Our surprising list of supporters includes a former president, a onetime Pat Robertson associate, an out transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish university, and more.
All too often, LGBT people experience religion as a cudgel used against them. But many faith traditions are becoming more accepting and inclusive. As Christians celebrate Easter and Jews observe Passover, we take a moment to recognize some of the LGBT activists and straight allies who are making a difference, and several of whom have new books out. These folks are a diverse bunch — they include a former president, a onetime Pat Robertson associate, the first out transgender professor at an Orthodox Jewish university, a Bible code-cracker, and more.
Jimmy Carter proudly embraces his “born-again Christian” identity but has never been a member of the religious right. He has become more popular in his post-presidential role as statesman, humanitarian, and author than he was during his tenure in the White House. He’s won favor with us through his outspokenness in support of gay equality. In March, while promoting his book of biblical studies, NIV Lessons From Life Bible: Personal Reflections With Jimmy Carter, he told The Huffington Post, “Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born, and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things, he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies.” As for religious ceremonies, it should be up to the individual church, Carter said — a position in keeping with the First Amendment.