Tuesday, November 23, 2010

HOMOPHOBIC ORGANIZATION - Part 2: 'I Hope that the Church Will at Last Confront the Issue of Homophobia' | Dream Turns Into Nightmare | Senior Theologian In The Catholic Church | November 22, 2010 – Spiegel International

David Berger, 42, was Professor of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. The theologian published and edited Theologisches (Theological Issues), a conservative Catholic monthly magazine in Germany from 2003 until this year, and had contacts with various arch-conservative groups within the Catholic Church. He resigned from all his offices after outing himself as a gay man in April 2010. He is now a high school teacher and has written a book about his experiences in the Catholic Church in Germany. "Der heilige Schein. Als schwuler Theologe in der katholischen Kirche" (The Holy Illusion: A Gay Theologian in the Catholic Church), was recently published by Germany's Ullstein Verlag. It has not been published in English.

SPIEGEL: Did you feel this pressure yourself?

Berger: I published the magazine Theological Issues and was summoned by the sponsors every time a faintly liberal view was espoused. Opus Dei people were always there to observe. They said I wasn't allowed to write "life partner;" it should instead be referred to as "fornication partner." "Homosexuality" was too neutral, they said. One had to refer to it as "unnatural fornication."

SPIEGEL: What finally triggered your departure?

Berger: The appearance of the bishop of Essen, Franz-Josef Overbeck, on Anne Will (a prominent Sunday night political talk show broadcast on German public television station ARD), when he described homosexuality as unnatural and a sin during a debate about sexual abuse.

SPIEGEL: Did that make clear to you that you'd been part of the church too long?

Berger: Instead of standing up for my rights and those of my partner I supported anti-democratic and anti-liberal groups that fight against these rights and in which some people dream of a fundamentalist Catholic religious state or seriously call for a Catholic jihad. I joined in this playing with fire and was then naively appalled when the whole house was ablaze. I regret that.

SPIEGEL: It sounds as if your book is a confession. But your former colleagues are not prepared to grant you absolution.

Berger: A reputable theologian loyal to the pope put it clearly: He said I was given the opportunity to discreetly distance myself from the "scene." I was offered the chance to continue this hypocrisy and go on climbing up the career ladder. Because I didn't want to take part in this ecclesiastic "crisis management," I was accused of "shamelessly seeking the public spotlight."

SPIEGEL: What impact do you hope your book will have?

Berger: I hope that the church will at last confront the issue of homophobia. It must recognize that a large proportion of the Catholic clerics and trainee priests in Europe and the United States are homosexual.
Read complete interview:

Part 1: 'A Large Proportion of Catholic Clerics and Trainee Priests Are Homosexual'

WIDESPREAD HOMOPHOBIA in the Catholic Church | Theologian says much of clergy is gay
by Derek Scally,
November 22, 2010 – The Irish Times

WIDESPREAD HOMOPHOBIA in the Catholic Church stems from its large number of closeted priests, a German theologian has said.

David Berger, an expert on St Thomas Aquinas and former publisher of a Catholic magazine, has called for Rome to own up to the gay priests in its midst and alter its attitudes and teaching on homosexuality.

“It must be acknowledged that a large number of Catholic clerics and trainee priests in Europe and the United States are homosexually-inclined,” Mr Berger told Der Spiegel magazine.

The worst homophobia in the Catholic Church comes from homophile priests, who are desperately fighting their own sexuality,” he said. “Obviously, those who follow their urges are repudiated more fiercely when one is so painfully repressing that disposition oneself.”

…Mr Berger “came out” in April after the Bishop of Essen, Franz-Josef Overbeck, described homosexuality as perverse and a sin during an appearance on a television chat show.

As a gay man in a long-term relationship, he said he had suffered for years under the homophobic atmosphere in the church.
Read complete article:

Ignorance about human sexuality is extremely harmful to children.

Pope OKs Condoms 
in Some Cases, Such as Prostitutes Avoiding HIV
by David Gibson, 
November 20, 2010 – Politics Daily

In the book, the pope also confirms that gay men, even if chaste, cannot be priests and says they should not reveal their sexual orientation if they have already been ordained…

Regarding the presence of gays in the priesthood, a topic of much debate, the pope takes an unusually hard line, saying homosexuals cannot be ordained even if they are chaste because gay men do not sacrifice marriage as straight men do. "And the persons who are affected" with homosexuality, he says, "must at least try not to express this inclination actively, in order to remain true to the intrinsic mission of their office."
Read complete report:

Pontifical Academy of Sciences ...had direct discussions with John Paul but” – not with Benedict XVI … refuses to discuss controversial topics such as contraception… November 5, 2010 – FoxNews.com

Gay Marriage & Galileo:
Pope described as …"so averse to anything intellectual that everyone has to play dense and ignorant to gain his favor"
The Trial of Galileo - by Douglas O. Linder (2002)

Homophobia Is Killing Our Youth
by Jason Mannino
April 17, 2009 - Huffington Post

Dehumanization – “The Lucifer Effect”
 by Philip Zimbardo (2007)

The Lucifer Effect:
How Good People Turn

By Philip Zimbardo - Stanford University

“Rather than providing a religious analysis, however, I offer a psychological account of how ordinary people sometimes turn evil and commit unspeakable acts.” http://www.lucifereffect.com/index.html


At the core of evil is the process of dehumanization by which certain other people or collectives of them, are depicted as less than human, as non comparable in humanity or personal dignity to those who do the labeling. Prejudice employs negative stereotypes in images or verbally abusive terms to demean and degrade the objects of its narrow view of superiority over these allegedly inferior persons. Discrimination involves the actions taken against those others based on the beliefs and emotions generated by prejudiced perspectives.

Dehumanization is one of the central processes in the transformation of ordinary, normal people into indifferent or even wanton perpetrators of evil. Dehumanization is like a “cortical cataract” that clouds one’s thinking and fosters the perception that other people are less than human. It makes some people come to see those others as enemies deserving of torment, torture, and even annihilation.

In this section, we will examine three forms that dehumanization has taken: Nazi Comic Books against the Jews; Faces of the Enemy—world-wide propaganda images of the “enemy,” and “trophy photos” of American citizens posing with African Americans who had been lynched or burned alive—and then portrayed in post cards mailed to family and friends.

Nazi Comic Books
Hitler’s “final solution” of genocide of all European Jews began by shaping the beliefs of school children through the reading of assigned texts in which Jews are portrayed in a series of increasingly negative scenarios. At the end of these lessons in civics or geography, we see the “reasonable” discriminatory actions that Germans should take toward Jews…
Read complete report:

The Power of Norms and Groups on Individuals: 
Parallels Between the Stanford Prison Experiment 
Milgram’s Obedience Research
By Philip Zimbardo - Stanford University

Whenever I enter an office-building elevator, I automatically turn and face front, do not make eye contact with other passengers, stop talking or speak only in hush tones to a companion. Are these my personal preferences or idiosyncrasies? Hardly, since most people in most elevators behave similarly. Those actions tell you little about me but a lot about the unspoken rules of public elevators. Why do we do it? Unlike signs forbidding us to smoke or advising us what to do in case of a fire, nothing in any elevator says we should act in these strange ways. Our behavior is under the control of unwritten social rules, implicit norms, which govern appropriate elevator demeanor.

We can test if such situational rules are in silent force by violating them and seeing what our own and others' reactions will be. The reactions will be either of distress or laughter at the apparent violation of these unwritten expectations. One of the most popular scenarios in the long history of Alan Funt's ingenious Candid Camera programs is "Face The Rear." An elevator is rigged so that after an unsuspecting person enters, four Candid Camera staff enter, and one by one they all face the rear. The doors close and then reopen; now revealing that the passenger had conformed and is now also facing the rear. Doors close and reopen, and everyone is facing sideways, and then face the other way. We laugh that these people are manipulated like puppets on invisible strings, but this scenario makes us aware of the number of situations in which we mindlessly follow the dictates of group norms and situational forces.

Social norms are expectations shared by the members of a group about appropriate ways to behave in given situations. Norms are the potential "pressure" in situations that: help to define the nature of social reality; form the foundation upon which people base their interaction; and provide a common referent for members' self-evaluation. By means of these mechanisms, norms increase feelings of personal and group identity…

Faces of The Enemy
What does it take for the citizens of one society to hate the citizens of another society to the degree that they want to segregate them, torment them, even to kill them? It requires a ‘hostile imagination,’ a psychological construction embedded deeply in their minds by propaganda that transforms those others into “The Enemy.” That image is a soldier’s most powerful motive, one that loads his rifle with ammunition of hate and fear. That image of a dreaded enemy threatening one’s personal well-being and the society’s national security emboldens mothers and fathers to send sons to war, and empowers governments to rearrange priorities to turn ploughshares into swords of destruction.

View Slides:
Read complete report:

Dehumanization – “The Lucifer Effect” by Philip Zimbardo (2007) | BENEDICT XVI & BISHOPS - Child Sexual Abuse COVER-UPS & Implicit Child Abuse of LGBT Children

Lessons from the Stanford Prison Experiment
By Sylvia Clute,
October 3, 2010 - OpEdNews

Many years after the Stanford Prison Experiment (see Punitive Justice Distilled: the Stanford Prison Experiment), Philip Zimbardo wrote a book called The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. In it, he considered the larger ramifications of the 1970s college project that was designed to differentiate between what people bring into a prison environment from what the prison environment brings out in the people who are there.

As he considered the larger perspective, he attributed the descent into depravity of the normal, emotionally healthy college students who participated in the experiment to the cultivation of an ecology of dehumanization. (Zimbardo, 223) The most important lesson learned was that when good people do terrible things, it is the outgrowth of systems that provide the necessary institutional support, authority, and resources for such acts to be perpetrated.

The torture and inhumane treatment perpetrated by otherwise normal American soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraq war is an example cited by Zimbardo of how an ecology of dehumanization turns good people into monsters. Another is the slaughter of more than five hundred Vietnamese women, children, and elderly men by American soldiers at My Lai during the Vietnam War. He cites many others. Zimbardo posits a question which, he notes, is rarely asked:

"Who or what made it happen that way?" Who had the power to design the behavioral setting and to maintain its operation in particular ways? Therefore, who should be held responsible for its consequences and outcomes? Who gets the credit for successes, and who is blamed for failures? (Zimbardo, 226)

…Zimbardo points out that it is not always easy to pinpoint the culprits. An ecology of dehumanization is often cloaked in ideology that justifies the conduct as necessary to attain an ultimate goal. The ideology permits those up and down the chain of command to present destructive conduct as a highly valuable moral imperative, and many become involved in its implementation. As the ideology becomes widely accepted and opposition is silenced, the procedures are condoned, justified as reasonable and appropriate. (226.)
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Sexual orientation is not the only continuum that makes up the complexity of human sexuality, there are others. However, allowing the powerful effects of social norms that are ignorant about human sexuality to continue out of fear only perpetuates the harm to generation after generation. The powerful strength of social norms to influence a person or a whole group of people should not be underestimated, as demonstrated by this video clip from Allen Funt's "Candid Camera." Social norms can be so powerful that they can get entire groups of people to agree to go against truth and logic. This video clip is quite humorous. But it is not humorous the kind of serious harm caused to very young children and the life threatening situations even death to many others that is promulgated and perpetuated through the ignorance and fear of social norms not based on truth and facts regarding complexity of human sexuality. Read more 

THREATS, SILENCE, HARM AND DISPOSAL of Catholic Personnel Supportive of LGBT Adults and Children - Ratzinger/Benedict XVI’s Directives To Hierarchy

“…HOMOSEXUALITY "is simply a facet of the human condition"
Silenced by the Vatican
by William Crawley, November 13, 2010 – BBC

An Irish Catholic priest has been effectively silenced by the Vatican. His crime? He argued, in an article in a Catholic religious journal, that homosexuality "is simply a facet of the human condition". Capuchin priest Fr Owen O'Sullivan published his article in the March edition of The Furrow, but the priest's thoughts have proven too radical for the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which is headed by american Cardinal William Levada (pictured, right).

As Patsy McGarry reports in today's Irish Times, "the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican contacted the Capuchin secretary general in Rome with an instruction Fr O'Sullivan was no longer to write for publication without first having his articles approved by it." Presumably this means that Fr O'Sullivan is "free" to continue publishing articles as long as he maintains the party line on controversial issues. Patsy's article is headed "Priest banned from writing", and pedants will question the literal accuracy of that headline. But the CDF's intervention certainly represents a serious limitation on this priest's freedom to publish his own ideas or to question traditional orthodoxies.
Read complete report:

[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:

Catholic school paper deletes student editorials on Catholic DVD, gay teens 
November 16, 2010 - Minnesota Public Radio

St. Louis Park, Minn. — A student newspaper at a suburban Catholic school has sparked a debate over free speech by criticizing a Catholic DVD and defending gay teens. The DVD denouncing same-sex marriage was sent by Minnesota's Catholic bishops to parishioners prior to the Nov. 2 election.

The student newspaper of Benilde-St. Margaret's in St. Louis Park deleted two student editorials over the weekend and shut off the online comments.
The Knight Errant student newspaper published a news story last Thursday about the bishops' "Preserving Marriage in Minnesota" DVD.

But it was the two editorials that accompanied it -- and the online comments they inspired -- that created the uproar. One staff editorial challenged the bishops' arguments against same-sex marriage and called the DVD "unsubstantiated."

Senior Bernardo Vigil helped write the piece.

"We did expect a little bit of a pushback from that, which there was. A lot of the comments were 'this shouldn't have been published, this is a Catholic school,'" Vigil said.

But the op-ed that touched off the cyberstorm was editor Sean Simonson's piece, "Life as a gay teenager."
Read / listen complete report:

400,000 Anti-gay marriage DVDs - $1 million Nienstedt - Minnesota October 29, 2010 - RELIGION & ETHICS PBS – video (NP)

“Priest banned from writing" 
It Is Okay To Be Irish – But Just Don’t Act On It!?! – 
– by Patsy Mcgarry,
November 13, 2010 – The Irish Times

GAY YOUTH CATHOLIC SILENCING | The student newspaper editorial Benilde-St. Margaret's doesn't want you to see - By David Brauer, November 15, 2010 – MinnPost.com

Benedict XVI's CONTROL - INEFFECTIVE - Not able to silence, sabotage, attack Catholic voices on INTERNET | Benedict XVI & Bishops Child Sexual Abuse COVER-UPS | Facts On Human Sexuality | Truth - Justice

US Conference of Catholic Bishops | Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg launching a computer network for schools
by Mary Klaus,
November 20, 2010 - The Patriot-News

UNIDENTIFIED - Internalized Homophobia 
Devastating, and Horrific Consequences On Innocent Children 

Vatican’s MALE PROSTITUTES | “Pope Benedict endorses condom use — for male prostitutes only” By The Associated Press, November 20, 2010 – Raw Story
Pope Benedict XVI says in a new book that condoms can be justified for male prostitutes seeking to stop the spread of HIV, a stunning comment for a church criticized for its opposition to condoms and for a pontiff who has blamed them for making the AIDS crisis worse. Read more:

MALE PROSTITUTES | Pope: Condoms to stop AIDS may be OK in some cases – November 29, 2010 - msnbc.com

Vatican Asking For Male Prostitutes
“Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.”
Though you drive Nature out with a pitchfork, she will still find her way back.

The Vatican was today rocked by a sex scandal reaching into Pope Benedict's household after a chorister was sacked for allegedly procuring male prostitutes for a papal gentleman-in-waiting.

Angelo Balducci, a Gentleman of His Holiness, was caught by police on a wiretap allegedly negotiating with Thomas Chinedu Ehiem, a 29-year-old Vatican chorister, over the specific physical details of men he wanted brought to him. Transcripts in the possession of the Guardian suggest that numerous men may have been procured for Balducci, at least one of whom was studying for the priesthood.

The explosive claims about Balducci's private life have caused grave embarrassment to the Vatican, which has yet to publicly comment on the affair.

While Catholicism does not condemn homosexuality outright, its teaching is that homosexual acts "are intrinsically disordered". The Catechism of the Catholic church states unequivocally: "Under no circumstances can they be approved."

Balducci was arrested on 10 February, suspected of involvement in widespread corruption. A senior Italian government official, he is alleged to have to steered public works contracts towards favoured bidders. He has not been charged.
Read complete article - by John Hooper – quardian.co.uk

Related links:

Gay Prostitution Probe Rocks Vatican - 2 Officials At Center Of Investigation In What Officials Call An 'Organized' Male Prostitution Ring – CBS NEWS

Vatican chorister hired escorts for papal attendant: Report - Montreal Gazette

Pope embarrassed by Vatican gay sex scandal - By GayNZ.com

The Church and Gays: Can't Decide Whether to ""Love" 'Em" or Leave 'Em?" - By Jodi Jacobson, Editor, RH Reality Check

“Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurret.”
Though you drive Nature out with a pitchfork, she will still find her way back. MW

White-Hot 'Outrage'
Over The Capitol Hill Closet
May 9, 2009
National Public Radio (NPR)

The Psychology of the Closeted
Individual and Coming Out
In contemporary gay culture, to hide one sexual identity is referred to as either “closeted” or “in the closet.” Revealing oneself as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) is called “coming out.” 16 Paradigm • Fall 2007
by Jack Drescher, M.D.

Many LGB individuals report developmental histories with difficulty acknowledging their homosexuality, either to themselves or to others. This is because, starting in childhood, LGB individuals are often subjected to antihomosexual attitudes, not only from strangers, but also from their own families and communities (Drescher, Stein and Byne, 2005). The childhood need to hide may persist into adulthood, leading many LGB individuals to conceal important aspects of themselves.

There are a range of homosexual identities that describe an individual’s awareness and acceptance of same-sex attractions. Closeted individuals cannot acknowledge homoerotic feelings, attractions and fantasies to themselves. They cannot or will not integrate homosexuality into their public personae and these feelings must be dissociated out of conscious awareness.

If and when same-sex feelings and attractions are no longer completely dissociated, an individual becomes homosexually self-aware. Such individuals may acknowledge some aspect of their homosexuality to themselves. However, accepting the feelings is not a pre-determined outcome. A religious, homosexually self-aware woman may choose to remain celibate rather than integrate her religious and sexual identities…

Sullivan’s (1956) theories of dissociation elaborate how a sexual identity can be separated from the rest of one’s persona. For example, selective inattention is a common, nonpathological process, akin to tuning out the background noise on a busy street. In more intense dissociative mechanisms, double lives are lived yet not acknowledged. One sees clinical presentations of closeted gay people lying somewhere between selective inattention, most commonly seen in the case of homosexually self-aware patients thinking about “the possibility” that they might be gay, to more severe dissociation –in which any hint of same-sex feelings resides out of conscious awareness. More severe forms of dissociation are commonly observed in homosexually selfaware married men who cannot permit themselves the thought of coming out (Drescher, 2006).

To hide significant aspects of the self, or vigilantly separate from each other, can be painful. Constant hiding creates difficulties in accurately assessing other people’s perceptions of oneself as well as recognizing one’s own strengths. Dissociation’s impact on self-esteem can also make it difficult to feel one’s actual accomplishments as reflections of one’s own abilities. Transparency, invisibility, losing one’s voice, being an outsider, etc. are some of the terms used to describe the subjective experience of dissociative detachment (Drescher, 1998).
Read complete research:
Jack Drescher, MD, is a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City.

Dr. Drescher is a leader in his profession. He is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and served as a Consultant to APA’s Committee on Public Affairs. He is a member of the DSM-5 Workgroup on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders.  He is a past Chair (2000-2006) of APA’s Committee on GLB Issues and a Past President of APA’s New York County Branch. He is currently the Co-Editor of AppleSource, the newsletter of the NYC DB of the APA. He is President-Elect of the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, and a Past Trustee of both the Accreditation Council for Psychoanalytic Education and the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and Dynamic Psychiatry. He is a member of numerous distinguished psychiatric, medical and scientific organizations, including The American College of Psychiatrists and the New York Academy of Medicine.
Read more:

"ANGELS IN AMERICA" - Benedict XVI & Hierarchy – “No Angels In The Vatican” - Ignorance about human sexuality is extremely harmful to children.


Playwright Tony Kushner adapts his political epic about the AIDS crisis during the mid-eighties, around a group of separate but connected individuals.

Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes is a play in two parts by American playwright Tony Kushner. It has been made into both a television miniseries and an opera by Peter Eötvös

As the seven-hour play progresses, Prior is visited by ghosts and an angel who proclaim him to be a prophet; Joe finds himself struggling to reconcile his religion with his sexuality; Louis struggles with his guilt about leaving Prior and begins a relationship with Joe; Harper's mental health deteriorates as she realizes that Joe is gay; Joe's mother, Hannah, moves to New York to attempt to look after Harper and meets Prior after a failed attempt by Prior to confront Hannah's son; Harper begins to separate from Joe whom she has depended upon and find strength she was unaware of; and Roy finds himself in the hospital, reduced to the companionship of the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg and his nurse, Belize, a former drag queen and Prior's best friend, who meanwhile has to deal with Louis's constant demands for updates on Prior's health.
Read more:

I'm His Child
Zella Jackson Price

Memorable quotes “Angels in America”

Joe Pitt: I think we ought to pray. Ask God for help. Ask him together.

Harper Pitt: God won't talk to me. I have to make up people to talk to me.

Joe Pitt: You have to keep asking.

Harper Pitt: I forgot the question?... Oh, yeah. God, is my husband a homo?

Joe Pitt: Stop it! Stop it! I'm warning you! Does it make any difference that I might be one thing deep within? No matter how wrong or ugly that thing is so long as I have fought with everything I have to kill it? What do you want from me? What do you want from me Harper, more than that? For God's sake, there's nothing left. I'm a shell. There's nothing left to kill. As long as my behaviour is what I know it has to be, decent, correct that alone in the eyes of God.

Harper Pitt: No, no, not that. That's Utah talk, Mormon talk. I hate it, Joe. Tell me, say it.

Joe Pitt: All I will say is that I'm a very good man who has worked very hard to become good and you wanna destroy that. You wanna destroy me but I am not gonna let you do that.

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:

Neurotic, hysterical, schizophrenic: 
the psychology of Hitler
By Charles Bremner,
April 3, 2005 – Times Online

ADOLF HITLER was a narcissistic bully in thrall to a dominant father and with a neurosis about women, according to a newly disclosed psychological analysis drawn up for US intelligence during the Second World War. Photo

Based on the theories and language of the time, the 1943 evaluation by Dr Henry Murray, director of the Harvard Psychological Clinic, accurately forecast Hitler’s suicide in his bunker in 1945.

Drawing from an array of wartime sources, Murray’s 240-page typewritten report depicted Hitler as a feminine boy who was obsequious towards superiors and displayed homosexual tendencies. His sense of grievance over his own humiliation led to his cruelty and policy of mass slaughter.

The profile was commissioned by General “Wild Bill” Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services, forerunner of the CIA. One of only 30 copies was found recently by Cornell University in its Nuremberg Trials archive and put on its law school internet site. 
Read more:

400,000 Anti-gay marriage DVDs - $1 million Nienstedt - Minnesota October 29, 2010 - RELIGION & ETHICS PBS – video (NP)

Hate Crime Bill vs Attacks
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. There is nothing to be gain to be in discourse with such people. In fact, they should be avoided, because they are harmful. Because no matter what they say or how violently they say it, it will not cause the sun to revolve around the earth or for homosexuality to be evil. Photo

ATTACKS and absolutely NO FACTS
from the

It is a waste of time for you and for them, besides being seriously harmed by their "unchecked meanest" towards others. If and when they do their homework and truly study both the bible and the science regarding homosexuality and human sexuality then there could be a productive discourse. Otherwise, there are no discussions with them; only continuous personal attacks on the person who opposes them that are fierce, cruel and hurtful. Likely, in the way they treat themselves, which may have started when they were treated in such fashion, in their past. 

Even Jesus advised leaving them because, as he said, "they are the blind leading the blind" Matthew 15:14. 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 hierarchy 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?

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.

It is the intensity of their forcefulness to attack others without any substantiated facts to support their position that draws public attention to question their sexuality. It is like so many public figures who so forcefully have spoken out against homosexuality and then are found in "public restrooms" engaging in homosexual acts. Today, not only are more people "coming out" of the "closet" but there is an enormous ever growing number of Allies supporting LGBT people and their civil rights. It is the continuous education on human sexuality that keeps this number growing strong. However, it is also becoming more noticeable when someone protest too much against homosexuals with the absence of factual data to support the protesting that catches peoples attention and causes people to wonder, why? What causes this person to protest so strongly, because no valid facts are given?

What should be top priority is the life harm that is caused to children, who grow up LGBT and sadly it is not even considered of any importance. The Bible is about Love the purest form of Love known. The Bible is not about permission to hate, to remain blind or to harm people, especially very young children.
Posted: October 27, 2009
Related links:

Pontifical Academy of Sciences ...had direct discussions with John Paul but” – not with Benedict XVI … refuses to discuss controversial topics such as contraception… November 5, 2010 – FoxNews.com

Gay Marriage & Galileo:
Pope described as …"so averse to anything intellectual that everyone has to play dense and ignorant to gain his favor"
The Trial of Galileo - by Douglas O. Linder (2002)

GAY YOUTH SUICIDE | BENEDICT XVI & BISHOPS Child Sexual Abuse Cover-ups – Negligence Protecting (1) Children & (2) LGBT Children | Family of Rutgers suicide victim lends name to bill – November 19, 2010 – CNN

Judge Vaughn Walker Ruling
California Prop 8. August 4, 2010
Related Links:

[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:

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

Judge Vaughn Walker Ruling
California Prop 8. August 4, 2010
Related Links:

American Academy of Pediatrics
The Effects of Marriage, Civil Union, and Domestic Partnership Laws on
the Health and Well-being of Children 2006

American Medical Association
Policy Regarding Sexual Orientation
GLBT Advisory Committee

Children with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Parents
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 2006

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
Calls Proposition 8 Decision
“A Great Day in the Struggle for Human Rights”
August 11, 2010

Association of Gay and Lesbian Psychiatrists
Support of Legal Recognition of Same-Sex Civil Marriage

Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Marriage - Research Summary
American Psychological Association

New Rules Affirm Pope Benedict's Stance Against Gays
By Daniel Williams,
October 8, 2005 – The Washington Post

ROME, Oct. 8 -- In the first five months of Pope Benedict XVI's reign, stern opposition to homosexuality in and outside the Roman Catholic Church has quickly become a prime public message for the Vatican.

The new pontiff plans to issue guidelines that attempt to inhibit homosexuals from entering seminaries to train for the priesthood. Church inspectors have embarked on a tour of U.S. seminaries and, according to their working papers, are tasked to ask: "Is there evidence of homosexuality in the seminary? (This question must be answered.)"

Benedict also has energetically fought legal recognition of homosexual couples.

For the church and for Benedict, taking a public stance on homosexuality is not unusual. Church observers have noted that for the quarter-century before becoming pope, Benedict, then known as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, served as the Vatican's chief enforcer of orthodoxy, drafting official positions regarding homosexuality.

"No doctrinal chief has ever written and spoken about homosexuality as extensively as Ratzinger has, because homosexuals have never had the freedom to organize and demand recognition they enjoy today," wrote author John L. Allen Jr. in a biography of Benedict, published before he became pope.

His papacy's early focus on homosexuality is a reaction to outside events, some analysts have said: the spread of so-called civil unions or marriage rights to same-sex couples, and the disclosure of sexual abuse by priests. Vatican officials have largely blamed the abuse on homosexuality…

Some bishops note that the church already has prohibitions on homosexuals from entering the priesthood and suggest that a restatement will only make the church look intolerant, Vatican officials say…
Read complete report:

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?” 

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.”

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

Gay Marriage - WITCH HUNTS ->The Crucible (1996) -> McCarthyism 1940’s -1950’s, -> Benedict XVI 2005

"Impending rules on gay priests create Catholic divide"
by Charles Honey – October 8, 2005
The Grand Rapids Press

When the Rev. Martin Kurylowicz came out to his Sparta parish eight years ago, he said he had struggled for years with his homosexuality.

The Catholic priest says the struggle would be made harder for many others if the Vatican issues new rules that reportedly would ban gays from becoming priests… 

…"I sizzled when I read it," said Kurylowicz, 55. "It's very hurtful, is what it is. In this day and age, there's no reason for it. It sends a message that there's something wrong with gays."

Kurylowicz said he spoke out then to raise awareness of violence against gays and teach others homosexuality is not a choice but an inborn trait. Church leaders still don't understand that and contribute to gays' poor self-esteem, he said…

…"Kids as young as 4 or 5 know they're different," said Kurylowicz, a psychotherapist… "They grow up with this pervasive guilt, which sabotages their growth and motivation." The result is thousands of dollars in therapy to accept their natural orientation, he said, adding, "Does the Vatican want to take that on, like the tobacco industry had to take on for the damage it caused consumers? "…
Read complete article: 
by Charles Honey - Religion Editor 
The Grand Rapids Press – Archives

Why Bother About Homosexuals?
Homophobia and Sexual Politics in 
Nazi Germany (2002)
by Geoffrey J. Giles
Why should the Nazis bother about homosexuals? After all, some of the most loyal supporters of the Nazi movement were homosexual, and Hitler refused to condemn the sexual preference of Ernst Röhm, even after it featured prominently in the opposition’s campaign against the Nazis in 1931. Tolerance for homosexuals had increased in Germany during the first three decades of the twentieth century to the extent that an open gay culture flourished in cities such as Berlin in the 1920s, and parliament seemed well on the way to abolishing §175, the clause of the penal code dealing with homosexual offenses.2 So why bother about them? First, because Nazi opposition to this emancipation sought to appeal to the conservative backlash that the Nazis wished to co-opt.


“What the Pope Knew”
Gary Tuchman,
September 25, 2010,
CNN & CNN International
(Investigative documentary)
Read more/related links:
Priest says he was pressurised into taking blame for pope 
– The Irish Times – read more

Priest says he was bullied into taking fall for Pope in abuse scandal 
- The Local – 4/18/10
Germany’s News In English – read more

Ratzinger & Vatican 
“They did as much as they had at each point in time given the public outcry, and no more.” 
Katrin Bennhold – 4/27/10
The New York Times – read more

“…the church must … end its campaign to block the weak and the vulnerable from receiving help to deal with the consequences of criminal sexual abuse.” 
By Lawrence Lessig – 4/26/10
The New York Times – read more

Hurricane Katrina - Nancy Pelosi - Washington, DC – 2005
Benedict XVI Child Sexual Abuse

Who Can Mock This Church?
By Nicholas D. Kristof
May 1, 2010
The New York Times

Catholic Church sex abuse documents made public
By Gillian Flaccus,
Associated Press, October 25, 2010 - Salon

10,000 pages of litigation-related paperwork reveal the Diocese of San Diego's disturbing history

Nearly 10,000 pages of previously sealed Catholic church documents have been made public and showed that the Diocese of San Diego long knew about abusive priests, some of whom were shuffled from parish to parish despite credible complaints against them.

After a three-year legal battle over the diocese's internal records, a retired San Diego Superior Court judge ruled late Friday that they could be made public. Attorneys for 144 people claiming sex abuse made the papers public Sunday.

The records are from the personnel files of 48 priests who were either credibly accused or convicted of sexual abuse or were named in a civil lawsuit. They include a decades-old case in which a priest under police investigation was allowed to leave the U.S. after the diocese intervened…
Read more:

Watergate 1973
Ripping Open An Incredible Scandal

(TIME, April 30, 1973) -- The denials, the evasions, the secretiveness, and, yes, the lies, all had failed. The Watergate case was breaking wide open. A 10-month campaign by some of the highest past and present officials of the Nixon Administration to cover up their involvement was crumbling. Read more - CNN TIME Photo Nixon 

Roman Catholic - hierarchy child sexual abuse 
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.

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 http://www.justice.ie/en/JELR/Pages/PB09000504

 (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 Nixon 

(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

July 2010 
President of the United States
United States Congress
United States Supreme Court
50 United States Governors 

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 http://fathermartykurylowicz.blogspot.com/2010/09/gay-marriage-separation-between-church.html

GAY YOUTH SUICIDE | BENEDICT XVI & BISHOPS Child Sexual Abuse Cover-ups – Negligence Protecting (1) Children & (2) LGBT Children | Family of Rutgers suicide victim lends name to bill – November 19, 2010 – CNN

Protecting Children from the Church's Abuse Of Power
by William F. McMurry
November 19, 2010 – The Huffington Post

The world continues to watch with genuine interest as the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church parades masks of contrition before the media, in an effort to convince the faithful that the Church has turned the corner on the clergy sexual abuse crisis. On Nov. 19, a gathering of Cardinals from every corner of the Church's influence will convene in Rome at the request of the Supreme Pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI. This meeting of Cardinals will include a discussion about the Vatican's response to sexually abusive priests…

This week, as the most powerful officials of the most politically influential religious organization in the world gather to discuss the Church's response to the priest sexual abuse scandal, the stark contrast between those with power and those with none could not be more profound. The Church continues to operate in complete secrecy, without any governmental oversight or accountability. This confluence reminds me of Lord Acton's most famous quote regarding the corruption inherent in power. Most readers will know this oft-quoted phrase, but few, if any, will know that Lord Acton was speaking of the Pope when he wrote the following in a letter to Mandell Creighton in 1887:

“I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they did not wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way against holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.”

Until the governments of our world wrestle the power over children away from religious organizations operating in secrecy and without accountability, justice will remain an elusive butterfly.
Read complete report:

Crimes Against Humanity” BENEDICT XVI & BISHOPS - Child Sexual Abuse COVER-UPS | “Clergy Abuse Victims Rally At Vatican” - by Sylvia Poggioli, November 1, 2010 – National Public Radio NPR (NP)

Is Pope Benedict Guilty of Accessory to Rape After The Fact?
October 14, 2010 - I-Newswire

According to the Preacher Bureau of Investigation Pope Benedict has a lot of explaining to do.

In the US Judicial System there exists a felony charge called Accessory after the Fact. A suspect in the United States can be charged with this offense if he knowingly shelters or aids a criminal after they have committed a crime. Another serious felony charge in the United States is Child Endangerment which equates to placing a child in a potentially harmful situation through negligence or misconduct. 

Pope Benedict has come under a tremendous amount of criticism because of his handling of cases that involved Priests who raped children. Pope Benedict in his role as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which deals with sex abuse cases is accused of moving pedophile priests from one Diocese to the next in order to conceal child rapists. As Prefect of this division of the Vatican, it was his sole responsibility to discipline Priests accused of raping children.
Read more:

Spanish PM defends social reforms after papal criticism
– AFP – November 14, 2010
Expatica Spain

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero defended Sunday his liberal social reforms which have angered the Vatican,…

…The prime minister was on a surprise visit to Afghanistan when the pope arrived in Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain on November 6.

He met with Benedict for about 10 minutes at Barcelona airport just before the pope departed for Rome at the end of his visit.

The leader of Spain's main opposition Popular Party, Mariano Rajoy, said Saturday that Zapatero had "not been up to the task" of prime minister with his absence from the papal mass in Barcelona.

"What does Rajoy want, that we put in place the laws that the pope wants? No, we will enact the laws that parliament and the citizens of this country want, for everyone and with equality," Zapatero said.
Read complete report:

You blind guides! 
You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees,
you hypocrites!
You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Matthew 23:24-25

In Spain, Pope Benedict XVI lambasts 'aggressive secularism'
November 7, 2010 - The Christian Science Monitor


Church defends its political perks

“Spain is a bastion of the Catholic Church in Europe. It doesn’t treat all religions equally. It has preferential treatment for the Church,” says Ferran Requejo, a political science professor in the Universidad de Barcelona. “Relations with the government have been cold for some time and the Vatican has been pushing to weaken the secular push.”

The Vatican has also been aiming to derail a government electoral promise to reform “religious freedom” legislation that is now broadly considered discriminatory against other faiths.

It has been indefinitely postponed, though, to avoid further alienating Catholics as the government is already facing massive discontent over the economic crisis.

Spain is not officially secular, as most western states are. Rather, it is legally neutral in terms of religion, implying it is a faith-based state. In practice that has translated into huge benefits for the Catholic Church that leaders from other religions, namely Muslims, Protestants, and Jews, say are unconstitutional because they are discriminated against when getting access to government aid and public space…
Read complete report:


BETWEEN FAITH AND REASON – September 15, 1998 
Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth—in a word, to know himself—so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves (cf. Ex 33:18; Ps 27:8-9; 63:2-3; Jn 14:8; 1 Jn 3:2). 


1. In both East and West, we may trace a journey which has led humanity down the centuries to meet and engage truth more and more deeply. It is a journey which has unfolded—as it must—within the horizon of personal self-consciousness: the more human beings know reality and the world, the more they know themselves in their uniqueness, with the question of the meaning of things and of their very existence becoming ever more pressing. This is why all that is the object of our knowledge becomes a part of our life. The admonition Know yourself was carved on the temple portal at Delphi, as testimony to a basic truth to be adopted as a minimal norm by those who seek to set themselves apart from the rest of creation as “human beings”, that is as those who “know themselves”. 

Moreover, a cursory glance at ancient history shows clearly how in different parts of the world, with their different cultures, there arise at the same time the fundamental questions which pervade human life: Who am I? Where have I come from and where am I going? Why is there evil? What is there after this life? These are the questions which we find in the sacred writings of Israel, as also in the Veda and the Avesta; we find them in the writings of Confucius and Lao-Tze, and in the preaching of Tirthankara and Buddha; they appear in the poetry of Homer and in the tragedies of Euripides and Sophocles, as they do in the philosophical writings of Plato and Aristotle. They are questions which have their common source in the quest for meaning which has always compelled the human heart. In fact, the answer given to these questions decides the direction which people seek to give to their lives… 

(29) “[Galileo] declared explicitly that the two truths, of faith and of science, can never contradict each other, 'Sacred Scripture and the natural world proceeding equally from the divine Word, the first as dictated by the Holy Spirit, the second as a very faithful executor of the commands of God', as he wrote in his letter to Father Benedetto Castelli on 21 December 1613. The Second Vatican Council says the same thing, even adopting similar language in its teaching: 'Methodical research, in all realms of knowledge, if it respects... moral norms, will never be genuinely opposed to faith: the reality of the world and of faith have their origin in the same God' (Gaudium et Spes, 36). Galileo sensed in his scientific research the presence of the Creator who, stirring in the depths of his spirit, stimulated him, anticipating and assisting his intuitions”: John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences (10 November 1979): Insegnamenti, II, 2 (1979), 1111-1112.

“Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.
Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.”

Faith can never conflict with reason The 'Galileo case' teaches us that different branches of knowledge call for different methods, each of which brings out various aspects of reality. http://www.its.caltech.edu/~nmcenter/sci-cp/sci-9211.html   

“There are no irreconcilable differences 
between science and faith” 
PopeJohn Paul II

Know thyself – Plato  John Paul II

This above all: to thine own self be true, 
 And it must follow, as the night the day, 
Thou canst not then be false to any man. - William Shakespeare

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. - Luke 6:40-42

Ricky Martin on Coming out and Coming Into His Own 
- By Nekesa Mumbi Moody AP, 
November 3, 2010 – ABC News

"What, am I gonna teach them how to lie?”
Ricky Martin

Ricky Martin reveals he ‘cried like a baby’ after coming out
– November 2, 2010 – PinkNews.co.uk

Ricky Martin has told Oprah Winfrey about the moment he decided to announce he was gay.

The Puerto Rican star posted a message on his website declaring himself to be a “fortunate gay man” but says he broke down in tears afterwards.

He said: “When I realised, okay, I just pressed send, whoo… I was alone.

“I was in my studio alone for a minute. My assistant walked in and I just started crying like a little baby. I started crying.”

The 38-year-old said he decided to be open about his sexuality to set a good example to his twin sons, Valentine and Matteo, two.

He said: “I couldn’t take it anymore, it was too painful.

“But I guess the most important thing is my children… When I was holding them in my arms I was like, ‘What, am I gonna teach them how to lie?’ Whoa, that is my blessing right there. Then, when I was holding my children I said, ‘Okay, it’s time to tell the world’.”
Read more:

Ricky Martin cried 'like a baby' after revealing his sexuality
– November 2, 2010

Pope Benedict to Beatify a 
Gay Saint?
 A Conservative Icon? Maybe Both
by David Gibson – September 18, 2010
Politics Daily

…"It is not good for a Pope to live 20 years," Newman once wrote of the long-lived Pius IX. "It is an anomaly and bears no good fruit; he becomes a god, has no one to contradict him, does not know facts, and does cruel things without meaning it."

Such frank talk about the failings of the hierarchy tended to make Newman a champion of liberal Catholics -- a courageous man who wrote about the "development of doctrine" in the church at a time when the Vatican was projecting an image of unceasing continuity. He also disagreed strongly with the church's adoption of the doctrine of papal infallibility, and famously wrote that if pressed, he would drink "to Conscience first and the Pope afterwards." Photo 

…Complicating all the interpretations is the fact that Newman had an extraordinarily close relationship with another English Catholic, Father Ambrose St. John, who had died in 1875, leaving Newman bereft -- and giving today's gay Christians an icon of their own.

"I have ever thought no bereavement was equal to that of a husband's or a wife's, but I feel it difficult to believe that any can be greater, or any one's sorrow greater, than mine," Newman wrote at the time of his friend's death. "From the first he loved me with an intensity of love which was unaccountable." And elsewhere: "As far as this world was concerned I was his first and last."

Sexual orientation - Internalized Homophobia
“Auschwitz – Benedict XVI - Christmas 2008 -A flashback far more severe than in Brokeback Mountain” 
GAY TEENAGE SUICIDE - Fr. Marty Kurylowicz 
Attachment Theory Photo
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. Photo

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

facing the Roman Inquisition - Read more

 Biblical quotes used to Condemn Galileo

Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New International Version)
5 The sun rises and the sun sets, anhurries back to where it rises.
Ecclesiastes 1:5 (New American Standard Bible)
5 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; icannot 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)
1 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)
5 He established the earth upon its foundations, So that it will not totter forever and ever.
Read more:

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

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.

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.”

…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!!!

Angels In America 
[Official HBO Trailer]

I'm His Child
Zella Jackson Price

GAY YOUTH SUICIDE | BENEDICT XVI & BISHOPS Child Sexual Abuse Cover-ups – Negligence Protecting (1) Children & (2) LGBT Children | Family of Rutgers suicide victim lends name to bill – November 19, 2010 – CNN

(CNN) -- The family of a Rutgers University student who committed suicide after a sexual encounter was broadcast online has consented to the use of his name on a piece of anti-harassment legislation.

The family of Tyler Clementi will allow Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-New Jersey, to use his name in the proposed federal legislation, to be known as the "Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act," an attorney for the family said.

Clementi's body was recovered from the Hudson River in September, more than a week after he jumped from the George Washington Bridge.

The bridge spans the river between New York and New Jersey, which is home to Rutgers. Clementi jumped from the bridge after two other Rutgers students allegedly videotaped a sexual encounter between him and another man and streamed it online.
Read more:

NJ Gov. Wonders How Rutgers 'Spies' Can Sleep at Night After
Tyler Clementi's Suicide
By Linsey Davis and Emily Friedman
September 30, 2010 – ABC News

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie today called the suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi an "unspeakable tragedy" and said he can't imagine how the two students accused of secretly filming Clementi can sleep at night "knowing that they contributed to driving that young man" to suicide.

The governor spoke hours after a body that was pulled from the Hudson River was identified as Clementi. The student leaped to his death after his roommate allegedly secretly filmed him during a "sexual encounter" with a man and posted it live on the Internet.

The medical examiner's office said an autospy revealed the 18-year-old had drowned and suffered blunt impact injuries to his torso.

Christie grew emotional when discussing Clementi's death.

"As the father of a 17-year-old…I can't imagine what those parents are feeling today, I can't. You send your son to school to get an education with great hopes and aspirations, and I can't imagine what those parents are feeling today," he said.

The governor also wondered about the two students accused of taping Clementi, bragging about it online and then trying to catch him on video a second time…

"Not only was Tyler incredibly intelligent, but he was an amazing violin player," said Guentert. "He stood out at every school concert, and never seemed to get nervous. The music really came from his heart."

Read complete article/video:

Rutgers student Tyler Clementi's final days before suicide emerge in online posts
by Kelly Heyboer/ The Star-Ledger

Private Moment Made Public, Then a Fatal Jump
By Lisa W. Foderaro, September 29, 2010
The New York Times

Report: One-third of US teens are victims of cyberbullying
by Stacy Teicher Khadaroo,
October 8, 2010 - The Christian Science Monitor

The suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi has brought more attention to cyberbullying. A new study examines the scale of cyberbullying among US teens.

More than half of American teens worry about safety on the Internet and know someone their age who has been targeted by hurtful electronic communications. Nearly a third have been targets themselves.

Those recent survey results, released by the Chicago youth-market research firm TRU, hint at the scale of the problems being addressed more vigorously in the wake of the suicide of Rutgers student Tyler Clementi and other cases of cyberbullying.
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. 

I thought of this research as I read about the death of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University freshman who jumped off the George Washington Bridge after a roommate secretly filmed Clementi’s sexual encounter with another man and posted the clip online. Clementi died by himself, but he wasn’t alone: Since the school term began in September, three other adolescent boys around the country also committed suicide following taunts from classmates about their sexual orientation. 

In response, gay and lesbian groups called on schools to institute more stringent protections for gay students. Even Secretary of Education Arne Duncan got in on the act, attributing these “unnecessary tragedies” to the “trauma” of homophobic bullying. “This is a moment where every one of us . . . needs to stand up and speak out against intolerance in all its forms.”


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.
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Homophobia Is Killing Our Youth
by Jason Mannino
April 17, 2009 - Huffington Post

Today is a significant day for silence, youth, and our schools. Today, across the country schools will participate in a National Day of Silence to protest the homophobic bullying that is killing teenagers and honor those whose lives have been taken by the barbaric hands of hatred.

In less than two years there have been four brutal teenage deaths resulting from homophobic bullying. Just last week Carl Walker, an eleven year old in Springfield, Massachusetts , who never actually identified as gay, hung himself with an extension cord from the 3rd floor landing of his home. This was after his mother repeatedly implored his school to do something about the homophobic bullying he experienced. Last summer a transgendered teenager, Angie Zapata, was brutally murdered in Greeley, Colorado. Last February Eric Mohat, a 17-year old student from Ohio, who also never identified as gay, committed suicide after being repeatedly harassed with anti-gay epithets such as "fag" and "homo." His school went to trial last month as a lawsuit was filed by his parents, not because they want the school's money, but because they want to know why the school didn't respond to several requests for action. Also, last year, Lawrence King, a fifteen year old who identified as gay, was shot in the head twice in his English class. He died a few days later. His heart was donated the day after Valentine's day.
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GOP blocks repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'
By Lisa Mascaro - Tribune Washington Bureau,
September 21, 2010
Los Angeles Times

The Senate vote, 56-43, falls short of the 60 needed to begin debate on a bill that includes the policy on gays in the military. The vote also holds up the Dream Act, a route to citizenship for those who have attended college or served in the military.

WASHINGTON — A Republican-led filibuster on Tuesday blocked efforts to repeal the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military, shelving an Obama administration priority at least until after the November election.

The measure repealing the military policy banning gays from serving openly was part of the 2011 Defense authorization bill. Democrats tried to bring the bill up for consideration but failed to get the 60 votes necessary to overcome determined GOP-led opposition. Supporters voted 56-43 in favor of starting debate on the Defense bill, short of the 60 needed.

Democrats control 59 votes in the Senate.

Gay Bullying Deaths and Religion: 
Are Believers the Problem or the Solution? 
by David Gibson, 
October 8, 2010, Politics Daily

The national heartbreak and ongoing furor over the suicide of Tyler Clementi, the New Jersey college freshman who was humiliated when two other students secretly videotaped and broadcast on the Internet his tryst with another man, has cast a harsh light on the scourge of bullying, especially when it targets gay and lesbian youth.

But Clementi's death last month, following suicides by several other homosexual teens in recent weeks, has also prompted a sharp debate in religious communities, a discussion that includes an unusual degree of soul-searching in addition to the more typical defensiveness.

Christian denominations, where homosexuality is often condemned in uncompromising terms and where battling gay rights can be a legislative priority, have been particularly roiled by the debate, with traditionalists who tend to lead the charge against homosexuality posing some of the toughest questions for their own members.

"Are we complicit?" was the title of a provocative blog post on Tuesday at Mirror of Justice, a Catholic legal affairs site.

The author of that column, Russell Powell, an associate law professor at Seattle University School of Law, wrote: "In the Church's attempt to assert its commitment to heterosexual marriage and to maintain that homosexuality is a moral disorder, does it help to create a cultural climate that tacitly legitimizes the stigmatization of gay young people?" 

...Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, a prominent conservative Christian lobby. "While individual bullies may target 'gay' kids (and should be punished), there's no empirical evidence for the claim that society's disapproval of homosexuality causes the mental health problems (including depression and suicide) that are found among homosexuals."

Education experts and child psychologists disagree. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called bullying "a moral issue" when he convened the first-ever bullying prevention summit this past August.

Bullying, Duncan said, "is really a form of physical and mental abuse" that "leaves long-lasting scars on children."

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that after physical appearance, homosexuality is considered a prime factor in bullying, and that youth who are bullied are more likely than other children to be depressed, lonely and anxious, and are more prone to think about suicide or trying to commit suicide. A survey by the group Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, commonly called PFLAG, found that 85 percent of gay students were harassed during the previous school year but few reported it.
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Professor [Stephen T. Russell] to 
Explore LGBT Suicide Risk
by Stephen T. Russell, May 2008
University of Arizona - University Communications
It is widely known that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth face discrimination, but less is known about the factors that make them twice as likely to attempt suicide.

University of Arizona professor Stephen T. Russell is determined to find out using a study that gathered information about students from their teenage years through young adulthood.

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has just provided Russell with a two-year "distinguished investigor" grant totaling nearly $100,000 that will allow him to study suicide risk among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, LGBT, youth.

Russell, a John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences professor, is one of the few researchers who has studied the experience of LGBT youth in school. He published the first national results showing LGBT youth are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide.
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For Many Gay Youth, Bullying Exacts a Deadly Toll
by Randy Dotinga and E.J. Mundell, October 8, 2010
HealthDay Reporter - Bloomberg Businessweek

FRIDAY, Oct. 8 (HealthDay News) -- A series of suicides involving bullied gay teens has shocked much of America this past month.

On Sept. 9, 15-year-old Billy Lucas of Greenburg, Ind., hanged himself after enduring constant taunts from bullies at school. Photo

Two weeks later, 13-year-old Asher Brown from suburban Houston shot himself soon after revealing he was gay.

And on Sept. 27, another 13-year-old, Seth Walsh of Techachapi, Calif., died after injuries sustained from hanging himself. He too, had endured "relentless" bullying from other kids, according to The New York Times.

One more death -- the Sept. 22 suicide of 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi -- catapulted these and other suicides of young gay teens into the media spotlight. Clementi's roommate, Dharun Ravi, allegedly broadcast surreptitious video footage over the Internet of Clementi in an intimate encounter with a young man. Last week, Clementi left a message on his Facebook page: "Jumping off [George Washington] bridge sorry," and then did just that.  

Cases like these are far from rare, and "this may be the tip of the iceberg," said Dr. David Reitman, chair of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender and Questioning Special Interest Group, part of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. In a statement, he said "the tragic outcome in these cases underscores the profound consequences that bullying and harassment can have on a young person."
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Tortured For Being Gay,
by Andrew Sullivan,
October 9, 2010 - The Atlantic

This story in the NYT this morning obviously speaks for itself. The plight of gay teens and youths, despite so much advances in the culture, for so many remain an unimaginable nightmare. The truth is not, I suspect, that there is a sudden new wave of this; the truth is that we have not been so aware of it before, or that shame on the part of victims, has kept some of this from the light of day. The five well-publicized suicides of the last month do not represent a rise, which is why I've tried before on this blog to mention The Trevor Project, an organization devoted to helping to save suicidal gay teens and children... ----Photo

For too long, gay people have been described by too many on the right as a threat to the family, society and decency. Those words have consequences. This is especially true of religious leaders. When even the Pope describes us as "intrinsically disordered" and directed to an "objective moral evil", when Republicans call us a threat to family life, when NOM runs ads of a "storm coming", I hope they understand what these words do to the psyches and souls of the young and impressionable, and to those who need a mere signal to take up arms and attack us.

When you do these things to the least of my brethren, you do them to me, said Jesus. I pray that those who say they follow him would sometimes remember those words when it comes to the rhetoric that gay children and teens cannot help but hear...
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Gay Prejudice Starts on the
by Peter W. Fulham,
October 9, 2010 - Politics Daily

When I was in middle school, few accusations silenced a room as quickly as this one: "What are you? Gay?" If you wore the wrong kind of t-shirt, if you botched an assist during a soccer game, or if you listened to outdated music, you could expect the dreaded interrogation. My classmates always asked the question with a vitriol that made clear what the right answer should be.

No. I'm not gay.

But I was, and I knew it.

As you grow older, it becomes easier to forget the brutality of childhood. Prejudice begins on the playground, and children often face the most intolerance at an age when they are least equipped to cope with it. "The weakness of the child," George Orwell once wrote, "is that it starts with a blank sheet. It neither understands nor questions the society in which it lives, and because of its credulity other people can work upon it, infecting it with the sense of inferiority and the dread of offending against mysterious, terrible laws."
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Homophobia in the Church:
What Catholics Are Doing About It,
What Still Needs to Be Done
By Michele Somerville,
October 10, 2010 - The Huffington Post

I attended a Roman Catholic baptism about two weeks ago. A crowd of young parents and others of all ages stood in semi-circle around the font. The atmosphere was reverent yet festive. Toddlers squirmed. The church was exquisite. Blades of late-morning light slid down through colored glass. The priest exuded hope and delight as he kicked off the rites. As the two parents approached the font to offer their child to the church, I began to tear up. My 11-year-old daughter Grace, not unaccustomed to my poet's penchant for being capsized by moments so tender, saw my waterworks start up, rolled her eyes as adolescents do, smiled, and handed me a tissue. As I often do when my emotions get the best of me in the presence of my children, I get all pedagogical on them. I whispered sidebars to Grace: "That's litany of the saints, it's beautiful when sung in Latin... And that the part about Satan and the empty promises -- it's technically an exorcism!" Photo

I didn't have to explain that it was no ordinary baptism we were witnessing. She knew it was extraordinary, because I had taught her. The two parents at the font were bravely (or so I believe) demonstrating their desire not to throw the baby out with the baptismal water.

They were two gay dads asking a church governed by bullies to bless their child.

My daughter later asked how it was that gay people could have their children baptized in Catholic churches but not be married in them. Good question. I broke it down for her. I told her a far greater percentage of Catholics support gay marriage than support the Vatican. I characterized the failure of my church to offer gay Catholics marriage in the church as just that -- "a failure." And a sin. Photo - not the 2 dads in this article
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Poet Michele Madigan Somerville is the author of Black Irish and WISEGAL (2001). She has written about religion for the New York Times (online). She lives in Brooklyn.

Gay bullying and Catholic responsibilities
by David Gibson,
October 8, 2010 - Commonweal

A striking aspect of the focus by many bishops on the battle against gay marriage, such as the DVD campaign by Minnesota’s Archbishop John Nienstedt, discussed below, is how out of synch it is with the tragic realities of bullying against gay youths, brought home so forcefully by the deaths of Tyler Clementi and many other teens.

Bishops who have been concerned about gay marriage have also been fighting against anti-bullying laws that include sexual orientation (along with religion and race, e.g.) as a targeted category, which studies show it often is. They argue that including sexual orientation to protect youths from harassment is the slippery slope to gay marriage and other gay rights.

I have a story at PoliticsDaily.com today about some serious soul-searching by Christians, especially those of the conservative stripe, about their language and approach on gays in light of the rash of suicides and bullying that has come to light.
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Suicide surge: Schools confront anti-gay bullying
by David Crary, AP,
October 9, 2010 – msnbc.com

Deaths prompt districts nationwide to rethink efforts, policy

NEW YORK — A spate of teen suicides linked to anti-gay harassment is prompting school officials nationwide to rethink their efforts against bullying — and in the process, risk entanglement in a bitter ideological debate.

The conflict: Gay-rights supporters insist that any effective anti-bullying program must include specific components addressing harassment of gay youth. But religious conservatives condemn that approach as an unnecessary and manipulative tactic to sway young people's views of homosexuality. Photo 

It's a highly emotional topic. Witness the hate mail — from the left and right — directed at Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin School District while it reviews its anti-bullying strategies in the aftermath of a gay student's suicide.

The invective is "some of the worst I've ever seen," Superintendent Dennis Carlson said. "We may invite the Department of Justice to come in and help us mediate this discussion between people who seem to want to go at each other."

…"Policies have to name the problem in order to have an impact," said GLSEN's executive director, Eliza Byard. "Only the ones that name it see an improvement."

According to a 2009 GLSEN survey of 7,261 students, only 18 percent said their schools had a comprehensive program addressing anti-gay bullying, while gay students in schools that had such programs were less likely to be victimized and more likely to report problems to staff…
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Faith, Hope and Love: Ending LGBT Teen Suicide
by Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D.
October 6, 2010 - The Huffington Post

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.
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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 child-psych.org 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…
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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 info@child-psych.org.
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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.”
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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 info@child-psych.org.

 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! 
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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.http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bloggers/brian-mustanski-phd

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.
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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…
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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…
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Benedict XVI & Hierarchy - ABUSE LGBT CHILDREN
“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).
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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.
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Suicide Prevention Resource Center
Education Development Center, Inc.
55 Chapel Street
Newton MA 02458
877-GET-SPRC (438-7772)

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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…
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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.
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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…
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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:

Catholics Face Vocal 'Mutiny' Over Teachings On Gay Marriage
By Daniel Burke - October 1, 2010 – The Huffington Post


Joseph Palacios: Keeping faith in the fight for gay rights
by Sean Quigley, September 23, 2010
The Georgetown Voice - Georgetown University Photo

Catholics in support of gay rights - Georgetown Professor Launches Catholics for Equality
By Alice Maglio | Sep 28 2010
The Hoya – Georgetown University

Prayers for Bobby 
(2009) (TV)

…Prayers for Bobby is the amazing true story of a mother torn between her loyalties, challenged by her faith, and moved by a tragedy that would change her life, and the lives of others, forever. Photo 

Bobby Griffith (Ryan Kelly, Smallville) was his mother's favorite son, the perfect all-American boy growing up under deeply religious influences in Walnut Creek, California. Bobby was also gay. Struggling with a conflict no one knew of much less understood Bobby finally came out to his family. Despite the tentative support of his father, two sisters, and older brother, Bobby's mother, Mary (three time Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner Sigourney Weaver, Avatar, Working Girl), turned to the fundamentalist teachings of her church to rescue her son from what she felt was an irredeemable sin. As Mary came closer to the realization that Bobby could not be "healed," she rejected him, denying him a mother's unconditional love, and driving her favorite son to suicide. Photo

Anguished over Bobby's death, Mary finds little solace in her son's poignant diaries, revelations of a troubled boy fighting for the love of his mother and God. Finding it difficult to reconcile her feelings of guilt, her conflicted emotions over religious teachings, and her struggles with understanding her son's orientation, Mary finally, and unexpectedly, reaches out to the gay community as a source of inspiration and consolation. For Mary Griffith, it's the beginning of a long and emotional journey that extended beyond acceptance to her viable role a vocal advocate for gay and lesbian youth. In 1996, twelve years after Bobby's death, she was invited to address the Congress of the United States, establishing her as a major force in the fight for human rights.
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