For the straight conservative Christian trying to repair a relationship with a gay loved one …..

I heard from a Christian who described a pretty common experience.  The Christian has a loved one who is gay and the relationship has deteriorated to the point that the gay person, as the Christian perceives it, is angry and demanding that if the Christian wants to have a relationship with them, they’ll need to affirm gay marriage and become an advocate for LGBT people.  The Christian person does want to work on restoring the relationship, but also feels that what is being asked puts them in a position of compromising their Scriptural beliefs.  The Christian is wondering where they can begin to try to open communication.

This is my response:
You describe a common but difficult relational impasse with a gay loved one.  There may be a number of inadvertent things you have communicated (through body language, tone of voice as well as words) over time that have built up the anger in your loved one.  Anger is almost always a secondary emotion – it is often a protection for the pain that one feels.  When you feel different in a way that you feel others perceive as wrong, immoral, broken, a problem etc. you develop a very strong sense of self-protection – and this can commonly manifest as anger.  They may be angry about things that you are unaware of.  Or their anger may be amplified by other matters that have nothing to do with you.  So, if you can remember that their anger is probably covering a lot of pain – that may be helpful.

One way to begin to break down the patterns of hostility and distance, would begin with this kind of introduction: