Union College Lecture to Feature Author of 'Pray the Gay Away'

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As part of Union College's annual Minorities Day, a researcher will illustrate the effects of religious-based homophobia on individual lives.

Living in the Bible Belt...socializes gay men and lesbians to suppress their same-sex attractions, hide them and try to 'pray the gay away.'

Growing up in the Bible Belt, a region known for strict adherence to biblical traditions and beliefs, presents unique challenges for gays and lesbians. A researcher will discuss these challenges in an upcoming lecture at Union College.

Bernadette Barton, Ph.D., professor of sociology and women’s studies at Morehead State University, will discuss the issue in a presentation based on her book titled “Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays.”

The lecture will be Oct. 22 at 7:00 p.m. in room 3125 of Sharp Academic Center on Union’s campus in Barbourville, Ky. This event is free and open to the public, and a reception with Barton will follow.

Linda Silber, Ph.D., Union College professor of sociology, organized the event for the annual Minorities Day presentation.

“Living in the Bible Belt, a region highly saturated with conservative Christian beliefs and practices, socializes gay men and lesbians to suppress their same-sex attractions, hide them and try to ‘pray the gay away,’” said Silber. “In this powerful multi-media presentation, including original interview data from lesbians and gay men living in the Bible Belt, video clips and photographs, Barton illustrates the effects of religious-based homophobia on individual lives.”

For more information about the event, contact Silber at 606-546-1314 or lsilber(at)unionky(dot)edu.

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Missy Reid
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