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Canadian Pastor Kicks Out Youth Volunteer Because He's Gay

A youth church volunteer at Wesleyan Church in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada was asked to leave the church because he's gay, the New Brunswick Beacon reports:

BriggsColin Briggs, 20, has volunteered at the church since 2011. He also worked as a camp counselor for two years. During his last year of high school in 2011, he joined a mission to Haiti.

Pastor Mark Brewer asked Briggs to stop by the church on September 18 for a meeting. The youth pastor, Nathalie Estey, was also present.

To his shock, they asked Briggs to stop his volunteer activities. They said he was welcome to continue attending church services.

“We felt it would be in the best interest of him and the church if he stopped serving,” said Brewer. This would “avoid any potential uproar that may be caused if families were to find out an openly gay male was working in the children’s ministry.”

The pastor added: “Having an openly gay male working in the children’s ministry may cause some parents to feel uncomfortable.”

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  1. Funny that when christians do this - we post it as news - but the Ali Forney center in NYC has a similar rule - as donors you are not allowed to interact and / or mentor the youth at their facility. Why isn't that news too?

    Posted by: Tommyz | Sep 22, 2013 10:54:36 AM

  2. An "openly gay" volunteer" who does his work well is certainly preferable to a secret pedophile. Is that so hard to understand?

    Posted by: gregorybrown | Sep 22, 2013 10:55:46 AM

  3. This won't go over well in Canada.

    Re: GREGORYBROWN - Why you said!

    Posted by: Gig | Sep 22, 2013 11:00:12 AM

  4. What the bigoted pastor is saying: "we in the priesthood don't want competition for the young boys under our charge."

    Posted by: Mmike1969 | Sep 22, 2013 11:12:22 AM

  5. Now, we wouldn't want any parents to feel uncomfortable now would we? They shouldn't be Asian, Hispanic or black either.

    Posted by: Joseph Singer | Sep 22, 2013 11:14:46 AM

  6. He chose to be part of this cult so he's got no right to complain. Religion is a means by which people legally organize themselves into hate groups. You should not be part of a group that hates you.

    Posted by: terry | Sep 22, 2013 11:21:06 AM

  7. I'm the first person to say not to feed the trolls, but:

    The many reasons why it's evil when Christianists discriminate against gay people based on either their book of fairy tales or other lies they tell themselves and why it's common sense when charitable organizations have policies in place that separate their privileged donors from the vulnerable population they serve, whose lives are actively being rescued by organized plans that are being put into action by the charitable organization, are all self-evident to anyone who's not an absolute out-and-out idiot.

    But thank you for taking the time to attempt to smear a worthy organization with bizarre stupidity while defending the evil that Christianists do.

    The question here is: why is a decent young man throwing himself away on Christianism when he could be doing so much good in the world?

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Sep 22, 2013 11:24:25 AM

  8. It's the church's loss. Colin can and should just move on. There are many other more welcoming churches and organizations he can support as a talented volunteer. Leave the small minded behind, Colin, and find your true purpose elsewhere.

    Posted by: Joe in Ct | Sep 22, 2013 11:42:28 AM

  9. Well at least the church didn't let their ignorance & prejudice get in the way of their Xtian message.

    (Big, BIG, muthafuk*n eye-roll)

    Colin is young & wants to make a difference. There are lots of organizations that will happily welcome him.

    Posted by: Pete N SFO | Sep 22, 2013 11:47:17 AM

  10. Lucky church! With Colin gone, they can hire more people who actually will molest the children: priests! Raise and praise!

    Posted by: Just a guy | Sep 22, 2013 12:02:31 PM

  11. I'm just back from church - a church where he would be welcomed. Mostly st8 congregation, but as it happens right now, 3 of the seven people working in our Sunday school are gay - no one turns a hair. So please don't lump all Christians with these idiots.

    God bless,


    Posted by: Mike from Rockville | Sep 22, 2013 12:09:03 PM

  12. Well, he's welcome to attend services -- and, no doubt, make donations.

    Posted by: Hunter | Sep 22, 2013 12:09:53 PM

  13. makes perfect sense; that luscious crop of youth should be made available to a closeted pedophile rather than be exposed to healthy role models who can nurture self-image and maturity.

    Posted by: Kile Ozier | Sep 22, 2013 12:12:46 PM

  14. I smeared no one and defended no one. A blindly stupid policy based on the potential for abuse - real or imagined - is still a blindly stupid policy. Both organizations feel that they are 'helping' youth - so the positions are equal. When we as gay people cannot get past prejudice that all gay men are unsuitable to be with children - its silly - but when a gay organization does this - its either A: Clear pandering to their heterosexual donors or B: Uninformed or C: both. Gay youth at risk are the MOST in need of adult mentors. Gay Adult mentors - Ali Forney doesn't allow contact because they 'fear' what might happen if something were to go wrong - as does this church. Unfounded fear = stupidity either way. I have no idea how someone can defend keeping gay youth in need of mentorship and the experience of strength and hope of adult gays while decrying that a church would do the same? I feel both are stupid. There is no smearing - especially as other gay charities that help at risk gay youth have opted for a different path and encourage mentoriing programs. The hypocrisy is what astounds me - criticize one group for an uninformed view - and then laud a gay group that takes the same position for equally absurd reasons.

    Posted by: Tommyz | Sep 22, 2013 12:42:48 PM

  15. I'm sorry...but men who show uber interest in little children that aren't their own makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Especially poor disadvantaged kids, as in the case of Jerry Sandusky. It just isn't normal for a 20 year old white boy to show so much interest in little Haitian kids...

    Posted by: pedro | Sep 22, 2013 1:04:15 PM

  16. Yes, that is their logic. Adapt to bigotry instead of bigots adapting to normalcy. Way to go. I guess he must've suspected with whom he was helping though.

    Posted by: SAYTHETRUTH | Sep 22, 2013 1:06:29 PM

  17. From the photo I thought it was going to be another post on Steve Grand.

    Posted by: Ruddigore | Sep 22, 2013 1:11:17 PM

  18. He needs to join the Peace Corps. why be involved with a church that hate?

    Posted by: Stephen | Sep 22, 2013 1:11:42 PM

  19. Christians. Ya gotta love 'em.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Sep 22, 2013 1:16:05 PM

  20. @Pedro: Über interest in children like Sandusky, huh? What a weird leap. The Haitian kids need help. Why wouldn't a 20 year-old male (or female) want to help kids? Bizarre that you'd think there's some reason why an openly gay guy shouldn't be around children. Should gay men not be fathers either?

    Posted by: Ernie | Sep 22, 2013 1:16:25 PM

  21. If churches insist on being part a problem then perhaps they should be removed from the equation. Burn them all down, I say.

    Posted by: Bravo | Sep 22, 2013 1:19:41 PM

  22. @BRAVO: don't burn them. They make lovely libraries, restaurants, and discotheques.

    Posted by: Vint | Sep 22, 2013 1:38:31 PM

  23. " - as donors you are not allowed to interact and / or mentor the youth at their facility"

    Well, if all you've done is give money, why should they let you interact with the residents? It's not a zoo.

    Posted by: BobN | Sep 22, 2013 1:50:22 PM

  24. More good news for people who just love really bad news.

    Posted by: UGH | Sep 22, 2013 2:02:32 PM

  25. "If all you've done is give money - then why" - well - thing is - the only thing they let you do is give money. I gave money.

    Has no one heard of screening? Background checks? Group mentorship programs? There are ways to screen out people with alternative motives - and btw - professional counselors sometimes have ulterior motives as well.

    Other charitable organizations that focus on gay youth in other states and countries have found the best way to get these kids off the streets and to build self esteem is through interaction with non-judgmental adult mentors.

    My point in writing was made self evident in posts here - one writing that anyone who wants to interact with Haitian youth is suspect? Does that go for straight couples as well? Gay married couples? Where do you draw the line? The immediate assumption that an adult with an interest in helping youth is suspect - and doubly so when gay is antiquated, homophobic, and ridiculous.
    Should we assume all christian households are bad for foster kids who are gay? Should gays be allowed to foster? To mentor? Do gays not have a desire to 'parent' - and if they do - shall we immediately hold them suspect?

    Luckily not all groups (Churches or other) are so interested in pandering to misinformed stereotypes and recognize the benefits of adult mentorship programs.

    I encourage anyone donating money to do so to programs that work and are enlightened enough to not paint the entire gay community with a swath of suspicion in the process.

    Posted by: Tommyz | Sep 22, 2013 2:06:54 PM

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