Editor's Note: Although the word "queer" can be offensive depending on its use, according to The Association of LGBT Journalists, Brandan Robertson has communicated that he prefers to be described as queer, not gay. The article has been changed out of respect for Robertson. The use of the word queer below is not intended to be derogatory.
Brandan Robertson, national spokesperson for the LGBT advocacy group Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, claims that Christian publisher Destiny Image canceled his upcoming book project because he came out as "queer," and wouldn't agree with their statement of faith, which states that they "do not condone, encourage or accept the homosexual lifestyle." Destiny Image, on the other hand, has said that the decision was purely financially based.
Robertson also strives to advance LGBT causes as an organizer for the Faith in Public Life group, which describes itself as "a strategy center for the faith community advancing faith in the public square as a powerful force for justice, compassion and the common good."
As the national spokesperson for Evangelicals for Marriage Equality, Robertson has written about his organization's support for same-sex marriage and their efforts to get evangelical churches in the U.S. to affirm gay marriage as biblical.
Robertson claimed that Destiny Image had concerns that evangelical bookstores wouldn't carry the book, the manuscript for which is titled Nomad: Not-So-Religious Thoughts on Faith, Doubt, and the Journey In Between.
The script apparently mentions the word "gay" online once, where Robertson writes: "One high school biology class is all that it takes to begin asking some serious questions about the book of Genesis and the origins of humanity. One conversation with a close friend who is struggling to be gay and Christian is all that it takes to begin wondering if the interpretation of Leviticus we heard in Sunday school is actually applicable in today's context. One life shattering tragedy is all that it takes to begin rethinking the whole notion of the 'sovereignty' of God."
Don Nori, CEO of Destiny Image's parent company, Nori Media Group, said, "There is much consideration for every book, every author, but the final determination is financial viability." according to Time magazine.
Mykela Krieg, a communications specialist at Destiny, which has published material from pastors such as T.D. Jakes and Bill Johnson, emailed Robertson in January to ask him about his views on homosexuality.
She asked him if he could agree with the statement: "Destiny Image accepts the Holy Scriptures as the infallible word of God and answers all questions concerning life and godliness. We do not condone, encourage or accept the homosexual lifestyle. Destiny Image renounces this lifestyle as ungodly and completely contrary to the Kingdom of God."
The statement continued with this Bible passage from 1 Corinthians, which reads in part: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
When Robertson admitted that he could not uphold the statement, Krieg thanked him for honesty, and said that she would inform the publisher's executive team. On Feb. 19, Destiny Image got back to the author to explain it cannot publish the book for financial reasons.
Robertson has said that he feels the decision was made because of his position on sexuality.
While several headlines in the media, including one from The Daily Mail, have said that Destiny scrapped the book solely because of Robertson coming out as gay, Nori has refused to comment on the validity of such an assertion.
"There is nothing significant to report," Nori said. "We did not reject or refuse. As with all books, a publisher decides what is financially viable. We released the book back to the author with our sincere prayers for his success. This occurrence happens every season."