Paige Schilt

Queer music Friday - Ray Boltz collaborates with Soulforce

Filed By Paige Schilt | December 12, 2008 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment, Living
Tags: gospel, Jeff Lutes, marriage equality, Prop 2, Ray Boltz, Soulforce

My friend Jamie calls Ray Boltz, "the Thank You guy."

"Whenever an offering plate is passed, they play that song," says Jamie, who grew up Southern Baptist. The song in question is "Thank You," a contemporary Christian paean to a Sunday school teacher. The singer, Ray Boltz, shocked some evangelicals by coming out as a proud gay Christian in the pages of the Washington Blade this past September.

After racking up two gold albums and 12 number one singles as a contemporary Christian artist, Ray debuted his latest single, "Don't Tell Me Who to Love," at a protest against Prop 2 in Florida. Now Soulforce has produced a video to highlight the song.

iPhone users: Click to watch

To learn more about the video and the collaboration with Soulforce, read an interview with Soulforce Executive Director Jeff Lutes after the jump.

How did you first hear about the song "Don't Tell Me Who to Love"?

Jeff Lutes: I got an email from Ray's ex-wife, Carol Boltz, just introducing the song and announcing the fact that it was available as a free download from Ray's web site. I immediately loved the song and was really moved by it, and I got a wild hare to try to make something with it.

How did you choose the images?

Jeff Lutes:
I just put together images that came to mind. The photos of couples are all friends of Soulforce and friends of mine, with a few stock photos for emotional impact. The majority of the couples are people who participated in the Soulforce American Family Outing.

How did you reach out to Ray?

Jeff Lutes:
I sent the video to Carol and then she shared it with Ray. He went bananas and loved it and said it was just exactly the kind of thing he had hoped people would do with it. So he gave it the thumbs up.

A lot of the people who have watched the video are Ray and Carol's friends. That seems to be how the word is getting out.

Do you listen to contemporary Christian music?

Jeff Lutes: I don't so much any more, but I grew up with it. That's probably why I was so hooked in by Ray's song.

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We are appalled--that anyone could possibly take offense at this video. It's as beautiful and heartfelt a piece as we've seen anywhere, and obviously straight from the heart(s). When we were kids the common song in church was a thing called "And they'll know we are Christians by our love." Hardcore 'Christians' will eventually come around, once they realize their hypocrisy, drop their fears, and start living as their Boss ordered them to.

Thank you for sharing this important video.

And it features a very cute couple in the photos... Paige herself - along with her beautiful son and lovely wife! :)

Great work! That will definitely reach a new audience with that message.

That's an interesting use of vocal effects. Is there a lot of centemporary christian music like this?

This video is amazing and I am struck by the historical perspective! Thank you for the great contribution to the movement. Thanks to Ray Bolt for being bold with who he is!
Keep fighting the fight!