Mon, 31 August 2015
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.
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.
Since November 2012, Seth and Michael have been embroiled in a first-of-its-kind lawsuit against a gay conversion therapy organization in New Jersey named JONAH: Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (formerly Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality), filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center. On June 25, 2015, a New Jersey jury unanimously found JONAH liable for multiple counts of consumer fraud and unconscionable business practices.
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.