An Easter Treat: Our Religious Allies

BY Trudy Ring

April 06 2012 12:12 PM ET

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

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.

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