I have been simultaneously horrified, saddened, and enraged at the spate of suicides in the last month by teenagers and young adults who were bullied for being, or being perceived to be, gay. Billy Lucas, 15, hung himself on September 9 from the rafters of a barn. Seth Walsh, 13, hung himself on September 19 from a tree in his backyard. Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped off the George Washington bridge on September 22. Asher Brown, 13, shot himself in the head on September 23.
As an openly gay minister, theologian, and seminary professor, these suicides have brought back vivid memories of being bullied myself in junior high school. I remember being taunted so badly at the bus stop on Helen Drive that I no longer wanted to go to school. I remember being kicked out of my tent at Cutter Scout Reservation, with my possessions thrown in the dirt, and spending the rest of the night under a picnic table. I remember spending my recesses and lunch breaks in the Taylor Intermediate School library, which was a place of refuge for me, thanks to Mr. Rand, the kind-hearted librarian.
I believe this recent string of suicides by LGBT young people is, at root, a religious problem. For me, there is a clear and indisputable link between these horrible deaths and the rhetoric espoused by anti-gay Christians who continually condemn lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as sinners worthy of divine punishment.Where else do you think the bullies learn their behavior? No matter how well intentioned, anti-gay Christians need to understand that their nonstop rhetoric of sin and punishment creates a toxic environment that views LGBT people as less than fully human and thus deserving of socially or religiously sanctioned violence -- including self-inflicted violence.
Sexual orientation - Internalized Homophobia - “Auschwitz – Benedict XVI - Christmas 2008 -A flashback far more severe than in Brokeback Mountain” GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Nothing in life is more precious than the intimate relationships we have with love ones. Healthy love relationships delight us give us confidence to take on challenges and support us in difficult times. These close emotional bonds what we call love were the focus of Mary Ainsworth's work.
Roman Catholic - hierarchy child sexual abuse “cover-ps”
ordered by Benedict XVI to avoid public outrage & criminal charges - falsely accused gay priests - WATERGATE?
No “Checks and Balances”
A major problem with the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic Church is that there are no “checks and balances.” When the necessary “checks and balances” are not in place to protect any organization, it leaves “not making waves” the rule that governs the hierarchy and opens the way to many devastating mistakes harmful to everyone and allows corruption to grow.
Franken Takes on Bullying
October 5, 2010 – Advocate
Minnesota senator Al Franken, who earlier this year introduced a bill explicitly addressing antigay bullying in public schools, has condemned recent statements by a social conservative group claiming that such legislation is not only unnecessary but would serve to indoctrinate students into homosexuality.
Family Acceptance Project™
Dr. Caitlin Ryan discusses her work on the Family Acceptance Project, the first major study of LGBT youth and their families. Findings from the project will be used to develop training and assessment materials for human service providers working with LGBT youth and families and to develop a new model for family-related care to improve health and mental health outcomes for all LGBT adolescents.
Family Acceptance Project™
The Family Acceptance Project™ is a community research, intervention and education initiative to study the impact of family acceptance and rejection on the health, mental health and well-being of lesbian, gay and bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. Results will be used to help families provide support for LGBT youth, to develop appropriate interventions, programs and policies, and to train providers to improve the quality of services and care they receive.
Hating Gays: An Overview of Scientific Studies
by Gregory M. Herek
Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
…It frequently is assumed that feelings of personal threat result in strong negative attitudes toward homosexuality, whereas lack of threat leads to neutral or positive attitudes. This perspective often is associated with the term homophobia, and it derives from a psychodynamic view that prejudiced attitudes serve to reduce tension aroused by unconscious conflicts.
Hate Crime Bill vs Attacks
But No Facts -> Fear And Ignorance
Of The Blind Leading The Blind
October 27, 2009 – Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
…So, now we have some priests, ministers and even pontiffs saying that the bible states that homosexuality is evil, in exactly the same way that they condemned Galileo because he said that the earth revolves around the sun. Their freedom of speech psychologically harms for life children who grow up gay, it evens creates a hostile social environment that physically threatens the very lives of these children. And should one of these gay children be singled out and beaten to death, the person who killed the child will be charged with a hate crime, not the preacher, priest or pontiff. Their judgment will be made by God, likely more severe than anything on earth could possibly be, because of their negligence in their duty to protect children. Photo
UNIDENTIFIED - Internalized Homophobia – Devastating, and Horrific Consequences On Innocent Children - PERPETUATING GENERATIONS HATRED & VIOLENCE
…When we speak of internalized homophobia, we refer to the shame, denigration and anger turned inward onto the self of the homosexual individual either as a re-internalization or from the absorption of homophobic attitudes in the environment and then identifying with the hated and feared object. The primary emotion is shame, but a whole gamut of inhibitions, loss of self esteem, depression and self-destructive behavior often follow…
Unsubstantiated] --- RELIGIOUS BELIEFS that gay and lesbian relationships are SINFUL or INFERIOR to heterosexual relationships
HARM gays and lesbians.
Judge Vaughn Walker Ruling
California Prop 8. August 4, 2010
On Prop 8, it's the evidence, stupid
By Lisa Bloom
and related links:
California Prop 8, Aug, 4, 2010 - Deep misunderstanding -
"We the People" means - US Constitution – DANGERS of majority rule
- a reflection of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, panic and crude self-interest…
by Geoffrey R. Stone - Chicago Tribune
…The framers of our Constitution fully recognized the dangers as well as the strengths of majority rule. They understood that THE MAJORITY will sometimes act in ways that are not truly public-regarding, but are instead a reflection of prejudice, intolerance, ignorance, panic and crude self-interest. A profound puzzle the framers encountered was how to deal with this danger…
“Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed,
well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of
a child’s spirit.”
President of the United StatesUnited States CongressUnited States Supreme Court
Dear -- --------,
My name is Fr. Marty Kurylowicz, a Roman Catholic priest from the Diocese of Grand Rapids Michigan ordained June 16, 1979.
In March 1997, after attending a National Symposium of the New Ways Ministry that was held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, I learned that children as young as 4 and 5 years of age know that they are different. This feeling "different" is only identified in their adult years as being gay. However, the harmful influence of antigay social and religious norms -- in particular, for Catholics, the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings -- are severe and last throughout a child’s lifetime. The harmful effects are not isolated only to these children who grow up to be gay, but also affect their families, siblings, friends and anyone whom they might consider special in their lives. They are a prescribed societal sentence of implicit isolation, which place at risk of suicide so many innocent adolescents and young adults. They stifle an enormous amount of human potential in the world that otherwise could be put to use for finding cures for diseases, offering better ways of maintaining peace among people and improving the quality of life for everyone in the world.Gay Marriage - “SEPARATION BETWEEN CHURCH AND STATE” Does Not Give Churches Or Benedict XVI - The Freedom To Abuse Children or Adults. July 2010 - By Fr. Marty Kurylowicz