Husband Gary Nixon
University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California 90007, Stati Uniti
Fuller Theological Seminary, 135 N Oakland Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101, Stati Uniti
University of Portland, 5000 N Willamette Blvd, Portland, OR 97203, Stati Uniti
Warner Pacific College, 2219 SE 68th Ave, Portland, OR 97215, Stati Uniti
James Melville "Mel" White (born July 26, 1940) is an American clergyman and author. White was a behind-the-scenes member of the Evangelical Protestant movement through the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, writing film and television specials and ghostwriting auto-biographies for televangelists such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Billy Graham. After years of writing for the Christian right, he came out as gay in 1994 and devoted himself full-time to minister to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender people, also writing extensively on the subject of gay Christians.
White was born in Santa Clara, California. In 1962, White graduated from Warner Pacific College. That same year, he married his wife, Lyla Lee Loehr. They had two children, one of whom is the actor/comedian and screenwriter Mike White.
After receiving his BA from Warner Pacific College, then graduating with an MA in communications from the University of Portland, White followed with graduate work in communications and film at University of Southern California, UCLA, and Harvard. He received his Doctorate of Ministry from, and was a professor of communications and preaching for over a decade at Fuller Theological Seminary. During this time he also worked as an evangelical pastor.
After their marriage, White admitted to his wife that he had always been attracted to men. He embarked on a long process of attempted cures for his homosexuality, including psychotherapy, prayer, electroconvulsive therapy, and exorcism. None of these techniques changed his attraction to men, and after he attempted suicide, he and his wife agreed to an amicable divorce. His son Mike is bisexual.
IIn 1984, White began dating Gary Nixon. In 1994, White wrote his autobiography, Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay And Christian In America,, which detailed his former career in the Religious Right and his struggle coming to terms with his sexuality. His ex-wife wrote the foreword to this book. His latest book, Holy Terror: Lies the Christian Right Tells To Deny Gay Equality was released in hardback as Religion Gone Bad: Hidden Dangers from the Christian Right.
AAfter coming out, White transferred his clergy credentials to the gay-affirming Metropolitan Community Church.
In 1997, White was awarded the American Civil Liberties Union's National Civil Liberties Award for his efforts to apply the "soul force" principles of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. to the struggle for justice for sexual minorities. He founded Soulfource, a gay advocacy group, in 1998.
On June 18, 2008, White and Nixon were the first same-sex couple legally married at All Saints Episcopal Church (Pasadena, California) following the May 16, 2008 action of the Supreme Court of California overturning the state's ban on same-sex marriage. They currently reside in Long Beach, California.