Christian Singer Ray Boltz Comes Out, Says He Lives a Normal Gay Life

"If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live"

Ray Boltz
Ray Boltz. Ray Boltz Music

Christian singer and songwriter Ray Boltz has released nearly 20 albums during his more than 30-year recording career. He's sold more than to 4.5 million copies, won three Dove awards, and was a huge name for years until his retirement from the Christian music industry—but not being a musician—in the summer of 2004.

On Sunday, September 14, 2008, he again became a big name in Christian circles but for a much different reason. Ray Boltz officially came out to the world as a gay man through an article in The Washington Blade. He has remained a recording and touring artist (and a Christian) and released an album in 2010, "True," which tackles topics from the fallout, such as the self-explanatory "Don't Tell Me Who to Love" and "Who Would Jesus Love" as well as songs on hate crimes and opinions of political conservatives. 

Ray Boltz Comes Out as a Gay Man

Though Boltz was married to wife Carol for 33 years (they are now divorced but still working together) and he had fathered four children (all grown now), he said in the article that he had been attracted to other men since he was a young man. "I'd denied it ever since I was a kid. I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, 'I'm still gay. I know I am.'"

Living what he felt like was a lie got harder and harder as he got older. “You get to be 50-some years old and you go, 'This isn't changing.’ I still feel the same way. I am the same way. I just can't do it anymore," Boltz said.

After being honest about his feelings with his family the day after Christmas in 2004, Ray Boltz started actively moving toward a new direction with his life. He and Carol separated in the summer of 2005 and he moved to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, to "start a new, low-key life and get to know himself." In his new surroundings, he wasn't "Ray Boltz the CCM singer" anymore. He was just another guy taking graphic design courses, sorting out his life and his faith.

Coming out to the pastor of the Jesus Metropolitan Community Church in Indianapolis was his first public step. "I'd kind of had two identities since I moved to Florida where I kind of had this other life and I’d never merged the two lives. This was the first time I was taking my old life as Ray Boltz, the gospel singer, and merging it with my new life."

At this point, Boltz feels like he is finally at peace with who he is. He says that he has been dating and lives “a normal gay life” now. He has come out, but he said he doesn't want to shoulder the gay Christian cause. “I don't want to be a spokesperson, I don't want to be a poster boy for gay Christians, I don't want to be in a little box on TV with three other people in little boxes screaming about what the Bible says, I don't want to be some kind of teacher or theologian—I’m just an artist and I’m just going to sing about what I feel and write about what I feel and see where it goes.”

As to why he decided to come out in such a public fashion, Boltz said, “This is what it really comes down to...if this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. It’s not like God made me this way and he'll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be…I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself.”

The Media Frenzy

The majority of Christian publications, while not openly attacking him, made it clear that they do not support his decision to live his life as a homosexual man. Most of the gay publications applaud him for coming out publicly and see him as a way to reconcile faith in Jesus with a homosexual lifestyle. One thing that pretty much anyone on either side agrees on, however, is that Ray Boltz needs the prayers of the community.

Fan Reactions

Reactions from fans regarding Ray Boltz and this news has run the gamut of emotions. Some are heartbroken and feel like Boltz needs to pray harder and he will be cured of his homosexuality. Boltz did say in the article that he had been praying for change almost all of his life. “I basically lived an ‘ex-gay’ life—I read every book, I read all the scriptures they use, I did everything to try and change.”

Other fans view him as almost a victim of the devil's lies, of society's "everything's good" attitude, of his own sin. Some fans look up to his decision to go public so that people can see that gay people can love and serve the Lord.

There are some that feel that his "giving in to the temptation of sin" and "succumbing to the homosexual lie" wipes out every shred of value that his music ever had in the world and that he should be "shunned from the body of Christ until he repents and changes his ways because he can not receive forgiveness until he actually repents from the sin."

Christian Views

Five New Testament scripture verses have been quoted again and again: 1 Corinthians 6:9–101 Corinthians 5:9–11Matthew 22:38–40Matthew 12:31, and John 8:7. Each one of the passages applies to this and gives Christians much to think and pray about.

Living a gay lifestyle is equated by some Christians to having an open marriage or cheating on a spouse. They believe that it's supposed to be only one man and one woman in a relationship.

Whether someone was born gay because God made him that way so he has no choice is compared by some Christians to being born in a family of alcoholics with a predisposition to the condition (though it's never been definitively proven by science that alcoholism is a physical disease or has a genetic component). Regardless, a person can choose not to drink or limit their drinking.

Many Christians choose not to condemn Ray Boltz. They are not without sin, and so they know they are not in a position to cast the first stone. No one is without some sort of sin in their lives. They see the rejection of homosexual persons as going against the very grain of Jesus' preaching to love your neighbors as yourself. Doesn't all sin separate people from God? Didn't Jesus die on the cross for all people's sins? Aren't people really defeating the purpose of sharing their Lord and savior when they're beating someone over the head with hatred and using the Bible as the weapon of choice to do it?

Ray Boltz is still a brother in Christ. Ultimately, each person will answer for his or her choices on Judgment Day.

Many take inspiration from Matthew 22:37–39. "Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."