Minorities Day lecture to feature author of ‘Pray the Gay Away’

Published on
October 22, 2013

The Bible Belt is defined as a region in the nation that is known for strict adherence to biblical traditions and beliefs. However, this presents challenges for many people growing up in the area.

On Tuesday, Oct. 22, Bernadette Barton, Ph.D., professor of sociology and women’s studies at Morehead State University, will talk about these challenges, particularly those faced by the gay and lesbian community. Her presentation,  “Pray the Gay Away: The Extraordinary Lives of Bible Belt Gays,” will focus on these struggles, as highlighted in her book by the same name.

The presentation will be at 7:00 p.m. in room 3125 of Sharp Academic Center on Union’s campus. 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 an email announcing the event. “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 those interested in reading Barton’s book before the presentation, a copy has been placed on reserve in Union college’s library. It is available for short periods of use. For more information about the event, contact Silber at 606-546-1314 or lsilber@unionky.edu.