The Ali Forney Center, New York City's largest shelter for homeless LGBT youth has released a set of videos featuring four of their clients talking about the physical abuse, psychological torment, and rejection they suffered in Christian households which drove them from their homes.
Executive Director Carl Siciliano writes about it in an essay:
"As millions celebrate Easter, I need to ask my fellow Christians to wake up to the terrible fact that far too many LGBT youth are being abused and rejected in Christian homes…
A recent study by the Family Acceptance Project on the impact of family rejection of LGBT youth found that parents who identify as "strongly religious" were significantly more likely to reject their children. According to research by the Center for American Progress, there are an estimated 300,000 homeless LGBT youth in our country, and the leading cause of their homelessness is family rejection.
It doesn't have to be like this. Jesus Christ never spoke a word of condemnation against homosexuals. Churches don't have any need to condemn LGBT people, or fight against our equal treatment in our country. A growing number of church communities have chosen to be affirming and supportive of LGBT people. I have the joy of experiencing this directly in the numerous church groups who send volunteers to cook in our shelters and collect clothing and even Christmas gifts for our young people.
A healthy society prioritizes the safety of children. Decent people do not stand by in silence when children are being abused. We need to recognize that the condemnation of LGBT people in churches leads to the abuse and rejection of LGBT children in far too many Christian homes.
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