Ali Forney | Catholic Church | Gay Youth | Mitchell Gold | News | Pope Francis

Plea to Pope Francis on Behalf of Homeless LGBT Youth Appears in Full-Page 'NYT' Ad


Faith in America has taken out a full-page ad in today's New York Times to make an impassioned plea to Pope Francis on behalf of homeless LGBT youth. The letter to the Pope is written by Carl Siciliano, the executive director of the Ali Forney Center, NYC's largest shelter for homeless LGBT youth.

Read the ad HERE.

GoldWrites Faith in America founder Mitchell Gold in a press release:

"So much has been accomplished for LGBT legal equality….now we hope the next wave will be an all-out effort for LGBT spiritual equality…one that will especially protect vulnerable teens….and one that will enable all legislation to be passed. Just imagine for a moment if so many of the kids that have killed themselves did not grow up being taught that homosexuality was sinful….if when they came out to their parents they were totally embraced rather than being told they were “disappointed” and needed counseling….if they felt they had family and church to turn to?

"I’ve come to see that in the final analysis it is this “sin” hurdle that is the basis for too many to be against LGBT equality and it is clearly one of the most harmful parts of an LGBT teen’s life. Just a few months ago a precious 13 year old in my community told me how he agonizingly contemplated suicide for over a tortuous year. Why? Because he thought he was a sinner. On a very basic, simple level I believe we must dismantle this wall of outdated, misguided and ill-informed religious teachings. Not an easy task….but one that has to be done… all of us, with a concerted effort."

A Facebook page was also launched to accompany the ad.

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  1. I've waited over 73 years to see something like this. I still resent the RC church. I hope I can forgive them before I die. But I don't think so.

    Posted by: terryp | Apr 13, 2014 10:58:57 AM

  2. Pope Francis is just a more effective Front Man.

    The other day when he "begged forgiveness" I couldn't help but wonder, does he know that his Sargents had diocese declare bankruptcy rather than pay damages to victims.

    Does he realize the worst offenders were moved to jobs at the sovereign Vatican to avoid prosecution?

    I don't dislike the man, but thus far he's just another, albeit better, PR person.

    Posted by: pete n sfo | Apr 13, 2014 11:05:23 AM

  3. Asking the Church to reverse itself on its contrived theology of human sexuality is a worthy goal, one that will bear fruit in approximately 2413, perhaps a tad sooner if we all pray super hard...

    Posted by: BobN | Apr 13, 2014 11:13:47 AM

  4. forget "end the harm."

    let's just end religion.

    problem solved.

    there's no credible evidence for anything supernatural. stop the madness.

    Posted by: candide | Apr 13, 2014 11:13:55 AM

  5. I'm sure Francis will pray for them and as any rational person knows prayer and $5 will almost buy you a happy meal.

    Posted by: terry | Apr 13, 2014 11:18:12 AM

  6. Instead of directing something like this to the Pope we should be directing our outrage at the Catholic church to our elected leaders and push to have all Christian ministries banned from the United States. The Catholic Church has no standing or respect in this country as far as I'm concerned.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | Apr 13, 2014 11:20:33 AM

  7. There are no gods.

    The Catholic Crime Cartel exists only to exploit those stupid enough to allow them to steal from them, destroy their families and rape their children.

    Instead of appealing to the figurehead of a criminal organization, these are the truths that any decent person or organization should be running.

    Posted by: oncemorewithfeeling | Apr 13, 2014 11:41:44 AM

  8. A powerful ad. The stories are heartbreaking. I would not, however, count on the RCC doing anyting positive.

    Posted by: Jay | Apr 13, 2014 11:47:15 AM

  9. @BobN: Well, it did only take the Vatican 400 years to finally forgive Galileo for the sin of saying the earth is round and revolves around the sun (though I'm not sure how much relief that gives for taking away his freedom while he was alive).
    But in this new age of literacy and information, people are much more able to have access to facts than they ever have been, which is a huge reason that the nonsensical anti-gay arguments are losing currency much more quickly than has happened in the past.

    Posted by: GregV | Apr 13, 2014 11:53:35 AM

  10. None of us can dispute the sentiment, but appealing to the Pope in a NYT ad seems like a big waste of money---though clearly the Pope isn't really the ad's intended audience.

    There's no reason to believe that the Pope or his church care about LGBTs---young or old, homeless or not. As someone with extensive knowledge of the church, the author knows that. Hopefully the ad will raise awareness and money, but its effect on the church will be nil.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 13, 2014 12:11:48 PM

  11. Religion profits and thrives on discriminating against others, especially women and gay people.

    Posted by: Martin | Apr 13, 2014 12:17:17 PM

  12. Signorelle's ad is commendable, however, it only focuses on gay youth. Majority of LGBT homeless are adults. I've recently published a book that gives voice to our gay homeless and downtrodden, above and beyond just the young ones:

    Posted by: Zeke Krahlin | Apr 13, 2014 12:40:04 PM

  13. It will be seen by the Church as interference in their "religious freedom". Are we going to
    ask them to revoke their belief that non-believers go to hell? It has a far more damaging effect on children not just the gay ones.

    Posted by: simon | Apr 13, 2014 12:55:14 PM

  14. How much is a full page ad in the Sunday NYTimes, $25,000?

    Posted by: peter | Apr 13, 2014 1:18:55 PM

  15. I just read online that a full page Sunday ad costs approx. $70,000

    Posted by: peter | Apr 13, 2014 1:22:29 PM

  16. What a degrading waste of money! We shouldn't be begging for mercy from our oppressors, but rather we should be forcibly wresting away their power over us.

    Posted by: Merv | Apr 13, 2014 1:29:07 PM

  17. with the catholic church being dragged kicking and screaming to admit their role in the systematic cover-up and enabling of child abuse, why would anyone think they would grant spiritual equality to gays or women after centuries of oppression?

    god is alive, and the church is dead - it was suicide.

    Posted by: northalabama | Apr 13, 2014 1:43:56 PM

  18. The ad is quite powerful, but I cringed somewhat at it's chosen recipient (and sigh at some of the comments). Then again, as mentioned, the Pope probably isn't the real target of this ad.

    Tangible changes in THIS lifetime do not occur whilst screaming "get rid of religion and you've solved the problem" (which, to be clear, I'm not against at least starting).

    Millennials have started the disillusionment shift from religion, yes, but sizable shifts that really make a dent aren't happening for the next THREE lifetimes. The English bible translations won't be changed, so the most to hope for would be the annoying "tolerance as we are all sinners but you're just more so" stuff. Which leads to Francis.

    The most we can hope for from the Pope is the minimally positive "tolerance" route, which won't get us that far regardless.

    Posted by: Leo | Apr 13, 2014 1:46:04 PM

  19. MERV, rather than shaming others with emotionally charged words ['degrading' 'waste' 'begging'] from trying to make changes the way they want to, simply follow their lead and try to make changes the way YOU'RE inclined!!!

    On your own according to your own plans, or with the help of other like-minded individuals, YOU start forcibly wrestling away power over us!

    Posted by: Choccywoccy | Apr 13, 2014 1:49:56 PM

  20. Most Americans are Protestants not Catholics. Not sure what this ad is suppose to accomplish unless if the guy is trying to get some PR out of it by targeting the Pope.

    Posted by: Gaj | Apr 13, 2014 2:47:11 PM

  21. I think a LOT of people in this thread are full of hate. I believe the ad is very powerful and the writer gives the reason why it was sent to the Catholic Church: because it is the largest christian organization in the world, thus it is influential. The guy is also making a little bit of PR as well (it looks like it's their 25th anniversary) but that does not diminish the value of being able to speak out in a positive, loving and educated manner to the leader of one of the largest religious communities out there.

    Posted by: ElCid | Apr 13, 2014 2:56:22 PM

  22. I wish the ad did not make the offensive reference to LGBT youth. There's no such thing as LGBT youth. There are LGB youth and there are T youth. It is offensive to tell gay boys and girls that they are transsexuals.

    Posted by: Jack | Apr 13, 2014 3:16:41 PM

  23. Maybe the ad was paid for by Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams and they needed a last minute $75K tax deduction for their taxes.

    Posted by: mike | Apr 13, 2014 4:07:13 PM

  24. "Surely God loves his children more than teachings."

    The evidence worldwide is quite against you...

    Posted by: Randy | Apr 13, 2014 4:40:39 PM

  25. I think this is a waste of resources. We should stop throwing pity parties for ourselves and show a lot more militancy, particularly to Fundie church hypocrites!

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Apr 13, 2014 4:54:08 PM

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