Posted on: December 10th, 2013 by feyadmin

Dear supporters,

There is something terribly amiss when a group of young people and their families are targeted with stigma, hostility and discrimination in this country.
As horrible as it sounds, it is happening in the Wilmington community by a private school which has adopted a policy that states it can reject gay youth, straight youth with gay parents or even those who simply support the full human dignity of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
This must not be allowed to stand unchallenged because as you know there is much more at stake here than the language of such of a policy – its the religion-based bigotry that would allow such a policy to be considered in the first place. Worse, a new law in North Carolina means taxpayer funding could help promote such stigma and hostility.
Unfortunately, such a policy among private religious schools is not isolated to Myrtle Grove Christian School in Wilmington. A recent article in Rolling Stone magazine documented how similar policies have been adopted by private schools across the country, from Connecticut to Louisiana. Taxpayer dollars in these states also are funding these school’s anti-gay policies and the anti-gay messages they promote.

The Myrtle Grove Christian School recently announced it would not accept funding from parents who might be eligible for North Carolina Opportunity Scholarships – which they can use to fund their children’s private school education. But there are hundreds of private religious schools in North Carolina that will and many of those private schools promote stigma and hostility toward LGBT youth and families. As private schools, they certainly may have the right to teach whatever they wish but that doesn’t negate our obligation to make people aware of the harm certain teaching can have on not only LGBT youth and families but all of us as a society.

I was recently made aware of how one private religious school in North Carolina teaches African Americans shouldn’t marry whites or vice versa and it bases such a message on certain biblical text – much like the original district judge stated about Mildred Loving and Jeter Loving in the landmark 1967 Supreme Court’s Loving v. Virginia case. That church-affiliated school may be free to teach such a message but the vast majority of Americans, including people of faith, know how misguided such teaching is today – and how harmful.
So when a private school would rather deny its parents available state funding so that it can continue promoting stigma and hostility toward LGBT youth and families, that says something about how such animus is so entrenched and why awareness and understanding is greatly needed.

On Tuesday evening, Dec. 17, we hope you will plan on attending an event at the UNC-Wilmington Burnie Center to stand with others in the Wilmington community who want to promote a very different message to LGBT youth, their families, friends and the community.
Jane Clementi, mother of Tyler Clementi and co-founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, will be a special guest for this public forum. You will not want to miss her powerful story as a mother who tragically lost her son to suicide in 2010. Clementi has appeared on a host of major news outlets as she is using her family’s poignant personal story to stand against bullying of LGBT youth and against the type societal climate that places a stamp of unworthiness and shame on their very being.
Join Jane Clementi and Faith In America and let’s be Upstanders for LGBT youth and families.

We’re publishing the following ad in the Wilmington Star today to announce the event and to send a message to LGBT youth and families in the community – there’s a new faith perspective being promoted today. It is one that fully embraces you and your family and one that holds no animus toward LGBT equality.