On Thursday, October 27, 2011, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City will host a town fair to celebrate the launch of Jay Michaelson’s book tour, promoting his most recent publication, God vs. Gay?: the Religious Case for Equality.
Michaelson, the founder of Nehirim, an organization that celebrates the unique position of LGBT persons within the Jewish community, builds a religious case for inclusivity by anecdotally referencing his own struggles with his sexual orientation. The coming out process, Michaelson stresses, was not the ending of his religious life, but rather, the beginning.
After detailing his own coming out, Michaelson shifts focus seeking to reconcile traditional misinterpretations of a handful of Biblical verses about sexuality for the modern reader. In doing so, the author tackles seven controversial passages, dissecting the Hebrew in order to get at the root meaning of those passages, which have long been misused by religious conservatives. Michaelson argues that in spite of these controversial verses, the Bible remains to be a resource for teachings on a variety of other important values; like the importance of equality and the full inclusion of LGBT people.
In place of a regular party, the book launch is being styled as a town fair, which embraces Michaelson’s conclusion that LGBT people enrich communities of faith. A number of religious and LGBT advocacy organizations will be represented at the town fair, including Dignity, SoulForce, the Human Rights Campaign, and GLAAD’s own Religion, Faith, and Values program. The event presents a unique opportunity for LGBT and faith advocates to meet and network with one another. It will also feature short addresses from leaders of the LGBT equality movement. The God vs. Gay? book launch is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit the Center’s website.
The October 27 launch will begin a national book tour for Michaelson, who has spoken out about LGBT equality, both in religious communities and in society. GLAAD is proud to work with Jay Michaelson to promote the idea that people of faith can be supportive of LGBT people.