Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Religious Undercurrent Ripples In Anti-Gay Bullying -by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, October 26, 2010 – All things Considered – National Public Radio NPR

The Department of Education sent a letter to schools, colleges and universities Tuesday warning them that failing to stop bullying could violate federal anti-discrimination laws. The letter comes amid growing concern that there may be a religious undercurrent to the harassment of teens who are seen as gay.

Consider Justin Anderson, who graduated from Blaine High School outside Minneapolis last year. He says his teenage years were a living hell. From sixth grade on, he heard the same taunts.

"People say things like, 'Fags should just disappear so we don't have to deal with them anymore'; and, 'Fags are disgusting and sinful,' " he told the Anoka-Hennepin School Board. "And still, there was no one intervening. I began to feel so worthless and ashamed and unloved that I began to think about taking my life."

Anderson told his story at a public hearing last month — a hearing convened because in the past year, the district has seen a spate of student suicides. Four of those suicides have been linked to anti-gay bullying.

Justin Anderson survived. Justin Aaberg did not. Aaberg, 15, loved the cello, both playing and composing numbers like "Incinerate," which he posted on YouTube. Justin was openly gay. He had plenty of friends, but he was repeatedly bullied in his school. In July, his mother, Tammy, found her teenage son hanging from his bed frame.

"They were calling him, 'Faggot, you're gay,' " she recalls. " 'The Bible says that you're going to burn hell.' 'God doesn't love you.' Things like that."

A Look At The Lives Of Gay Teens,
Robert Siegel,
October 21, 2010
All Things Considered – NPR

With the recent group of suicides by gay teens, we a take a look at the lives of gay teenagers. NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Ritch Savin Williams, a professor of developmental psychology at Cornell University. He specializes in gay, lesbian, and bisexual research, and his latest book is The New Gay Teenager.


Recent suicides by gay teenagers and teens bullied because they seemed gay have drawn national attention. Celebrities and politicians from Ellen DeGeneres to Hillary Clinton have recorded messages of encouragement to gay teens. And it's been widely noted, including on this program, that gay teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers.

But is all this attention to suicide and bullying actually helpful for teenagers struggling with their sexuality?
Read more/ listen:

Don’t turn blind eye to gay bashing
By George Mattingly
October 25, 2010
Houstonian - Sam Houston State University

The topic of gay rights has come to the forefront of the media and politics with things such as Proposition 8 in California and the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. Now, in light of the recent suicides of six gay teens across the U.S. in recent weeks, the focus has turned to bullying and discrimination in schools.

Often times, many people are afraid to approach the topic because of its sensitivity and the norms that exist in our society that say being gay is wrong. However, the reality is that not only have these young teens and their families suffered, but also members of the gay community have suffered blows to their morale in fear of facing persecution and for some, their confidence in ever being accepted by society. It is time to face the reality of what is happening because it is here to stay and more importantly, to act upon it to provide support and acceptance to the gay community affected by bullying.
Read complete article:

See no Race, See no Gay:
What Proponents of a Gay-Blind Approach 
to Bullying in the Schools can Learn from 
Race Relations
by Kira Hudson Banks, Ph.D. and Nestor L. Lopez-Duran PhD,
October 25, 2010
Psychology Today

Why the gay-blind approach to bullying won't work.

Today's post was co-written with Nestor L. Lopez-Duran PhD, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. 

Pssst...... Refusing to acknowledge differences won't make them go away.

Over the past few weeks, we have been inundated with stories of bullied and shamed young people taking their own lives due to the hostile environment of socially sanctioned hate.

Just this September three teens committed suicide after experiencing severe bullying: 15-year-old Billy Lucas of Indiana, 13-year old Asher Brown of Texas, and 13-year-old of California. All three teens were self-identified as, or perceived by their classmates to be, gay. Also in September Tyler Clementi, an 18-year -old freshman at Rutgers University, committed suicide after his roommate video taped him having an encounter with another boy and streamed the video over the internet to other students, and 19-year-old Zach Harrington committed suicide after attending a homophobia-filled City Council meeting in Norman, Oklahoma, where his neighbors opposed the designation of October as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered History Month.

However, despite the recent media attention to this issue, the bullying of gay teens and the resulting high rates of suicide among them, have been major problems for years. This led Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-PA) and Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) to introduce the Safe Schools Improvement Act (SSIA), which would require schools receiving federal funding to implement policies to explicitly prohibit bullying on the basis of the "student's actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion".

The SSIA received strong opposition from religious organizations who objected to the inclusion of sexual orientation as a protected target group. For example, the lobbying organization Focus on the Family argued that this bill would "open the door to teaching about homosexuality as early as kindergarten. And it would lay the foundation for codifying sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes," which they oppose…

…Bullying is not a rite of passage. Some may disregard the recent suicides as anomalies. Yet, research indicates that bullying leads to many long term consequences. Bullying is also preventable. Some have opposed anti-bullying efforts on the premise that bullying programs don't work. However, whole-school interventions, those that go beyond making simple changes to the curriculum to address the entire school culture, are highly effective and should be the model all schools should follow. Yet, decades of research on race and racism teach us that adopting a gayblind approach to this problem is not only unwarranted, but it may make the problem worse.
Read complete article:

Kira Hudson Banks, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of psychology at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Bullying, gay teen suicides, and a need for a solution –
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD,
October 11, 2010
Child Psychology Research Blog

A call for support of anti-bullying efforts and the The Safe Schools Improvement Act.

Last Sunday a 30 year old gay man was lured into a house in the Bronx where he thought he would be attending a party. Instead, he was tortured and sodomized by a group of teenagers and young adults. He was the third person tortured by the group for being gay that same weekend. The other two victims were just 17. Also last week, Tyler Clementi, a teenager and accomplished violinist who was just starting his freshman year at Rutgers University committed suicide after he was “outed” by his roommate who secretly video taped him having an encounter with another boy and streamed the video on the internet to other students. Earlier last month Billy Lucas hanged himself after being bullied because his classmates thought he was gay. Likewise, thirteen-year- old Asher Brown shot himself in the head and died after experiencing severe bullying by classmates in 2 different schools. Asher had recently told his parents that he was gay. Within days Seth Walsh, another 13 year old gay teen who had been bullied at his school killed himself. And the cases seem never ending. Eric Mohah, just 17, shot himself to death after being bullied relentlessly and called “homo” and “gay” and “fag”. He was 1 of 4 teens who had been bullied to death at the same Ohio school. The others included 16 year old Sladjana Vidovic, 16 year old Jennifer Eyring, and 16 year old Meredith Rezak, who was tormented by her peers after coming out as gay. In light of these tragedies, how could anyone oppose efforts to keep these kids from being bullied?

So, last Friday I stepped in unfamiliar territory when I posted on twitter account (@childpsychology) a call to our followers to tell the organization Focus on the Family to stop opposing anti-bullying programs at schools. I had been following the stories about Focus on the Family, a conservative Christian organization that has a strong anti-gay position and opposes Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-PA) anti-bullying legislation, as well as stories about other Christian organizations that also oppose efforts to specifically protect gay teens from being bullied. But, from the messages that arrived soon after my twitter post, I learned that some of my followers actually agreed with the position of these conservative organizations and were upset at my post. I spent time trying to understand their logic, reading the official position of these organizations, and reading the comments on many websites where people adamantly oppose such anti-bullying efforts. And as I sat thinking how to respond, I realized that it was nearly impossible to argue with those whose views are driven by fundamentalist religious convictions. Beliefs such as that “gays are impure,” that they are “worse than terrorists,” or that those trying to stop bullying at our schools have a secret homosexual agenda and want to turn our kindergarten kids into the “homosexual lifestyle”, reflect a degree of hate and irrational paranoia that precludes the possibility for productive discussion…
Read more:

Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, PhD.
I'm a clinical child psychologist and researcher, currently working as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. In my research I examine a series of physiological and cognitive factors that contribute to the development of mood disorders in children and adolescents. I teach courses in clinical assessment and childhood mood disorders. I'm also the editor of Child-Psych, a research-based blog where I discuss the latest research findings on parenting, child disorders, and child development. Contact me at
Read more:

Related links:

Gay Teen Suicides Pervasive, A 'Hidden Problem': Expert 
Lucia Graves, October 22, 2010 
The Huffington Post

LGBT Ally Week: Take a Stand for LOVE!
by Jason Mannino, October 22, 2010
The Huffington Post

Bullies and Victims: Boys will be boys or a symptom of distress?
by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD
October 14, 2010
Child Psychology Research Blog

Several months ago I reported on a series of studies regarding the long term effects of bullying. See for example a discussion on factors that are associated with being a victim or a bully, or this discussion on the effects of bullying on children with special needs. I also reported on a very interesting study that examine the long term consequences of bullying. Data from that study showed  that being a victim of bullying in middle childhood almost double the odds of having psychotic symptoms during adolescence. In that post I discussed one major limitation of that study. While the data seem to imply that experiencing bullying could play a role (‘a causative’ role) in the eventual emergence of psychotic symptoms, it was also possible that those “children who were on path to developing psychotic disorders also engaged in behaviors during early childhood that made them more likely to be victims of bullying.”
Read complete report:

Nestor L. Lopez-Duran, PhD.
I'm a clinical child psychologist and researcher, currently working as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Michigan. In my research I examine a series of physiological and cognitive factors that contribute to the development of mood disorders in children and adolescents. I teach courses in clinical assessment and childhood mood disorders. I'm also the editor of Child-Psych, a research-based blog where I discuss the latest research findings on parenting, child disorders, and child development. Contact me at

 It gets better: 
A video campaign featuring hundreds of videos 
by people standing up for gay youth
by Dr. Brian Mustanski
October 8, 2010
Psychology Today

Video campaign to gay youth says, "It gets better."

In September several LGBT young people tragically took their own lives. In the media it was reported that they had experienced bullying, victimization, and harassment. While the reasons why someone chooses to take their own life are very complicated, we do know that things do get better and that suicide is not the answer. To help tell the story of how things get better famous syndicated columnist Dan Savage launched a YouTube channel that allows gay adults to upload videos of themselves describing the bullying they might have experienced in high school, but also talking about how much better their lives are now.It is a rare opportunity for gay adults to speak directly to gay youth and explain that while sometimes you may feel isolated, that life gets better.  Many celebrities joined in and shared their words of encouragements with the simple message that "it gets better."

If you are struggling with a difficult time and need someone to talk to I encourage you to call the Trevor Project 24 hour hotline designed specifically for LGBT young people at 1-866-4-U-TREVOR.  We also have a lot of resources for LGBT and questionning youth on our website at the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program.

I encourage all youth to think about how great your life can be in the future.  This can be a powerful way to cope with some of the tough times you might be experiencing right now. It will get better and you can have an amazing life! 
Read more/ view videos:

Dr. Brian Mustanski is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Juvenile Research and is an expert in LGBT health and development.

Discussing all things related to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) health and development: from the biology of sexual orientation to talking to your family about sexuality to the pros and cons of the Internet in our romantic lives.
by Dr. Brian Mustanski

Related links:

Why are these young people proud of their sexual orientation?
by Dr. Brian Mustanski
September 20, 2010
Psychology Today

See how these young people are proud to be LGBT.

The "I Heart My Sexuality" campaign is being conducted by the IMPACT LGBT Health and Development Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The project aims to highlight the strengths of LGBTQ youth, instill pride in the community, and tell stories of healthy relationships. 
We set up a video booth at the 2010 Chicago Pride Festival and asked people to write on a card why they "heart" or love their sexuality. The response was overwhelming, with over 200 cards completed. The cards were just released on the IMPACT website, allowing visitors to view the cards and read the inspiring and sometimes funny messages. The main goal of these cards is to share examples of why people are proud to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual. There were also cards completed by heterosexuals sharing why they are proud to be included or connected to the gay community. You can view some of the cards below, or go to the campaign page to view more.
Read more/view cards:

Bullying is the cause of both gay teen suicides and most school shootings!
By Jason Wittman, MPS,
October 25, 2010
The American Chronicle

The result of the harassment of gay teens is more than just suicide. It also is responsible for most school shootings!

I am sure that there are a lot of people who are hearing about gay teens that are committing suicide as a result of not being able to cope with the teasing, taunting, ridicule and bullying (TTRB) that they were subjected to in their schools and neighborhoods, who think that it is any of their concern. They don't know any gay teens. It's happening somewhere else and they don't see any reason why they ought to join a campaign to get their local schools to stop tolerating any form of TTRB. Besides the reasoning that if stopping TTRB would possibly save one life it is worth the effort, I would like to discuss the other result of bullying that effects whole communities when it occurs.

I have worked with teens for the past 35 years. I have had many harassed teens as client and have some good insights into both their feelings and their coping (or lack of coping) mechanisms. Like most humans under extreme pressure, they exhibit two main reactions, either flight or fight. Those who are prone to flight, tend to not fight back, get real quiet and withdrawn and in the extreme, totally check out through both drug addiction and suicide…
Read complete report:

Jason Wittman received both his B.S. degree in business management and his Master of Professional Studies in Counseling Psychology from Cornell University in Ithaca , New York. Since the middle 1980s, Jason Witman, MPS has had a private practice as a Life Coach…
Read more:

“Most religious denominations
continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful
provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people.”
Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth

Social Environment

Although the social environment itself has not been defined as a risk factor for suicide, widespread discrimination against LGBT people, heterosexist attitudes, and gender bias can lead to risk factors such as isolation, family rejection, and lack of access to care providers. Risk factors may interact in unhealthy ways—for example, internalized homophobia or victimization may lead to stress, which is associated with depression and substance abuse, which can contribute to suicide risk. This risk may be compounded by a lack of protective factors that normally provide resilience, such as strong family connections, peer support, and access to effective health and mental health providers. Photo GWB

In the United States prejudice and discrimination against LGB people are widespread among individuals, and in fact, supported by many religious, social, and government institutions. Homophobia and heterosexism are terms that refer to prejudice against LGB people and reflect prevalent social attitudes that most people have internalized (McDaniel et al., 2001).  

Morrow (2004) points out that “GLBT adolescents must cope with developing a sexual minority identity in the midst of negative comments, jokes, and often the threat of violence because of their sexual orientation and/or transgender identity” (p. 91-92) and that, given the pervasive homophobia in our culture and in the families of LGBT youth, “the internalization of homophobic and heterosexist messages begins very early—often before GLBT youth fully realize their sexual orientation and gender identity” (p. 92). Morrow also says that positive role models for LGBT youth are hard to find.  

Herek and colleagues (2007) describe a framework to understand the social environment for sexual minorities. The framework integrates the sociological idea of stigma with the psychological idea of prejudice. Through stigma, society discredits and invalidates homosexuality relative to heterosexuality. Institutions embodying stigma results in heterosexism, and heterosexual individuals internalizing stigma results in prejudice. The United States legal system has faced challenges by sexual minorities and sympathetic heterosexuals that have led to significant changes. However, the legal system continues to reinforce stigma through discriminatory laws and the absence of laws protecting sexual minorities from discrimination in employment, housing, and services. A minority of states had antidiscrimination laws as of 2005, and most of these only referred to employment and not to housing or services. Most religious denominations continue to condemn homosexuality as sinful and provide a rationale for marginalizing LGB people. Photo

Researchers suggest that this social environment puts stresses on LGBT people that elevate the risk of substance abuse, depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems. One study (with participants in their mid-twenties) found that internalized homophobia was correlated with depression, although not directly correlated with suicide (Igartua et al., 2003). Mays and Cochran (2001) found growing evidence that experiences of discrimination can result in mental health and general health disorders. Analyzing data from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS), they compared LGB and heterosexual people’s mental health and experiences with discrimination. The MIDUS asked about the frequency of lifetime and day-to-day experiences of perceived discrimination including being denied a scholarship, being denied a bank loan, receiving poorer services at stores, and being called names. Mays and Cochran found that homosexual and bisexual individuals reported more frequently than heterosexual individuals both day-to-day and lifetime discrimination, and 42 percent attributed the discrimination at least in part to their sexual orientation. LGB individuals were twice as likely as heterosexuals to have experienced discrimination in a lifetime event and were five times more likely to indicate that discrimination had interfered with having a full and productive life. Perceived discrimination had a relatively robust association with mental disorders.

Meyer (2003) describes a social environment that is hostile and stressful for LGB people. His review of research demonstrates that social stressors are significantly associated with mental disorders and supports a model of minority stress that theorizes the higher prevalence of mood, anxiety, and substance use disorders among LGB people as “caused by excess in social stressors related to stigma and prejudice” (p. 691). Another study relates minority stressors to suicidal behavior: a study of gay men (with an average age of 38) found that three stressors—internalized homophobia, stigma (related to expectations of rejection and discrimination), and experiences of discrimination—were significantly associated with five outcomes indicating psychological distress, including suicidal ideation and behavior (Meyer, 1995).

Other studies find that internalized homophobia and conflict about sexual orientation appear to contribute to suicide risk among LGB youth. One study reported that LGB youth are at higher risk of suicide if they report high levels of internal conflict about their sexual orientation (Savin-Williams, 1990). Another study of gay men (with a median age in the twenties) found that internalized homophobia was associated with depression and anxiety, which increased suicide risk (Igartua, Gill, & Montoro, 2003). A third study indicated that positive role models and high self-esteem are protective factors against suicide in young gay men (Fenaughty & Harre, 2003).
Read more:

Suicide Risk and Prevention for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth - Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC)

Bullying in Schools: Harassment Puts Gay Youth at Risk - 
Mental Health America

Prepared by the 
Suicide Prevention Resource Center
for the Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Supported by Grant No. 1 U79 SM57392-02

The Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist organizations and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions and policies, and to advance the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.
Read more:

Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Education Development Center, Inc.
55 Chapel Street
Newton MA 02458
877-GET-SPRC (438-7772)

Read more:

Lesbian and Gay Youth: Care and Counseling
By Caitlin Ryan and Donna Futterman
The American Journal of Psychiatry

The American Journal of Psychiatry, 158:154, January 2001

Richmond, Va.

This comprehensive review of clinical care of lesbian and gay youth grew out of a conference in 1994 designed to identify primary care (including mental health) needs of this underserved population. The authors’ goal was to integrate a large database of research information into a format that could be used by clinicians, educators, parents, and advocates for sexual minority youth. They have more than succeeded in this daunting task. This volume is concise, readable, and scholarly. The coherence of this book reflects the increasingly rare phenomenon of a volume written by one or two authors rather than multiple experts. The emphasis throughout is on practical clinical application of research knowledge. To this end, the authors employ a variety of helpful tables and figures as well as seven appendixes of resources and protocols.

The book is divided into three sections. Part 1 is a thorough overview of pertinent background information about gay, lesbian, and bisexual adolescents. Complex definitions of sexual orientation, behavior, and identity development are explained as clinically applicable. For example, because of the vicissitudes of identity development, gay and lesbian youth are not likely to present initially as such to a primary care or mental health practitioner. In one study, 5% of surveyed youth reported homosexual behavior but only 1% identified themselves as homosexual. Clinicians who treat adolescents need to be particularly conscious of not making assumptions about heterosexuality.

Multiple stressors faced by sexual minority youth in learning to live with external and internal stigma are documented by the authors. In addition, they identify the primary developmental task for these adolescents, which is learning to adapt to and manage a stigmatized identity. A great deal of information is also provided on family adaptation to an adolescent’s coming out and therapeutic work with families of lesbian and gay youth…
Read more:

Lesbian and Gay Youth: Care and Counseling
By Caitlin Ryan and Donna Futterman

Family Acceptance Project™ 

Although there is an increasing amount of information about the risks and challenges facing LGB youth (with very little information about transgender youth), we know little about their strengths and resiliency, including the strengths of families in supporting their children's health and well-being. Even though the family is the primary support for children and youth, and family involvement helps reduce adolescent risk, there have been no previous studies of how families affect their LGBT children’s risk and resiliency. Prior to this study, little information was available to show how families respond to an adolescent's coming out and how family and caregiver reactions affect adolescent health, mental health and development for LGBT young people.

Attention to family reactions is critical since increasingly, youth are coming out at younger ages which significantly increases risk for victimization and abuse in family, school and community settings, and provides opportunities for helping to support and strengthen families. Victimization has long-term consequences for health and development, and impacts families as well as the targeted individuals. Early intervention can help families and caregivers build on strengths and use evidence-based materials to understand the impact of acceptance and rejection on their child’s well-being.

The Family Acceptance Project™ (FAP) is directed by Caitlin Ryan at the Marian Wright Edelman Institute at San Francisco State University, and was developed by Caitlin Ryan and Rafael Dìaz in 2002. It includes the first major study of the families of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
Read complete overview:
The Family Acceptance Project™ team includes Project Director, Caitlin Ryan, Senior Quantitative Researcher, Rafael Dìaz and Project Coordinator, Jorge Sanchez. Teresa Betancourt worked on the first two phases of the project.
Caitlin Ryan is the Director of the Family Acceptance Project.™ Caitlin is a clinical social worker who has worked on LGBT health and mental health since the 1970s, and AIDS since 1982. She received her clinical training with children and adolescents at Smith College School for Social Work in inpatient and community mental health programs, and began her social work career in school-based psychoeducational settings. Caitlin pioneered community-based AIDS services at the beginning of the epidemic; initiated the first major study to identify lesbian health needs in the early 1980s; and has worked to implement quality care for LGBT youth since the early 1990s. She developed the Family Acceptance Project™ with Rafael Diaz in 2002 to promote family support, decrease risk and improve well-being for LGBT youth…
Read more:

Study: Tolerance Can Lower Gay Kids' Suicide Risk
All Things Considered - NPR
December 29, 2008
Gay, lesbian and bisexual teens and young adults have one of the highest rates of suicide attempts — and some other health and mental health problems, including substance abuse. A new study suggests that parental acceptance, and even neutrality, with regard to a child's sexual orientation could have a big impact in reducing this rate.

The study, published in the journal Pediatrics, found that the gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults and teens at the highest risk of attempting suicide and having some other health problems are ones who reported a high level of rejection by their families as a result of their sexual orientation.

"A little bit of change in rejecting behavior, being a little bit more accepting," says lead researcher Caitlin Ryan, "can make a significant difference in the child's health and mental health."

Ryan, director of Adolescent Health Initiatives at the Cesar Chavez Institute at San Francisco State University, and her researchers conducted lengthy interviews with more than 200 gay, lesbian and bisexual young adults. Ryan tried to judge whether, as adolescents, they had faced low, moderate or high levels of rejection from their families.

They found that kids who, by Ryan's measure, experienced high levels of rejection were nearly 8.5 times more likely to have attempted suicide. They were nearly six times more likely to report high levels of depression and almost 3.5 times more likely to use illegal drugs or engage in unprotected sex. That was compared with adolescents whose families may have felt uncomfortable with a gay kid, but were neutral or only mildly rejecting.

Acceptance Can Go A Long Way 

Because the level of rejection is hard to measure, Ryan looked at things like whether the parents tried to get their children to change their sexual orientation, or tried to stop them from being with other gay kids…
Related links:

Dr. Caitlin Ryan: 
Reducing Risk and Promoting Well-Being for LGBT Youth: 
The Critical Role of Family Support
 November 16, 2009

October 21, 2010
The Boston Globe

A spate of gay teen suicides, including that of 18-year-old Rutgers student Tyler Clementi, has focused attention on homophobic bullying and resulted in the “It Gets Better’’ project, a YouTube campaign aimed at offering support to gay teens and young people. We asked several well-known Bostonians to share their memories of growing up gay, and they accepted, revealing the fear and loneliness they lived with and the strength they’ve achieved. Here are their stories, in their own words.

Short excerpts:

Gregory Maguire

Author of many books, including ‘Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West’
I always wrote. Took my cue from “Harriet the Spy’’ in fifth grade and never looked back. But like many kids, I wasn’t introspective. Didn’t question my own identity. I came of age in a liberal time (early ’70s) in a progressive Catholic environment (not always an oxymoron) among good people who were tolerant of many things as long as they went unnamed. So I remained basically clueless about myself.

For a while, in high school, a cadre of friends caught my writing habit. We scribbled approximations of our real feelings in the safety and pretend anonymity of our journals. Then we circulated these notebooks for peer review, scrawling appreciative comments or jokes in the margins. A way of sharing private apprehensions and affections in a safe environment…

Ryan Landry

Actor/playwright and cofounder of theater group The Gold Dust Orphans
I thought of suicide many times as a teenager. I grew up in a factory town in Connecticut, where the only fun to be had was either sex or stealing your mother’s car. There, like so many places with no imagination, “faggot’’ was the worst word you could use.

The first time I heard the word “faggot’’ of course it was directed at me. Who else? I was 12 years old. It was summer, I remember, because I never wore shoes in the summer, even to the movies. Walking barefoot along a guardrail, a sort of bridge from my house to the candy store, I remember thinking myself a great acrobat. I always had these thoughts, that I would somehow escape the torture of being what I was, a sort of swishy “halfbreed’’ among spitting, strutting “cowboys.’’…

David Brown

Meteorologist, WCVB-TV Channel 5
Growing up in Waterloo, Iowa, I thought I was the only gay kid. In junior high I was picked last in gym class, made fun of for playing the piano, and tormented by the older kids. I moved after the seventh grade to a suburb of St. Louis, with a hope that things would improve for me. It wasn’t any better. I didn’t fit in because I was the new kid. I didn’t fit in because I joined the choir and not the football team. Deep down I knew the reason why I didn’t fit in — it was because I was gay. Still, I wanted to fit in more than anything.

In junior high I was beat up in the halls because I was different. Coaches who were supposed to be looking after and supporting students mocked me because I would rather be in school plays and choir than run track.

It slowly turned around in high school. I was president of my senior class. But it wasn’t until I came out to myself and my family that it got better, and that wasn’t until after I graduated from college…

Tiffani Faison

Chef at Rocca Kitchen & Bar, former contestant on ‘Top Chef’
My teen years were spent in northern California. While the majority of the California population is seen as flag-waving liberals, the flags I was most aware of were the Confederate ones affixed to pickup trucks that burned rubber pulling up to the school parking lot. There was an inherent fear that I felt around all of those young men.

At the time, I didn’t openly identify as gay, but there was a brotherhood of bigotry. It made me nervous and I steered clear. I knew I was different, but saying the word meant target. It meant zero assimilation; no cheerleading, no prom, no sleepovers, no parties. It meant self-imposed exile in the day-to-day life of high school that was already socially and emotionally unbearable…

Read complete list: Bostonians - Growing up gay - open up about the homophobia, fear, and isolation they endured as teens — and how they made it through – The Boston Globe

Same-Sex Marriage:
The Legal and Psychological Evolution in America
by Donald J. Cantor,
Elizabeth Cantor,
James C. Black, and
Campbell D. Barrett. 2006

While other countries have recently legalized civil marriage for same-sex couples debates over such marriages continue in the U.S. This timely book reviews the history of the evolution of same-sex marriage in the United States. With topics ranging from State Law regarding same-sex couples to legal adoption of children by lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals and couples this book provides a clear and even-handed treatment of the on-going struggle for equal rights to civil marriage by all people, regardless of the gender of partners.

Society for the Psychological Study of
Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Issues
A Division of the American Psychological Association
Division 44

Distinguished Book Award
The Division offers this award for a book that has made a significant contribution to the field of LGBT psychology. The award is generally given to a book published within the two years prior to its nomination. The Division encourages self-nominations by authors, as well as nominations from publishers and readers. These works represent highly valuable contributions to scholarship that synthesize research and practice and advance the development of science, practice, and policy on LGBT issues in psychology.
The American Psychological Association's Division 44 is psychology's focal point for research, practice, and education on the lives and realities of LGBT people. The president's theme for the Division this year is "Psychological Science Serves: Making LGBT Research Relevant".
Same-Sex Marriage: The Legal and Psychological Evolution in America 
by Donald J. Cantor, Elizabeth Cantor, James C. Black, and Campbell D. Barrett.

President Obama: It Gets Better
October 21, 2010
The White House

Recently, several young people have taken their own lives after being bullied for being gay – or perceived as being gay – by their peers. Their deaths are shocking and heartbreaking tragedies. No one should have to endure relentless harassment or tormenting. No one should ever feel so alone or desperate that they feel have nowhere to turn. We each share a responsibility to protect our young people. And we also have an obligation to set an example of respect and kindness, regardless of our differences.

We all have a responsibility to protect all of our children.  But we also have an obligation to set an example of respect and kindness regardless of our differences. 

This is personal to me. When I was a young adult, I faced the jokes and taunting that too many of our youth face today, and I considered suicide as a way out.  But I was fortunate.  One of my co-workers recognized that I was hurting, and I soon confided in her.  She cared enough to push me to seek help.  She saved my life.  I will always be grateful for her compassion and support – the same compassion and support that so many kids need today. Photo

In the wake of these terrible tragedies, thousands of Americans have come together to share their stories of hope and encouragement for LGBT youth who are struggling as part of the It Gets Better Project.  Their messages are simple: no matter how difficult or hopeless life may seem when you’re a young person who’s been tormented by your peers or feels like you don’t fit in: life will get better...
Read more/watch video - President Obama:

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.

Attitudes are likely to serve a defensive function when an individual perceives some analogy between homosexual persons and her or his own unconscious conflicts. Subsequently, that person responds to gay men and lesbians as a way of externalizing inner conflicts and thereby reducing the anxiety associated with them. The conflicts specific to antihomosexual prejudice presumably involve a person's gender identity, sexual object choice, or both. For example, unconscious conflicts about one's own sexuality or gender identity might be attributed to lesbians and gay men through a process of projection. Such a strategy permits people to externalize the conflicts and to reject their own unacceptable urges by rejecting lesbians and gay men (who symbolize those urges) without consciously recognizing the urges as their own. Since contact with homosexual persons threatens to make conscious those thoughts that have been repressed, it inevitably arouses anxiety in defensive individuals. Consequently, defensive attitudes are likely to be negative… - International Day Against Homophobia
Read complete article:

Internalized Homophobia – 
Devastating, and Horrific Consequences On Innocent Children 
…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…

Roman Catholic - hierarchy child sexual abuse “cover-ups”
ordered by Benedict XVI
to avoid public outrage & criminal charges
falsely accused gay priests - WATERGATE?
December 17, 2009 - 
by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
Thalamus Center 

The following statements are harsh statements, but unfortunately they are heavily documented. (1) Benedict XVI and his hierarchy failed to protect children from child sexual abuse for decades. (2) They mistreated and intimidated the victims and their families who came to report the child sexual abuse, in order to cover up publicity of any child sexual abuse. (3) They failed to protect children by repeatedly reassigning the child sexual abusers to assignments where children would be present. (4) When the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children became public, globally, in 2002 they shifted the blame wrongfully onto gay priests. Photo 

Read complete report: 
Child Protection Service of the Archdiocese of Dublin

(5) By falsely, against known research to the contrary, blaming gay priests they implicated the entire LGBT community and how they are fighting against Marriage Equality. When the scientific facts known for decades about human sexuality have been discounted with no substantiated facts given to explain why, it causes many questions whether Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s fight against Marriage Equality is more a fight to maintained the cover-up of the hierarchy’s criminal negligence failing to protect children? Benedict XVI and his hierarchy need to clearly offer substantiated reasons why they are against Marriage Equality. This statement needs to be spelled out in great detail and follow Pope John Paul II’s test of truth of not separating science and religion. Photo

(6) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous public propaganda against homosexuality encourages public intolerance towards LGBTQ&I adults and children. They continue to do this even though this summer 2 major Christian denominations approved LGBT singled and partnered people for all forms of ordained ministries. (7) Benedict XVI and the hierarchy’s continuous promulgation of the Vatican’s unsubstantiated antigay teachings that are harmful to children in their early childhood psychological developmental years, harm that is crippling throughout their lives. They have continued this even after the beginning of the year, 2009, the Family Acceptance Project research studies had shown the negative effects caused to youths, when their sexual orientation is not accepted, having health problems, suicidal ideation, etc. They ignore all the major medical, psychiatric, psychological and social workers national and international professional associations regarding their findings regarding human sexuality and sexual orientation. WHEN DO WE START PROTECTING CHILDREN?!?!
Written by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz

Gay Marriage - WITCH HUNTS ->The Crucible (1996) -> McCarthyism 1940’s -1950’s, -> Benedict XVI 2005
Senator Joseph McCarthy, with his reckless charges of spies and ''comsymps,'' occupied the front pages, while behind the scenes J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the F.B.I., presided over and manipulated a vast internal security bureaucracy, issuing periodic bulletins intended to fan the flames of the domestic cold war. Photo
In the center ring were the congressional inquisitor-investigators, asking ''Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?''

Facts About Homosexuality and Child Molestation
Dr. Gregory Herek,
University of California at Davis &
Yale University &
City University of New York

Report: Homosexuality No Factor in Abusive Priests
ABC News – 2009

New Catholic Sex Abuse Findings: Gay Priests Are Not the Problem
Politics Daily - November 18, 2009

Professor's view: 
Witch hunt for gay priests 
off base when target should be child abusers 
 By: Iver Bogen, 
University of Minnesota Duluth 
 Duluth News Tribune

Pope Benedict XVI in August 2005 ordered an investigation of America’s 229 Catholic seminaries in order to eliminate gay seminarians. The week of Sept. 27, Vatican investigators began the “witch-hunt” at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis. The question posed to the students: “Are you, or have you ever been, a homosexual?”  Photo 

The investigation was reminiscent of the house arrest of Galileo in his home near Florence from 1633 until his death in 1642 for espousing the Copernican heliocentric view of the universe. The church does not suffer “heretical” thinking well and is extremely slow in altering its doctrines to be consistent with scientific progress as well as changes in cultural mores regarding acceptable human behaviors… Photo

… It is my belief the Catholic Church’s focus on gay priests is merely a strategy for affixing blame and is consistent with its historical antipathy toward homosexuality and same-sex behaviors. However, research in the area of child sexual abuse suggests that pedophilic intrusions occur preponderantly with heterosexual males rather than gay men. It is not one’s orientation that is predictive of pedophilia. According to Dr. Nathaniel McConaghy, “The man who offends against prepubertal or immediately postpubertal boys is typically not sexually interested in older men or women.” Cartoon of Benedict XVI & Hierarchy

Being immature psycho-sexually, these men find themselves responding sexually to other males who also are immature. One’s orientation is not predictive of pedophilia. Read complete article - By: Iver Bogen, 
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth News Tribune

facing the 
Roman Inquisition 
Holy Office of the Inquisition
Biblical quotes used to Condemn Galileo

Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New International Version)
5 The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New American Standard Bible)
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets; And hastening to its place it rises there again. 

1 Chronicles 16:30 (New International Version)
30 Tremble before him, all the earth! 
The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
1 Chronicles 16:30 (New American Standard Bible)
30 Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved

Psalm 93:1 (New International Version)
The LORD reigns, he is robed in majesty; 
 the LORD is robed in majesty 
 and is armed with strength. The world is firmly established; it cannot be moved.
Psalm 93:1 (New American Standard Bible)
1 The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty; The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved

Psalm 96:10 (New International Version)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns." 
 The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; 
 he will judge the peoples with equity.
Psalm 96:10 (New American Standard Bible)
10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved; He will judge the peoples with equity." 

Psalm 104:5 (New International Version)
5 He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.
Psalm 104:5 (New American Standard Bible)
He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.
Read more:

Sexual orientation
is less about sex and more about 
being one with another human being
Attachment Theory - LOVE & RELIGION – Gay Marriage

Attachment Theory

Attachment theory has been researched by John Bowlby M .D. (video), and Mary Ainsworth Ph.D. observing infants beginning at about 10 months of age discovering the significance of the formation of early childhood attachments having lasting effects throughout a person's life. Photo

Attachment is an emotional bond to another person. Psychiatrist, John Bowlby was the first attachment theorist, describing attachment as a "lasting psychological connectedness between human beings" (Bowlby, 1969, p.194). Read more

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. Her work can be described as the scientific study of love and how it develops. Her primary focus was on the infants developing love for its' primary caregiver. She saw this as the early form of a lifelong emotional bond. (quote from the video clip) Additional resource the International Attachment Network

Developmental Narratives

From developmental narrative studies growing up gay of Jack Drescher, M.D., Richard Isay, M.D., and Sidney H. Phillips, M.D., we learn that the expression of sexual orientation begins very early in life, as it does for heterosexuals, in the form of expressing love to another human being and the need to be loved. Gay adult men who were raised in social environments influenced by antigay social and religious norms retrospectively remember being 4 or 5 years of age feeling "different" not gay but "not fitting in."

For the heterosexual boy at the same age in early childhood years has hopes and aspirations of wanting to marry his mother. These innocent childlike expressions of love for his mother are affirmed and are experienced as acceptable to the mother and the other adults in the child's life at the time. The child is told that he cannot marry his mother but that some day he can meet someone like his mother who he can marry. Today I met the boy I’m gonna marry - Father of the Bride 11,308

A Child's Life Growing Up Gay

This same situation for a gay male child, who is raised in a social environment that is influenced by antigay social and religious norms, his signs of affection for his father will be in a number of ways rejected, even scorned. In addition, not only will this boy be suffering from this kind of emotional abuse but he could also be physically abused, as well. When this male child expresses his desire to marry his dad he is likely to be told most emphatically in a shaming tone of voice that he cannot marry his dad that boys do not marry boys. The shock of this unforeseen forceful rejection of this male child’s most authentic and sincerest desire to express his love for his father can be quite traumatizing for him. Because it is an attack on the core of a human being most basic need to love and to be loved. This male child’s hopes and aspirations are not affirmed as acceptable, in fact they are considered unacceptable and offensive. Any child of either sexual orientation at this early age in childhood development will experience this kind of rejection as confusing and depending on intensity even traumatizing.

This male child throughout his early childhood years is likely to experience this kind of rejection multiple times having different levels of severity because he does not understand what he is doing wrong. To a gay male child this kind of reaction is not only extremely hurtful but at the same time it most confusing, it does not make sense to him. There is no one who can help explain the overwhelming flood of emotions he experiences every time he reaches out to love. Ultimately a child will realize that he is not to trust his inner feelings to love and to be love that in fact as for many, he will come to the conclusion that he is "always wrong" about love. This is one of many defenses any child would enact as a form of protection from what is experienced in a child’s mind as a horrific onslaught of rejection. This leaves the child living in an "implicit" form of isolation from human connectedness or bonding.

They’re writing songs of love - But not for me ...A lucky star's above, but not for me,... With love to lead the way I’ve found more clouds of gray… Gershwin,1960 Grammy Award Listen 753
Read more:

Internalized Homophobia
American Psychoanalytic Foundation Public Forum
Ralph Roughton, M.D. 1999

…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.
Read complete address:

Gay marriage -> Restoring 
"Hope of Love"
To Children In Early Childhood -> Marriage Equality
March 23, 2010 – 
by Fr. Marty Kurylowicz

Marriage Equality, like Galileois the truth about the facts of growing up gay. Marriage Equality will not become a reality until people learn that its most vital purpose is that it restores the “hope of love” to children in early childhood – essential to their development and well-being for life. Without Marriage Equality we teach children how to hate love and how to be mean and indifferent to people as adults. With all due respect, without Marriage Equality we would teach them in much the same way as has been shown by Benedict XVI and the hierarchy, especially in their lack of care and protection of children for decades.

Making homophobia history
by Sue Learner
October 26, 2010
The Guardian

'I've had pupils say 'Miss, you are trying to turn us gay' and I ask them, 'do you turn black during Black History Month or Turkish during Turkish month?'" Elly Barnes, a music teacher at Stoke Newington school in north London, is used to tackling such questions. Prompted by seeing homophobia around her in school on many occasions, she now runs Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) History Month here every February.

LGBT History Month was launched nationally by the lobby group Schools Out five years ago, and Stoke Newington school was one of the first to celebrate the event by integrating it into the curriculum. But the school has now gone one step further and become a diversity training centre, training teachers from both primary and secondary schools on equal opportunity policies, giving advice on resources and demonstrating LGBT practice lessons.

"My focus is eradicating homophobia from all schools and educational establishments by giving staff the confidence and resources to do it, along with demonstrating good practice and changing opinions under the banner of 'educate and celebrate'," says Barnes, who is the diversity course leader.
Read more:

Homophobia hurts straight men, too
By Jonathan Zimmerman
October 6, 2010
The Christian Science Monitor
New York

In the 1986 movie Stand By Me, an adult protagonist – played by Richard Dreyfuss – looks back wistfully on the friendships he formed in his youth. “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve,” he muses. “Does anyone?”

For most American men, the sad answer is “no.” In surveys, men report that they rarely sustain intimate, long-standing friendships with other males after childhood. And the reason might surprise you: According to a large body of research, they’re afraid of being seen as gay…


He’s right, of course. But to fight intolerance against gay boys, we also need to acknowledge its toll on straights – and our entire culture. Homophobia hurts all of our boys, by driving a wedge between them. Sharing your deepest feelings with another man? That’s so . . . gay. Or so we’ve been taught…
Read more:

LGBT Ally Week: Take a Stand for LOVE!
by Jason Mannino
October 22, 2010 – The Huffington Post

I sometimes wonder what my life would be like if I didn't have gay allies loving me and supporting me since long before the time I came out, until the very moment in which I am writing this article and I expect beyond the time that I transition into my next life. Then I coach myself to stop and simply bask in the gratitude of not having to know. The truth is I have had so much love and support that I have at times found myself having to work through embarrassment of not always being able to relate to the plethora of bullying, violence, and family ostracizing that others go through.

In September we witnessed five suicides by LGBT teens, and just this week on Tuesday evening the sixth was discovered. This LGBT teen was 19-year-old Corey Jackson on the campus of Oakland University in Southeast Michigan. According to the investigation, thus far this suicide does not seem to have been elicited by bullying.

Melissa Pope, director of Oakland University's Gender and Sexuality Center, said the issue points to a larger, hidden epidemic of suicides among LGBT youth.
Read more:

Happy 2nd Year Anniversary Thalamus Center

The Thalamus Center project is about
Protecting Children by education about Human Sexuality.
Fr. Marty Kurylowicz

There is a scene in an old TV series called “All in the Family” where Edith Bunker is experiencing menopause and she does not know what is happening to her. Edith’s daughter Gloria is explaining to her the symptoms of menopause. Edith feels bad that her daughter has to tell her about menopause. Photo

Edith expresses her frustration and sadness about her lifetime lack of knowledge about human sexuality.

“When I was a young girl, I didn’t’ know what every young girl should know. Now, I‘m going to be an old lady, and I don’t know what every old lady should know.” Edith Bunker – video clip
“All in the Family - Edith’s problem (TV episode 1972 #2.15)”

Edith is not alone even today. Much of the opposition to same sex marriage is likely to a great degree related to feelings and confusion about many aspects of human sexuality exactly like Edith, on the part of millions of people, for women as well as for men, everyone. However, Ignorance about human sexuality is extremely harmful to children.
Related links:

Hate Crime Bill vs Attacks
But No Facts -> Fear And Ignorance
Of The Blind Leading The Blind
October 27, 2009 – Fr. Marty Kurylowicz
…The bible in fact does not condemn Galileo or homosexuality, which science reveals that are normal elements of nature and human sexuality.

People for whatever reason seem to be using the bible to hide from their own personal sexual issues. This is a sacrilege! It is a total disrespect for the bible to be used to hide and harm innocent people, most especially children. These people do not check out the facts about the bible and science on homosexuality, because in truth they do not want to know the truth. Even in discourse with people who believe that homosexuality is evil because they say the bible states it to be, as with Galileo, they are not interested in a discussion, they do not want to hear the truth. They only want to discredit the truth, in every conceivable way, by whatever means available to them. They are likely doing what they have been doing all their lives regarding their personal fears about the truth of their sexuality.

And it is these people who are worried that their freedom of speech will be curtailed, by the new additions to the Hate-Crime Bill. It is only their ability to remain in darkness that is being curtailed, which is greatly more fearful to them, than their concerns about their freedom of speech. They have attacks but absolutely no facts, all motivated by fear and a self-imposed ignorance of the facts. This is the same for Benedict XVI and his hierachy you never hear any stated facts regarding human sexuality. None!!! They offer absolutely "no" discussion or classes on the topic of human sexuality. None!!! They offer no detailed documentation regarding human sexuality from the bible or science. None!!! Because they know only too well that it would not be approved by scripture scholars or by any scientific studies. Where is the truth, not to mention the LOVE? Photo

Their attacks are likely meant to be distractions to stay off the issue, because any attempts to keep them on the issue are met with fiercer and even more vicious attacks, but no facts, like an obsession. They seem to be like a child throwing a hysterical tantrum, however, unlike a child, they are able to cause serious harm to innocent people. It is this violence that the Hate-Crime Bill is designed to protect people from…
Read more:
Related links:

[Unsubstantiated] --- RELIGIOUS BELIEFS that gay and lesbian relationships are 
SINFUL or INFERIOR to heterosexual relationships
gays and lesbians.
Judge Vaughn Walker Ruling
California Prop 8. August 4, 2010

Judge Vaughn Walker 
decision finding that Prop 8 violates both 
Due Process and Equal Protection guarantees in the U.S. Constitution.

77. Religious beliefs that gay and lesbian relationships are sinful or inferior to heterosexual relationships harm gays and lesbians.

a. PX2547 (Nathanson Nov 12, 2009 Dep Tr 102:3-8: Religions teach that homosexual relations are a sin and that contributes to gay bashing); PX2546 (video of same);

b. PX2545 (Young Nov 13, 2009 Dep Tr 55:15-55:20, 56:21-57:7: There is a religious component to the bigotry and prejudice against gay and lesbian individuals); see also id at 61:18-22, 62:13-17 (Catholic Church views homosexuality as “sinful.”); PX2544 (video of same);

c. Tr 1565:2-1566:6 (Segura: “[R]eligion is the chief obstacle for gay and lesbian political progress, and it’s the chief obstacle for a couple of reasons. * * * [I]t’s difficult to think of a more powerful social entity in American society than the church. * * * [I]t’s a very powerful organization, and in large measure they are arrayed against the interests of gays and lesbians. * * * [B]iblical condemnation of homosexuality and the teaching that gays are morally inferior on a regular basis to a huge percentage of the public makes the * * * political opportunity structure very hostile to gay interests. It’s very difficult to overcome that.”);

d. PX0390 Video, Ron Prentice Addressing Supporters of Proposition 8, Part I at 0:20-0:40: Prentice explains that “God has led the way” for the Protect Marriage campaign and at 4:00-4:30: Prentice explains that “we do mind” when same-sex couples want to take the name “marriage” and apply it to their relationships, because “that’s not what God wanted. * * * It’s real basic. * * * It starts at Genesis 2.”;

e. Tr 395:14-18 (Chauncey: Many clergy in churches considered homosexuality a sin, preached against it and have led campaigns against gay rights.); United States District Court

f. Tr 440:19-441:2 (Chauncey: The religious arguments that were mobilized in the 1950s to argue against interracial marriage and integration as against God’s will are mirrored by arguments that have been mobilized in the Proposition 8 campaign and many of the campaigns since Anita Bryant’s “Save Our Children” campaign, which argue that homosexuality itself or gay people or the recognition of their equality is against God’s will.);

g. PX2853 Proposition 8 Local Exit Polls - Election Center 2008, CNN at 8: 84 percent of people who attended church weekly voted in favor of Proposition 8;

h. PX0005 Leaflet, James L Garlow, The Ten Declarations For Protecting Biblical Marriage at 1 (June 25, 2008): “The Bible defines marriage as a covenantal union of one male and one female. * * * We will avoid unproductive arguments with those who, through the use of casuistry and rationalization, revise biblical passages in order to condone the practice of homosexuality or other sexual sins.”;

i. PX0770 Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons at 2: “Sacred Scripture condemns homosexual acts as ‘a serious depravity.’”;

j. PX0301 Catholics for the Common Good, Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons, Excerpts from Vatican Document on Legal Recognition of Homosexual Unions (Nov 22, 2009): There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be “in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”; “homosexual acts go against the natural moral law” and “[u]nder no circumstances can * * * be approved”; “[t]he homosexual inclination is * * * objectively disordered and homosexual practices are sins gravely contrary to chastity”; “[a]llowing children to be adopted by persons living in such unions would actually mean doing violence to these children”; and “legal
recognition of homosexual unions * * * would mean * * * the approval of deviant behavior.”;

k. PX0168 Southern Baptist Convention, SBC Resolution, On Same-Sex Marriage at 1 (June 2003): “Legalizing ‘same-sex marriage’ would convey a societal approval of a homosexual lifestyle, which the Bible calls sinful and dangerous both to the individuals involved and to society
at large.”;

l. PX0771 Southern Baptist Convention, Resolution on President Clinton’s Gay and Lesbian Pride Month Proclamation (June 1999): “The Bible clearly teaches that United States District Court homosexual behavior is an abomination and shameful before God.”;

m. PX2839 Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Position Paper on Homosexuality at 3: “[H]omosexual practice is a distortion of the image of God as it is still reflected in fallen man, and a perversion of the sexual
relationship as God intended it to be.”;

n. PX2840 The Christian Life —— Christian Conduct: As Regards the Institutions of God, Free Methodist Church at 5: “Homosexual behavior, as all sexual deviation, is a perversion of God’s created order.”;

o. PX2842 A L Barry, What About * * * Homosexuality, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod at 1: “The Lord teaches us through His Word that homosexuality is a sinful distortion of His desire that one man and one woman live together in marriage as husband and wife.”;

p. PX2844 On Marriage, Family, Sexuality, and the Sanctity of Life, Orthodox Church of America at 1: “Homosexuality is to be approached as the result of humanity’s rebellion against God.”;

q. Tr 1566:18-22 (Segura: “[Proponents’ expert] Dr Young freely admits that religious hostility to homosexuals [plays] an important role in creating a social climate that’s conducive to hateful acts, to opposition to their interest in the public sphere and to prejudice and discrimination.”);

r. Tr 2676:8-2678:24 (Miller: Miller agrees with his former statement that “the religious characteristics of California’s Democratic voters” explain why so many Democrats voted for Barack Obama and also for Proposition 8.).
Read more - Judge Vaughn Walker decision finding that Prop 8 violates both Due Process and Equal Protection guarantees in the U.S. Constitution.
Nan Hunter 
Professor, Georgetown Law, Washington, DC “hunter of justice”

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

"Who does he think he is, anyway? Thirty-one states have put the issue of same-sex marriage to a vote in recent years, and every single one of them has rejected it. Now, here comes another activist judge blatantly disregarding the will of the majority and holding that 'We the People' can't do what we want. It's an outrage, I tell you, an outrage." Photo

This more or less captures the tone of much of the criticism of Judge Vaughn Walker's decision in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, holding California's Proposition 8 unconstitutional. This criticism is based on a deep misunderstanding of what "We the People" means. The United States Constitution is premised on the notion of majority rule, but with a very important caveat.

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.

The idea of a Bill of Rights that would forbid the government (the majority) from depriving individuals of certain fundamental liberties without good cause had appeal, but as James Madison acknowledged, these "parchment barriers" could not meaningfully restrain the majority from doing what it wants, if the majority has the final word on what those liberties mean.
Read more –
Geoffrey R. Stone is a law professor at the University of Chicago.

Same-Sex Marriage: A Selective Bibliography of the Legal Literature
by Paul Axel-Lute
Rutgers School of Law–Newark

Gay Teen Suicide & Gay Marriage
– Benedict XVI and the Hierarchy –
Child Sexual Abuse & Abuse LGBT Children

“Someday, maybe, 
there will exist 
well considered and 
fervent public conviction 
that the most deadly 
all possible 
 is the mutilation 
a child’s spirit.”

Erik Erikson

…whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.  Photo
Matthew 18:6

Protect children and the entire world will be safe.

Important note: No disrespect meant to Pope Benedict XVI or the hierarchy, the one and only concern is the safety and well-being of children.

Kids Are Being Hurt!!!

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