559-560: Michael Adam Ferguson, J Seth Anderson, and their Fight Against Gay Conversion Therapy
August 31, 2015
Photo credit: Kathleen Perrin, Equality Case Files
J Seth Anderson and Michael Adam Ferguson were catapulted into the public spotlight when they became the first same-sex couple to be legally married by the state of Utah. Seth and Michael both grew up in LDS homes, completed full-time missions for the Church, and throughout their twenties, undertook tortuous journeys to renegotiate their relationships with both the institution and with the faith of their childhoods.
For decades, LDS participants in both Evergreen International (the now defunct LDS reparative therapy-sponsoring organization) and NorthStar have reported strong encouragement to participate in Journey Into Manhood (and other reparative therapy-based programs) from their organizational leaders and/or members.
Seth and Michael recently completed their graduate work at the University of Utah–Seth finishing his master’s degree in social history focusing on the history of sexuality in the Western United States, and Michael defending his PhD dissertation in bioengineering in which he developed new analytical methods for monitoring brain activity using fMRI.
Seth and Michael are actively involved in education and advocacy on behalf of LGBT and queer individuals, including the project Team Truth–a grassroots campaign they are creating with advocates and allies to end the lies and harm of gay conversion therapy.