Dr. Michael Eric Dyson

Named by Essence magazine as one of the 50 most inspiring African Americans, the Rev. Dr. Michael Eric Dyson is the author of the 2004 NAACP Image Award winner for outstanding nonfiction literary work, "Why I Love Black Women" and the national best-seller, "Open Mike: Reflections on Philosophy, Race, Sex, Culture and Religion." He is the Avalon Foundation Professor in the Humanities and Professor of Religious Studies and Africana Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. An in-demand lecturer, ordained Baptist minister, and frequent guest on television talk shows, Dyson has been described by the Washington Post as a "superstar professor... who plies his craft at the crossroads of public policy, celebrity, and academia." He is the author of eleven books, including his latest, "Is Bill Cosby Right? Or Has the Black Middle Class Lost Its Mind?"

On February 26, 2004, in response to President Bush pushing for a constitutional amendment banning marriages between same-sex couples, Michael Eric Dyson weighed in on the Tavis Smiley radio show on NPR saying:

The ability to marry whomever one chooses is a civil rights issue, one not best left to high-minded moralists. Our feathers needn't be ruffled by gays and lesbians who seek to tie the knot of matrimony. In fact, heterosexual Christians should applaud the desire of gays and lesbians to seal their sexual and spiritual solidarity with a nod to traditional family values. Now mind you, those traditional family values have led to destructive consequences in many homes, but the desire of gays and lesbians to sign up has given me fresh hope that it needn't be so. [Link]