The Engage Family Blog

Official Blog of The Family Policy Council of West Virginia

An Interview on Family and Marriage

with one comment

An Interview on Family and Marriage: Some thoughts from the Focus on the Family Camp.

By Nathan A. Cherry


                Recently I had a chance to chat by phone with Jenny Tyree, the Marriage Analyst at Focus on the Family. We specifically discussed same-sex marriage as this is the “hot button” issue in media and society at this moment.

                Focus on the Family, and more specifically James Dobson, have been center stage in the media recently as the FCC announced it will induct Dr. Dobson into the radio hall of fame. Outrage from the gay and lesbian community poured due to Dr. Dobson’s strong stance against homosexuality and same-sex marriage.


                To read articles and blogs posted in opposition to Dr. Dobson’s induction into the radio hall of fame please click here, or here.


                We hear so much in the media that seems, in my opinion biased (anyone surprised?) regarding the issue. I wanted to hear from Ms. Tyree what her research and studies on the issue had produced. So the first question I asked was what, according to her research is the main goal of the Gay and Lesbian community, specifically in regards to marriage.


Answer: “Ultimately they are seeking social approval. They talk about rights and benefits, but the status that is given to heterosexual couples and the social approval they receive is what they are seeking.”


                As we discussed this further she explained that “they won’t get that social approval from many people because the gay and lesbian community is going about it the wrong way.” By this she is referring to going to activist judges and seeking the overturning of laws by side-stepping the will of the people. And the vandalizing of property, intimidation at the work place, firing of people for their views, all the things we are seeing out in California at this time.


Read this article or this article for news out of California regarding the vandalizing of churches that helped support and pass Proposition 8.


                But Ms. Tyree also acknowledged that we can all empathize with same-sex couples who are seeking this social approval because in reality “we all want approval.” Certainly from the time we are kids we seek approval at the various stages in our lives. One of the most profound events which culminate that approval is our wedding.

                Next I asked Ms. Tyree what the broad implications for Christian, or an even just traditional family was if same-sex marriage were to be legalized.


Answer: “The first is children. If marriage is redefined there will be kids deprived of a mother and a father and biological parents. And the second is religious liberty. The 1st Amendment right of freedom of religion will be brought to a head with legislation giving special rights to homosexuals. This is where even liberal scholars believe that in the direct conflict of homosexual “marriage” and the expression of a religious view that opposes gay “marriage,” that religious liberties will lose. That’s when it becomes illegal to give your opinion or to share your religious views.”


                I have to be honest; through medical advances such as sperm donation and artificial insemination we could presumably see an entire generation where a child’s uncle is actually his or her father. What could information like that do to a child’s psychological development?

                Next I wanted to know what Focus on the Family was doing to combat media bias and cultural stigma in the gay and lesbian community that Christians are all ‘homophobic,’ or ‘gay-bashers.’ How are they reaching out and embracing homosexuals?


Answer: “The Biggest thing we do is our Love Won Out ministry, which seeks to inform friends and family as to what could have led a person to this lifestyle.”


A brief description of Love Won Out from the Focus on the Family Website:

Focus on the Family is promoting the truth that change is possible for those who experience same-sex attractions — a message routinely silenced today. We want people to know that individuals don’t have to be gay and that a homosexual identity is something that can be overcome. That’s why we’ve developed a one-day conference for those seeking answers on this often confusing and divisive issue. Whether you have a gay friend or family member, are an educator, pastor or concerned citizen — or even self-identify as gay — Love Won Out will inform, inspire and offer you hope. For more information: click here. Or, go to


                Ms. Tyree and Focus on the Family, as so many others, believe that homosexuality is not genetic, or something you are simply born with. Citing God as the Creator of all human beings, and homosexuality as a sinful behavior, along with the fact that there exists testimony from so many “ex-homosexuals,” Focus on the Family seeks to help those struggling with unwanted same-sex attractions and their family members and friends by providing a biblical understanding of the issue and helping to connect them with local support ministries through Focus’ relationship with Exodus International.


                As well, she said, that Focus on the Family tries to point out the “inadequacy of the other sides arguments.” She mentions the fact that “Dr. Dobson has never said that he hated a gay or lesbian person. The more people dig and find out what we say the more they will see how much we love people.”  

                In talking with Ms. Tyree I gained a sense that she truly cares for people, all people, regardless of any social or religious differences. And no doubt Focus on the Family embraces the same kind of love towards people.

                We can see in the Bible where Jesus did not agree with every person He ran into. But He loved them all. He even asked for forgiveness for those who placed Him on the cross.

                That kind of love has the ability to transcend any barrier and break down the walls that exist between people of opposing viewpoints. Jenny Tyree and the folks at Focus on the Family are trying very hard to break down those walls and reach out to people of all walks of life, with many and varied needs, with love.

                My thanks to Ms. Tyree and the good people at Focus on the Family for their work and many years of service to thousands throughout the United States and the world.





Enjoy this post?  Get more like them by subscribing to the Family Voice, the official blog of the      Family Policy Council of West Virginia



One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. […] this is just a stepping stone that will eventually limit free speech and expression of religion. (Read this article for an interview with Family and Marriage analyst Jenny Tyree of Focus on the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: