Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Fw: Faith in America Releases Ground-Breaking New Report

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From: "Steve Hildebrand" <steve@faithinamerica.org>
Date: Tue, 09 Nov 2010 11:10:40 -0600
To: <mark@rauterkus.com>
ReplyTo: steve@faithinamerica.org
Subject: Faith in America Releases Ground-Breaking New Report

Faith in America



Today, Faith in America released its ground breaking new report calling upon LGBT organizations and individuals to adopt powerful new messaging and strategies designed to attack religion-based bigotry as the biggest obstacle to achieving full equality.


Get the report here:


This report is not the final word on this important topic, but it provides powerful and effective messages that will elevate this discussion in a significant way. We hope LGBT leaders and activists will take time to read the report, absorb it and use the tools and arguments we are providing to improve the intersection between religion and homosexuality.


The following are core messages from Faith in America's report. We encourage people, especially LGBT organizations to adopt this language when addressing those who espouse religion-based bigotry.


1.      Religion-based bigotry causes enormous harm to LGBT people, especially young, vulnerable teens.


More than a million LGBT teens are suffering debilitating depression because their families and religious institutions see them as deviants. Suicide rates amongst LGBT youth are four times higher than those of heterosexual youth.


LGBT people are victims of discrimination and bigotry, which are often justified and promoted by religious teachings that say homosexuality is immoral, sinful or an abomination. If we don't talk about it, no one will know how much hurt and suffering it causes. It is particularly important for those in the religious movable middle to hear this, because no concept is more antithetical to the faith values of love and compassion than causing harm to others.


2.    Sexual orientation is a natural part of a human's being whether heterosexual, bisexual or homosexual.

Studies have shown that if a person believes sexual orientation is a choice, they are 70% more likely to be against LGBT equal rights (2007 Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs Survey). Conversely, if a person believes sexual orientation is part of how you are created, they are 70% more likely to be in favor of LGBT equal rights.

We've learned there is something much deeper here that we need to address. The religious teachings that many people of faith embrace play an important role in whether people see being gay as a choice. Many people of faith believe the heterosexuality is the normal and natural expression of sexuality, while homosexuality is a conscious choice to deviate from this norm.

We must educate Americans on the scientific facts about sexual orientation. Homosexuality is not a deliberate choice. It is innate to most people. One's sexual orientation is not a deliberate decision to act against God's will.


3.    Religion-based bigotry against LGBT people is wrong…just as it was wrong to use religious teachings to justify discrimination against Native Americans, African Americans, minority religious groups, woman and interracial couples.


Demonstrating a parallel between historical bigotry against other groups and the attitudes of some people today toward homosexuality is one of the most effective ways to educate people about the denial of equal rights to the LGBT community. Getting people to recognize religion-based bigotry as a common denominator in prejudice and discrimination toward minorities is not a shortcut for changing attitudes but Faith in America has found it to be an effective educational tool for bringing awareness and understanding.


Please take the time to read the full report and then share it with your friends and family. Please also consider a donation to help us with this important work. We can't do it without your help.


Thank you,


Steve Hildebrand

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Faith in America | P.O. Box 1176 | Hudson | NC | 27638

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