Book Discussion: Jay Michaelson, “God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality”

by Judith Sone


Jay Michaelson

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Event Details

Thursday, December 1, 2011
6:30 p.m.
UW Hillel (611 Langdon Street, Madison, WI 53706)

Mr. Michaelson’s talk is sponsored by the Mosse/Weinstein Center for Jewish Studies and UW Hillel.


Please join author Jay Michaelson for a reading and discussion of his new book God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality.

Jay Michaelson argues that the “God vs. gay” divide is a pernicious myth and that religious people should favor gay rights because of religion, not despite it. As both a gay rights activist and religion scholar, Michaelson is uniquely positioned to tackle the contentious “God vs. Gay” divide. The author underscores that the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament both emphasize the importance of love, compassion, and equality. From this starting point, Michaelson offers a progressive take on gay rights—arguing that the moral principles in these texts favor acceptance of gays and lesbians, outweighing the handful of ambiguous verses so often cited by conservatives. In arguing that politically and spiritually the God/gay split must end, this book will stimulate a long-overdue dialogue on an urgent issue.

About the speaker

Jay Michaelson is the author of three books and two hundred articles about the intersections of religion, sexuality, and law. His work has been featured in the New York Times and on NPR and CNN, and he holds a JD from Yale and an MA in religious studies from Hebrew University. The founding director of Nehirim, the leading national provider of community programming for LGBT Jews, Michaelson has taught on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign and Empire State Pride Agenda, and has held teaching positions at Boston University Law School, City College of New York, and Yale University. Outside the academy, Michaelson has taught at a wide range of religious and cultural institutions, including Riverside Church, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the Kripalu Institute, and dozens of synagogues across the country. In 2009, he was included on the “Forward 50” list of the fifty most influential Jewish leaders in America.