Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Posted on: September 28th, 2013 by feyadmin

Dear friend,

A recent study by Lifeway, the research arm of the Southern Baptist Convention and a trusted source for other Christian organizations, found that 64 percent of evangelicals believe their churches should do more to help prevent suicide.

Some of you may have seen Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in California and the author of the “The Purpose Driven Life” during a recent CNN interview talking about the suicide of his son Matthew. It was heart-wrenching to hear this pastor and his wife – a father and a mother – talk so openly about their loss.

At one point in the interview, Pastor Warren was asked about unfounded rumors that his son may have been gay, as some speculation at the time of Matthew’s death had alluded since so many young gay and lesbian persons tragically come to believe death would be better than growing up gay. Some 26 young lives, only the ones reported, have ended during the previous four years.

Pastor Warren said his son wasn’t gay but that if he had been, it would have made no difference whatsoever.

Unfortunately for a lot of pastors and other Christians, it would make a difference. In so many churches, gay individuals hear that their sexual orientation separates them from God, despite knowing deep in their soul that God simply wired them in a way that means their sexuality is different from most people. Perhaps even more devastating to a young individual is the rejection they feel coming from within their own family, either parents, siblings or both. So often, the parents or others do not even realize the immense emotional, psychological and spiritual harm this causes the young gay person.

The psychological pressure cooker that this places the young gay person in often has no pressure release valve and too many of these youth tragically choose suicide as the only way out from under the truly awful burden of being made to feel that there is something terribly wrong with them – in the sight of God, in the sight of their parents, siblings, friends and in the sight of we Christians. Gay youth often hear that insidious message coming from their own parents and their own pastors.

“Love the sinner and hate the sin” rings so very hollow to these young people and their families. That’s because when we label a gay person’s God-given sexuality as sinful, it says to them that we hate their very being – their very existence – as their sexuality is such an essential part of their overall being.

It is sort of like an African American youth in the 1960s who was told they were somehow inferior. Imagine if society had taken it a step further – to say that their skin color somehow separated them from God and Christ. Unfortunately, we know that did happen to many African-Americans at the hands of Christians as we have the Southern Baptist Convention’s 1995 racial apology to attest to such misguided church teaching that once took place in American churches.

That same sort of human and spiritual injustice is taking place today in respect to gay and lesbian people and it has been going on for a long time.

The truly good news is that we have reached a moment in history where the consciousness of a society is coming to understand all the harm that is being done by teaching a truth that many are coming to understand cannot stand up to God’s wisdom and understanding – His Truth.

That’s because there can be no religious or moral authority behind any message that makes a 12-year-old or 17-year-old youth feel that ending his or her life would be better than growing up gay.

If you are a person who is experiencing conflict between that deep sense of compassion within and religious teaching that causes you to feel a degree of animus toward homosexuality, we invite you to visit our FaithandEquality.org web site to learn more about how that conflict really shouldn’t be there. You’ll find stories, testimonies and other information from individuals who once experienced that same conflict but have embraced a new perspective that resolves that conflict – because faith truly should hold no animus toward LGBT individuals or the LGBT community as a minority segment of society.

And if you attended our event at Lenoir-Rhyne University as a person who has already embraced this new perspective, we invite you to share this letter with someone you know who may still feel conflicted about this issue. You can share this letter by simply copying and pasting the following link and forwarding it to that individual and others: www.faithandequality.org/letter

As Christians and others who feel indeed we must end the tragedy of a young gay teen choosing death over life, you don’t have to wait on the church as an organization or institution to act. We, as individuals Christians, are the church and we can and must act now.

Tell your family members, your friends, your pastor, your co-workers that you have embraced a new religious perspective on sexual orientation and how this new perspective can end the immense harm to LGBT youth and families.

If Christians cannot speak this message as God’s truth today, a future generation may find it difficult to hear God’s message tomorrow.

 

Brent Childers
executive director Faith In America

 

Download a copy of this letter

Event with Wolf Blitzer

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by feyadmin

Event with Wolf Blitzer

The Eve of Equality

Posted on: June 18th, 2013 by feyadmin

EveofEquality1

Add your name to the proclamation at www.change.org

Scientific study and personal testimony affirm the widely accepted fact that many individuals are hard-wired to fulfill their human sexuality through same-gender relationships. For these individuals, their same-gender emotional, psychological and physical bonding is as natural to them as opposite-sex bonding is to others.

This knowledge and understanding produces a simple truth – that a person’s innate gender orientation should not be the basis for unworthiness or their undeserving of the rights, freedoms and privileges that all other citizens enjoy in America.

There is another aspect that girds this truth and that is the knowledge and understanding derived by our relationships with our gay and lesbian family members, friends, peers and acquaintances. These relationships reveal that these individuals are no different than us in terms of their value, worth, aspirations and other qualities that bind us tougher as a single human family.

Because of these truths, we reject any and all attempts to label our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as less in valuable to society.

We particularly stand opposed to those attempts by certain religious and political factions to place a stamp of spiritual and moral disapproval on these individuals.

Read and sign the proclamation at www.change.org

FAITH IN AMERICA MEDIA STATEMENT ON TODAY’S ORAL ARGUMENTS IN HOLLINGSWORTH V. PERRY (PROP8)

Posted on: March 26th, 2013 by feyadmin

The codification of a traditional religious view of marriage as being between one man and one woman is an expression of religion-based bigotry toward gay and lesbian citizens.

Faith In America hopes this immensely harmful form of bigotry – one which places a religious and moral stamp of unworthiness on a person’s very being – will find no sanction with the Roberts Court.

We have faith in the justices’ ability to understand how such a stamp of inequality and unworthiness impedes the emotional, psychological and spiritual well-being of individuals like Chief Justice John Roberts’ own cousin, Jean Podrasky, and all gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals who have lived with that stamp of societal antipathy for far too long.

Religion-based bigotry often is not verbalized – as either the premise behind a legal argument against marriage equality or as justification to bully a gay child – and often is unrecognized under the guise of religious or moral teaching. This has allowed stigma and hostility toward gay and lesbian individuals to find moral, religious and government sanction.

Public opinion polls indicate the societal consciousness has awakened to the immense harm that such sanctioning has enacted on the lives of so many young LGBT teens and their families.

History time and time again has demonstrated that societal cohesion and the uplifting of the American experience is furthered when religion-based bigotry’s harms find no sanction nor comfort in the U.S. Constitution.

We have faith in America and the U.S. Supreme Court justices who will offer no comfort to religion-based bigotry’s harm to LGBT youth and families as they deliberate and decide the marriage equality cases before the court.

Faith in America is a nonprofit organization that nationally educates the public about the harm caused to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people when certain church teaching is used to promote and justify stigma and hostility toward that minority population. Brent Childers, an evangelical Christian who once aligned himself with the anti-gay religious industry, serves as executive director.

David Blankenhorn’s powerful new voice

Posted on: February 25th, 2013 by feyadmin 4 Comments

Faith In America recently sat down with David Blankenhorn, founder and president of the Institute for American Values, to discuss his personal spiritual reflections on his decision to support marriage equality for gay and lesbian individuals.

Blankenhorn’s voice is that of yet another individual who came to understand the harm caused to gay and lesbian people when we put a moral and legal stamp of less-than on their very being. As someone who served as the chief witness for marriage equality opponents in the California Prop8 case, his voice is indeed a powerful voice of change and inspiration.

The Institute for American Values recently launched “Marriage: A New Conversation”, a project whose goal is reshaping the public dialogue about marriage – including marriage equality for gay and lesbian individuals. Learn more at www.americanvalues.org.

Watch the entire interview with Blankenhorn here.

Below is a New York Times article about Blankenhorn’s change of heart and mind and the Institute’s new project.

In Shift, an Activist Enlists Same-Sex Couples in a Pro-Marriage Coalition
By MARK OPPENHEIMER
Published: January 29, 2013

David Blankenhorn, a traditional-marriage advocate and star witness in the Proposition 8 trial in California in 2010, shocked his allies with an Op-Ed article in The New York Times last June announcing that he was quitting the fight against same-sex marriage. “Instead of fighting gay marriage,” Mr. Blankenhorn wrote, “I’d like to help build new coalitions bringing together gays who want to strengthen marriage with straight people who want to do the same.”

He is about to find out how much support such a coalition can get.

On Thursday, Mr. Blankenhorn’s research group, the Institute for American Values in New York, plans to issue “A Call for a New Conversation on Marriage,” a tract renouncing the culture war that he was once part of, in favor of a different pro-marriage agenda. The proposed conversation will try to bring together gay men and lesbians who want to strengthen marriage with heterosexuals who want to do the same.

The document is signed by 74 well-known activists, writers and scholars, on the left and the right, including the conservative John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine; John Corvino, a gay philosopher; Robert N. Bellah, a sociologist; Caitlin Flanagan, a social critic; and Glenn C. Loury, an economist — once conservative, now less so.

“While the nation’s attention is riveted by a debate about whether a small proportion of our fellow citizens (gays and lesbians) should be allowed to marry,” the statement reads, “marriage is rapidly dividing along class lines, splitting the country that it used to unite.”

Nine states as well as the District of Columbia permit same-sex marriage.

Though he has long been a foe of same-sex marriage, Mr. Blankenhorn, who was raised in Mississippi and attended Harvard, never invoked a religious justification and did not oppose civil unions for gay men and lesbians. Instead, he argued that heterosexual marriage was society’s most important institution, central to child rearing.

The new coalition, according to the institute’s manifesto, would be for anyone who wonders, “If unwed childbearing is not good for teens, is it good for twenty-somethings?” Or for those eager to know, “What economic policies strengthen marriage? What marriage policies create wealth?”

“New Conversation” is the capstone of a six-month period of rebuilding and rebranding for Mr. Blankenhorn. After his Op-Ed article appeared, five of his institute’s board members, including Robert P. George, a prominent conservative Catholic and Princeton professor, resigned almost immediately. The institute lost about half a million dollars in donations, “half our discretionary spending,” Mr. Blankenhorn said, referring to money not given by foundations for specific programs. “We’re in a real steep hole,” he added. “I laid two people off and am losing one by attrition.”

The staff members, Mr. Blankenhorn wishes he had back. But losing the board members most inflexibly opposed to same-sex marriage allowed him to retool. Mr. Blankenhorn added to his board a gay journalist, Jonathan Rauch, the author of the book “Gay Marriage,” and Francis Fukuyama, author of “The End of History and the Last Man.” And Mr. Blankenhorn made William A. Galston, a former adviser to President Bill Clinton now at the liberal Brookings Institution, the chairman of the board.

The “new conversation” may discomfit many conservatives by including gay men and lesbians. And this conversation may not suit many liberals who are wary of stigmatizing unwed parents or treating marriage as some sort of desirable norm.

As a result, this new coalition may have more luck gaining a few prominent supporters than gaining funds.

“David’s personal networks are liberal, but his donor networks are quite conservative,” said Maggie Gallagher, who used to work at the Institute for American Values and is a well-known opponent of same-sex marriage. It can be tough to find money for what could be called a centrist agenda, Ms. Gallagher cautioned, adding that there may be more conservatives willing to accept gay allies than liberals willing to publicly support marriage. Some financing, she said, “will be conservative, but the pro-marriage liberals have to step forward, and maybe make it more 50-50.”

Sean Fieler, the president of Equinox Partners, a New York hedge fund, was Mr. Blankenhorn’s largest donor, until he quit the board. Mr. Fieler, whose average annual donation “ranged from $200,000 to $250,000,” said that a pro-marriage movement could not so easily accept gay and lesbian allies, not if they were seeking marriage rights.

“The problem with gay marriage and the position David has taken,” Mr. Fieler said, “is it promotes a very harmful myth about the gay lifestyle. It suggests that gay relationships lend themselves to monogamy, stability, health and parenting in the same way heterosexual relationships do. That’s not true.”

But a “New Conversation” signatory, Mr. Galston, of the Brookings Institution, said there was no reason that nontraditional families should be excluded from the important discussion at hand: why “marriage and intact families are now becoming markers of a class divide.” Increasingly, he said, it is college-educated and middle-class people who are getting married, regardless of sexual orientation.

The debate, he said, should not be about gay versus straight but about why so few poor people are choosing the benefits of marriage.

Mr. Rauch, who has long been criticized by fellow gay writers for being too conservative, said that it is time to raise different questions: “What does, so to speak, the sexual-orientation-blind, pro-family agenda look like?” he asked. “The family values agenda for the postgay world?”

Mitchell Gold: “Youth in Crisis” Joy Behar Say Anything!

Posted on: February 1st, 2013 by feyadmin

YouTube accused of ‘protecting’ anti-gay church

Posted on: January 11th, 2013 by feyadmin

By Lou Chibbaro Jr. on January 9, 2013 Read on Washington Blade

The LGBT advocacy group Faith In America says YouTube has refused to explain why it removed from its website a video produced by the group about a 22-year-old gay man who says he was held against his will for four months and assaulted by members of a North Carolina church that considers homosexuality a form of “demonic possession.”

Brent Childers, executive director of Faith in America. (Photo courtesy of Childers)

Brent Childers, executive director of Faith in America. (Photo courtesy of Childers)

Brent Childers, executive director of Faith In America, said he believes the Spindale, N.C., based Word of Faith Fellowship church misled YouTube into thinking the video infringed upon its religious freedom.

Childers and others who have monitored the church say it has the characteristics of a cult and exerts extraordinary control over the lives of its members and their children. They say Word of Faith Fellowship, which operates on a 40-acre campus, has a long history of abusive treatment of gays.

“It is really dumbfounding,” Childers said. “YouTube allows a controversial video that pokes fun at Islam. But here we have a video in which a person is telling his own personal knowledge of how this bizarre Christian church treats gay youth or those suspected of being gay, and they remove the video.”

Google owns YouTube. A Google spokesperson responded to a Blade inquiry and said the company is looking into the situation but offered no further comment.

Pastors Jane and Sam Whaley, the founders and leaders of Word of Faith Fellowship, posted a message on the church website denying the church has mistreated gays and said the allegations made by the Faith In America video were false.

The gay man who is the subject of the video, Michael Lowry, told the Washington Blade his parents raised him as a church member since he was born and that he attended church operated schools on the church compound from kindergarten through 12th grade.

He said church members subjected him to severe pressure since his early teens to expel what they said were “demons” within him that were causing him to embrace homosexuality.

“I was very different than a lot of the other kids,” he said. “I was viewed as being gay. I never said I am gay…It was a very hard time. Through my whole school years I was very bullied, hurt because of that.”

Lowry said that around July of 2011, church members came to his home while his parents were out of town and forced him to go with them to a building on the church compound known as the Fourth Building, where male church members reportedly are taken for punishment for violating church rules.

He said he was held in the building against his will for four months and at one point was assaulted by church members assigned to watch over him during his stay at the facility. He said church officials released him in November 2011.

FBI may have been contacted by U.S. Attorney’s Office

Jerry Cooper, a Baptist minister and former member of Word of Faith Fellowship, said he has been assisting Lowry since last year in his role as a counselor to people who leave the church and who often suffer psychological scars from their experiences with the church.

Childers said the video that YouTube deleted consisted of an interview with Cooper talking about Michael Lowry’s case. Childers said for unknown reasons YouTube did not delete a separate video that includes an interview with Lowry.

According to Cooper and Don Huddle, a member of Faith Freedom Fund, a North Carolina group that helps ex-Word of Faith Fellowship members adjust to life outside the church, said church members brought Lowry to a nearby hotel after they released him.

“They took him to the hotel with just a few of his belongings,” said Huddle, who noted that someone familiar with the church alerted his group to Lowry’s plight and informed him that a confused and emotionally distraught young man had been taken to the hotel.

“I picked him up from the hotel and brought him to a safe house,” he said. Huddle said Faith Freedom Fund has a network of volunteers and supporters who spring into action when they learn of Word of Faith Fellowship members who desire to leave the church.

Cooper said he met Lowry through Huddle’s group in 2011 and advised him to consider reporting the church’s actions against him to the Rutherford County Sheriff’s office, which is the law enforcement agency in the area where the church is located.

He said Lowry reported to a Sheriff’s Office investigator that he had been taken against his will and held against his will by church members, and the office began an investigation that resulted in Lowry being called this week to testify before a county grand jury. His testimony was scheduled for Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Childers said Faith In America contacted the U.S. Justice Department about Lowry’s allegations in October and called on the department to investigate the church’s alleged detention of Lowry and his claim of being assaulted by church members as a possible anti-gay hate crime.

A spokesperson for the United States Attorney’s Office in the Western District of North Carolina, which represents the Justice Department, said she would make inquiries about whether her office has responded to Faith In America’s request for an investigation. The spokesperson didn’t immediately get back to the Blade.

However, Cooper said an FBI agent interviewed Lowry for several hours last week about his allegations against the church, a development that suggests the U.S. Attorney’s office contacted the FBI to investigate the matter.

A copy of an incident report taken from Lowry by the Sheriff’s Office in February 2012 and released by Faith in America, says a group of men affiliated with the church “held him down and hit him about the face and chest area” at the time the church held him against his will in August 2011.

“Mr. Lowry stated that he told them to let go but they would not,” the report says. “The reason they [did] this was because he was homosexual and they [were] trying to get him to stop being homosexual. When this incident was taking place, the group would tell him he had demons in him and he was going to hell,” the report says.

‘YouTube… is giving cover to a church that believes it is OK to harm gay youth’

A statement released by Faith In America says that during Lowry’s forced stay at the church facility “he was subjected to humiliating acts, such as being made to sleep on the floor in the hallway and had to submit to supervised bathroom visits because church members feared he might be masturbating.”

“What YouTube is doing, perhaps inadvertently in this particular case, is giving cover to a church that believes it is OK to harm gay youth and families in the name of religious teaching,” Chiders said. “In doing so, it is giving cover to a vast number of churches who do the same thing, whether a small charismatic church in rural North Carolina or a large Methodist church in some American suburb.”

In a posting on its website, Word of Faith Fellowship disputes Lowry’s allegations and accuses Faith in America of “repeated vicious lies” about the church.

“We have always been a church that has loved everybody, because God is love,” the statement says. “What Michael Roy Lowry has said never happened. We would never allow it to happen. We do not discriminate against anyone, and we never have.”

The statement adds, “We never knew Michael Roy Lowry was gay until we heard it on the news program. It would have made no difference to us, because we love him.”

Cooper, who said he has closely followed Word of Faith Fellowship since he left it in 1998, said evidence is “overwhelming” from people who leave the church that church leaders abuse people suspected of being gay or suspected of engaging in any type of sexual activity not deemed appropriate by the church, even between consenting adults, gay or straight.

He said the church has prohibited Lowry’s family from seeing or talking to Lowry, a practice he said the church carries out with most people who leave it.

Organization wants to know whyGoogle/YouTube is protecting anti-gay church

Posted on: January 11th, 2013 by feyadmin 1 Comment
Rejected by YouTube

Michael Lowry

Jerry Cooper

Faith In America is seeking an explanation as to why YouTube would remove a video that the organization posted as part of its ongoing report about an anti-gay church that allegedly abused a young man because of his sexual orientation.

The video was produced by Faith In America and contained the personal story of Jerry Cooper, who was once a member of Word of Faith Fellowship (WOFF) in Spindale, N.C. In the video, Cooper corroborates allegations of abuse by the church that have been lodged by 22-year-old Michael Lowry, a gay man who says he was confined for four months against his will.

“It is really dumbfounding,” said Brent Childers, executive director of the gay advocacy group. “YouTube allows a controversial video that pokes fun at Islam. But here we have a video in which a person is telling his own personal knowledge of how this bizarre Christian church treats gay youth or those suspected of being gay, and they remove the video.”

“What YouTube is doing, perhaps inadvertently, in this particular case is giving cover to a church that believes it is OK to harm gay youth and families in the name of religious teaching,” Childers said. “In doing so, it is giving cover to a vast number of churches who do the same, whether a small charismatic church in rural North Carolina or a large Methodist church in some American suburb.”

Childers said that Google, which owns YouTube, is considered to be a very LGBT-friendly company. In addition, one of Faith In America’s own media strategies in 2007 involved the first CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential primary debate. YouTube selected a question from a Faith In America supporter and pastor who asked why is it still OK to use religion to discriminate against gay Americans. It was rated the best question of the debate by a group of youth who had been assembled around the globe by YouTube to rate the questions.

“We have been told that YouTube apparently considers any allegations against a church as somehow stepping on their religious liberty. Considering the wealth of YouTube videos that address controversial religious issues, we find that hard to believe. Unfortunately, YouTube doesn’t offer a process to question the removal of a video that has been deemed inappropriate. And they do not give a reason why.”

Cooper was scheduled to appear today in a Rutherford County courtroom to face off against four WOFF members who were arrested and charged with stalking and harassing him during an incident in October. Cooper and Lowry in October had returned to Spindale to follow-up on Lowry’s original police report when Cooper was surrounded at a public mall by church members reportedly acting as church security personnel. Forest City Police officers were called and arrived to reportedly observe the alleged harassment.

Word of Faith Fellowship has been accused of being a cult because of the way it controls its members. Despite numerous investigations into reports of abuse, the church manages to portray itself as a mainstream church. Its website has the pastor pictured with several high-ranking government officials, including the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and former N.C. Lt. Gov. Walton Dalton.

Faith In America in October requested the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate Lowry’s case as a possible hate crime. Lowry alleges he was locked away for four months in a church building and suffered other abuse there because of his sexual orientation. The church’s web site states that homosexuality is a form of demonic possession.

At least four former church members have stepped forward to say that they either observed or were victims of similar abuse that Michael Lowry alleges occurred. One of those individuals, Ben Carmona, says he experienced similar abuse. He says he was once accused of having “unclean homosexual spirits” because of his friendship with another boy. Carmona, who says he also was confined as Lowry alleges, also fled the church. He is now studying architectural design at a Chicago university.

Lowry was scheduled to appear before a grand jury in December, but the hearing was postponed when Lowry spotted a WOFF member on the grand jury. Lowry does not believe he will get a fair hearing because of the church’s influence in Rutherford County.

Cooper agrees. He was told a special prosecutor and special judge had been brought in from neighboring McDowell County to hear his case Friday. He informed the district attorney that a Word of Faith Fellowship a leader in the church serves as a court reporter in McDowell County.

They are asking that the case be heard in another area of the state, beyond the immediate influence of the church. So far, their request has been rebuffed by local court officials.

Faith In America has not been able to determine the status of its request for a hate crimes investigation. After filing the request, Childers received a telephone call from a U.S. Department of Justice official who asked him if he had attempted to dialogue with the church as a means of conflict resolution.

Faith in America is a nonprofit organization that educates nationally about the harm caused to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, especially youth and families, when misguided religious teaching is used to justify stigma and hostility toward them.

Faith and Equality Voices

Posted on: December 29th, 2012 by feyadmin

Rabbi Fred Guttman has served as the rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Greensboro, North Carolina from 1995 to the present. From 1979 to 1991, Rabbi Guttman lived in Israel and served as the rabbi and principal of Alexander Muss High School in Israel. In addition to his Rabbinical Ordination from Hebrew Union College in 1979, he has a Masters Degree in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College and a Masters of Education from the University of North Florida. His undergraduate education was at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. In 2004, he was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity from Hebrew Union College. He has been the chair of the Israel/Foreign Affairs subcommittee of the Commission of Social Action for Reform Judaism and has been instrumental in helping draft several significant Union for Reform Judaism resolutions, including resolutions on torture and human rights. Rabbi Fred Guttman has served as the rabbi of Temple Emanuel in Greensboro, North Carolina from 1995 to the present. From 1979 to 1991, Rabbi Guttman lived in Israel and served as the rabbi and principal of Alexander Muss High School in Israel. In addition to his Rabbinical Ordination from Hebrew Union College in 1979, he has a Masters Degree in Hebrew Literature from Hebrew Union College and a Masters of Education from the University of North Florida. His undergraduate education was at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. In 2004, he was awarded a Doctorate of Divinity from Hebrew Union College. He has been the chair of the Israel/Foreign Affairs subcommittee of the Commission of Social Action for Reform Judaism and has been instrumental in helping draft several significant Union for Reform Judaism resolutions, including resolutions on torture and human rights.

New Faith And Equality Website Offers Gift To Lgbt Youth, Families

Posted on: December 28th, 2012 by feyadmin

A Perspective That Embraces Faith And Equality

HICKORY, NC – Dec. 20, 2012 – In the coming weeks, families around the country will be gathering together for the holidays. But in far too many cases, these families’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) members are made to feel that there is no place for them at the table. The primary reason for this rejection: the misuse of religious teachings to justify denying the equality, and even the basic human dignity, of LGBT persons.

In response, Faith in America has launched Faith and Equality, a website that provides information and resources to LGBT youth and their families who are seeking to overcome the emotional, psychological, and spiritual harm that results from this misguided religious perspective. (more…)