucia, connecting point to Martinique, July 25 - 27
  • Martinique, July 27 - August 11  
  • St. Lucia, August 11 - August 17
  • Guatemala, August 17 - September 2
  • Home in the Bronx, New York City, September 3
On this Page:  Media Coverage in Martinique, July 27 - August 11, 2012
Table of Contents
for
2012 Summer Travels
Media Coverage in Martinique

FRANCE-ANTILLES MARTINIQUE NEWSPAPER, Saturday, September 22, 2012, issue
Article (originally in French) by Louvinia Valat, Journalist, France-Antilles Martinique
Translated to English by Stanley Hanks

“God loves gays!”  (« Dieu aime les homosexuels! »)
L.V.(Louvinia Valat) / France-Antilles Martinique 22 Sept 2012

To be Christians while remaining free to live one’s sexual orientation: that is the credo of Stephen Parelli and Jose
Ortiz.

TESTIMONIAL. Stephen Parelli and Jose Ortiz serve as director and coordinator, respectively, of the
association “Other Sheep”, a group which defends the idea that one can be
Christian and gay at the
same time,
without betraying God or one’s faith. This is the battle they have been fighting for over 15
years, both as a couple and as Protestant Christians. This is currently of particular relevance for us in view
of the parliamentary debate over gay marriage.

Stephen Parelli and Jose Ortiz visited us in August for a few days before going to St. Lucia to hold a series of
workshops on controversial subjects such as: Can one be both Christian and gay? What does the Bible say about
homosexuality? Doesn’t it treat it as a perversion, an abomination?

Stephen and Jose are, above all, a couple – and they have been together for fifteen years. They are Christians,
and they have been legally married since 2008. We would never have had the chance of meeting them if their
homosexuality hadn’t made it necessary for them to reconsider their faith in the light of their sexual orientation.

In the US, their home country, and everywhere else in the world where Christians await their visit, Stephen Parelli
(Director of Other Sheep) and Jose Ortiz (Coordinator for Asia and Africa) do their best to show that “God is love”
(1 John 4). It is a love which is not exclusive or sectarian.

To prove this, they support their case with the Bible. But without flights of fantasy or extrapolation: instead, they
apply a scholarly approach. Both Steve and Jose have concluded Bible studies at bachelor’s degree level; Stephen,
who also holds a Masters in theology, served as a pastor for approximately twenty years. They base their
arguments on the text – or, to be more specific, on a reading of the text in light of the evolution undergone by
society.

IMPOSSIBLE TO BE “EX-GAY”

For these two men, their battle necessarily possesses a very personal component. For years, formerly convinced
that their faith was incompatible with their love, they had attempted to stop being gay! They had tried, for instance,
by attending support groups for “Christians who are trying to overcome their attraction for people of the same sex”,
praying constantly and waiting for a miracle which was not to occur – until they finally had to give up. “We finally
came to realize that it is impossible to be ‘ex-gay’.”

However, their mission is not a crusade for homosexuality. Rather, they are fighting for the fundamental right to be a
Christian. Neither are they defending a Protestant approach as opposed to Catholic “certitudes”, for, in their view,
“all Churches are concerned”.

That is what inspires the two to take up their pilgrim’s rod and travel the world to meet with Christians everywhere.

Their goal is to exchange views with them in a series of workshops, using materials edited and published by Other
Sheep, in the hope that these Christians will grow to understand that “God accepts gays, lesbians, bisexuals and
transgender people”.

To contact Steve and Jose, or to find further information, you can visit the website
www.othersheepexecsite.com.

                                                                        END

To see the above article in French, and the complete debate/report on gay marriage in Martinique in which this
article was featured, go to the following links:








TV COVERAGE, THE "AUGUST 5, 2012 JOURNAL" OF "ATV" MARTINIQUE

[The following artilce was published on the Other Sheep Blog and distributed via the Other Sheep eNews.]

News Flash: Steve and Jose of Other Sheep featured on "atv" Martinique
by Rev. Steve Parelli, August 6, 2012
Schoelcher, Martinique

The link "Journal du 05 Août" which contains the TV segment on Jose Ortiz and Steve Parelli will be available for
one week only according to the reporter who made the interview with Parelli and Ortiz of Other Sheep.

It was aired last night twice here in Martinique: at 7:00 PM and 11:30 PM.

Parelli, who lived here in Martinique in 1970 (when he was 17) for four months with American missionaries, was told
by an interested Martiniquean friend of 42 years who has watched the developments around Other Sheep's visit to
Martinique, that evangelical Christians who know Parelli were taken back, but that the stone has been cast - that
serious dialogue among evangelicals will have to follow at some point now that a familiar Christian face has been
placed on the issue.

Parelli and Ortiz are in Martinique for two weeks. They are contacting pastors, laity and churches by phone, email,
and in person. They are making a tour of the island by car distributing two writings to churches: one on Parelli's "ex-
gay" experience and the second on what the Bible does and does not say about homosexuality. The papers, in
French, are listed (and linked to) on the Other Sheep French-language resource page.

In addition to the TV news coverage, Parelli and Ortiz have been interviewed by a newspaper journalist and a radio
news commentator. Both have stated that their respective news items should come out within the next few days.
___________________________________________________________________________
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