Steve and Jose
July 2 - August 12, 2011
By Rev. Steve Parelli
July 19, 2011
Classic Ave Hotel, Trivandrum, Kerala, India
Just hours ago, here in Trivandrum, Kerala, India, Rev. Steve Parelli and Jose Ortiz,
Other Sheep Executive Director and Other Sheep Coordinator for Asia respectively,
spoke "On being evangelical Christian and gay in the USA" to an audience
consisting of three LGBT activists and Kerala University students who were primarily
Hindu, two each of the Christian and Muslim faith, and two who identified as
non-religious. At the door, 24 individuals registered with name and contact
Mr. M. G. Radharishnan, Associate Editor of the India Today magazine with a
readership of over 20 million, and "one of the very few newsmen in Kerala who are
at home in both English and Malayalam, handling both with equal ease and
consummate fluency ," sat with the audience and asked questions, made comments,
and at times translated from Malayalam to English when Malayalam was used by
individuals in the audience.
Following the meeting, Mr. Radhakrishnan spontaneously left an unsolicited written
comment on a sheet of paper at the registration table in his own hand writing which
he signed. It reads: "This meeting is absolutely important. For it is the first of its kind
to happen in Kerala - where issues like sexuality, homosexuality, etc., are openly
discussed - within a Christian Theological context." Signed, "MGRadhakrishnan"
Quoting Manvendra Sigh Gohil, member of the royal family of the princely state of
Rajpipla, as saying he wanted to come out "because I wanted people to openly
discuss homosexuality because it is a hidden affair with a lot of stigma attached,"
Parelli said by telling their story as gay and Christian he hopes to show the Christian
community worldwide that "homosexuals are as common within religious communities
as they are in every area and walk of live." He said he hopes "the Christian
community will fully accept homosexuals as part of God's diversified creation."
Coming from the evangelical Christian tradition themselves (Ortiz and Parelli), and
noting the strong presence of evangelicals in Kerala, Parelli cited Faith Baptist Bible
College of Ernakulam, and the ministry of Pastor G. S. Nair, Field Director of
Fundamental Baptist Mission to India as two evangelical ministries in Kerala in
association with the evangelicals in the States to which Parelli belonged at one time.
Highlighting the evangelical's absolute belief in the Bible, Parelli said "Generally, for
the (fundamentalist) evangelical, the Bible trumps experience, social science,
psychology, science, and culture."
Parelli said Christians use six different passages from the Bible to condemn
homosexuals. He gave a brief overview of the passages and, countering evangelical
claims, a pro-LGBT rendering of each text. He said the story of the destruction
Sodom and Gomorrah, from which the word "Sodomy" is derived, is found in both the
Bible and the Koran. Referring to Chuck Colson's doomsday remarks on same-sex
marriage in California as an example, Parelli said, American evangelicals justify their
certainty of God's eventual judgment upon America from the story of the destruction
of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone.
Parelli, to show the correlation between Indian and American evangelicals, said an
Old Testament professor of a Bible college of the state of Tamil Nadu (India), after
hearing Steve and Jose tell their story as Christian and gay, last week, to faculty
members and the college president (by invitation of the president and a faculty
member), emailed them saying "I pray God may open your eyes to see your folly of
misinterpreting the Word of God . . . Because of these abominations USA is under
condemnation and under the judgment of God. So God's plea to all the people like
you, the blind leaders to truth, is Repent! . . . "
As a young gay Christian adult, Ortiz said he "was overwhelmed with guilt and inner
turmoil to the point of even wishing that God would just 'take me home to heaven.'
That was a 'spiritual' way of saying I no longer wanted to be in this earth - a death
wish!" Ortiz said he agonized over the realization that the Christian community would
reject him if they were to learn he is gay. "My experience," he said, "is shared by
many other gay Christians all over the world."
Two Kerala University students, both heterosexual and interested in human rights,
arranged the July 18 student meeting after having met Jose and Steve in
Trivandrum, Tuesday evening, July 12, outside their college hostel (student
dormitory) where Jose and Steve were handing out leaflets on the new Malayalam
publication (an abridged version) of Rev. Jeff Miner and John Tyler Connoley's book
The Children Are Free: Reexamining the Biblical Evidence on Same-sex
The Children Are Fee in Malayalam was distributed at the July 18 student meeting.
From the audience, the comment was made that there has not been since the
translation of the Bible itself, as revolutionary a book in the Malayalam language as
The Children Are Free.
The 5:00PM student meeting was held at the Dr. G. Mirmalam Memorial Hall Kerala
Veterinarian's Building on Dharmalayam Road in Trivandrum.
|M. G. Radhakrishnan of India Today: "This
meeting is absolutely important. For it is the first
of its kind to happen in Kerala."
Following the meeting, Mr. Radhakrishnan
spontaneously left an unsolicited written
comment on a sheet of paper at the
registration table in his own hand writing
which he signed. It reads: "This meeting is
absolutely important. For it is the first of its
kind to happen in Kerala - where issues like
sexuality, homosexuality, etc., are openly
discussed - within a Christian Theological
context." Signed, "MGRadhakrishnan"
Steve Parelli holding written
comment made by Mr.
Editor of the India Today
Mr. M. G. Radharishnan,
Associate Editor of India
Above: Mr. M. G. Radharishnam, Associate
Editor of India Today looking on as Steve Parelli
speaks to a group of Kerala University students
Above Photo at Left:
"Sex and the Church"
Page 81 of India Today
magazine, issue September 26.
Article by Mr. M. G.
Radharishnam, Associate Editor
of India Today
In the large photo in the India
Today magazine article:
Jose Ortiz (left) and Steve Parelli
The small photo, bottom right
corner in the India Today
Dr. David Joy (photo taken by
Steve Parelli on 3rd day of
Above left: Students signing in
Above: One of the translators of The
Children Are Free in to Malayalam, speaking
Left: Student helping organize handouts
Left: The two
students who initiated
and organized the
Other Sheep seminar
for their fellow Kerala
Photo at left: Steve and
Jose's hotel room - the bed
with literature laid out on it,
preparing for and organizing
for the Kerala University
This web page was created in and published from
the Bronx on December 21, 2011.
Visits to this web page since December 21, 2011:
Kerala University students at
the Other Sheep seminar for
Monday evening, July 18, 2011
Kerala University students' seminar "On being
evangelical Christian and gay in the USA"
Trivandrum, Kerala, India. July 18, 2011
Steve & Jose's Other Sheep
Asia 2011 Ministry
India, Singapore and Nepal
Table of Index
India (Index Page)
July 2 - August 12, 2011
- Young Lay Leaders Conference
- Day 2 - Jose presents
psychological dynamics of
church bias towards
- Day 3 - Future projects
Singapore (Index Page)
August 13 -16, 2011
- Steve & Jose present "Is There
Such a Thing as 'Ex-gay'?"
- Steve & Jose present a
Powerpoint on their India 2011
Nepal (Index Page)
August 17 - September 1, 2011
- "Putting a Face on
Homosexuality" - Meeting with
Nepal Evaluation Report: