God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality

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The myth that the Bible forbids homosexuality — the myth of “God versus Gay” — is behind some of the most divisive and painful conflicts of our day. In this courageous and erudite book, Jay Michaelson shows that not only does the Bible not prohibit same-sex intimacy, the vast majority of its teachings support the full equality and dignity of gay and lesbian people, from the first flaw in creation (“It is not good for a person to be alone”) to the ways religious communities grow through conscientious reflection.  In short, Michaelson says, religious people should support equality for gays and lesbians not despite their religion — but because of it.  This is an important book for anyone who has wrestled with questions of religion and sexuality: parents and pastors, believers and skeptics, the faithful and the skeptical.

Published in 2012, Michaelson’s bestselling book led him to over 100 churches, synagogues, and schools during the campaign for marriage equality and nondiscrimination provisions for LGBTQ people.



Village Voice (Michael Musto) “I always thought the Bible could be interpreted as a tool of good, not randomly translated to favor hate and oppression.”

New Voices (John “The Godblogger” Wofford)

Lambda Literary (Thom Nickels) Michaelson “writes with a graceful conviction, without the tinge of prejudice or a harsh axe to grind.”

Publisher’s Weekly “A salvo in the case for equality”

Library Journal (James DeRoche) “This title is very much worth reading and particularly useful for those interested in religion, civil rights, and social progress.”

Booklist (Ray Olson) “A literate, broadly informed argument”


Praise for God vs. Gay

“For too long, religious voices have been on only one side of the gay rights argument — to all of our detriment.  Jay Michaelson is one of the leading LGBT religious voices in America right now, and I cannot think of a more timely book than this one.  This is a book for anyone, gay or straight, who seeks to reconcile their faith with the lives of gay people — not by apologizing, compromising, or closeting one’s sexuality or one’s faith, but by celebrating God’s gifts of diversity and love.  If you are such a person, it literally could change your life. It might just change the world.” – Rabbi Michael Lerner, chief editor, Tikkun, and author, The Left Hand of God

“Jay Michaelson charts a journey from rejection to full acceptance,  from religious alienation to spiritually wholeness that will brings the reader closer to the Divine. It did for me and it will for anyone who has felt abandoned by their faith and rejected for who they are. This is a healing book that yearns to be read.”  – Sharon Groves, PhD, Director, Human Rights Campaign Faith & Religion Program

“Michaelson looks at the Hebrew and Christian Bible with keen intellect, wit, and often surprising insights. He roots his arguments not in dry exegesis but in hard-won self-acceptance and passionate concern for others.”
Joe Perez, author of Soulfully Gay


Excerpts and Related Material

The Tea Party are Sodomites, February 14, 2011 in Religion Dispatches A close reading of the Biblical story of Sodom and its interpretation, a different version of which is part of chapter 8 of God vs. Gay?

Should Gays and Lesbians Argue Scripture? A Dialogue January 18, 2011 in Religion Dispatches. A dialogue with Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge, author of Bulletproof Faith.

Values Added: Sex and the Bible, August 02, 2010 on Bloggingheads.tv.  Conversation with Professor David Carr on sexual ethics in the Bible.

Does the Bible Really Call Homosexuality an ‘Abomination’?July 01, 2010 in Religion Dispatches Discussion of the Hebrew word toevah, often mistranslated “abomination.” 

Ten Reasons Gay Rights is a Religious IssueJuly 15, 2010 in Tikkun.  Why religious people should support “gay rights” because of religion, not despite it.