Faith In America Announces Clergy Traveling to Phoenix to Speak for LGBT Youth During Southern Baptist Meeting

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FIA Organizes Clergy to Offer Their Testimony to Nation About How They Became Accepting, Affirming and Outspoken for People who are LGBT; Prepared to Speak with Southern Baptist Messengers and Media in Phoenix

Washington, D.C. –Today, Faith in America announces details regarding clergy participating in the unprecedented effort to focus the nation’s largest protestant denomination on what they must be doing to not harm and, instead, protect America’s teens and kids who are LGBT. America’s LGBT teens and kids are in crisis. For example:

Condemning families and religious communities have caused enormous harm to LGBT people, especially young, vulnerable teens.

  • LGBT teens from condemning families are 8x more likely to commit suicide than those in supportive ones.
  • LGBT youth make up nearly half of America’s homeless teens.
  • LGBT children are 70x more likely to become victims of trafficking than their peers.
  • 1-in-4 trans teens have attempted suicide.

Find more details here:

Faith in America (FIA), an organization that exists to end religious-based harm to our LGBT community, realizes Americans can no longer sit by while our children and teenagers are being hurt. FIA has launched a 3-year program called “Save yOur Kids!” (SYK). Our SYK project is developed to address religious-base practices that condemn our teens and youth, creating hostile environments both at church and home, places most needed by our youth, as well as in schools and society at large.

Part of the SYK project is to offer fact- and faith-based information to the media and the public. The Clergy Advisory Committee SYK has created includes some of the leading ministers in the nation who have found in their theology a transformative message to accept and love people who are LGBT instead of condemning and harming.

The Clergy Advisory Committee will serve as media surrogates to speak on behalf of LGBT kids and teens. FIA will inform and encourage media to engage these ministers and provide a voice that is distinctly faith-based and can address the anti-LGBT voices from the religious right and other right wing groups who have preached hate on this topic over the years in the media.

This also includes directly dialoguing with religious organizations and individuals. Five of the pastors on the FIA Clergy Advisory Committee will be part of the FIA delegation of doctors, a country music star, parents, local and national volunteers, bound for the Southern Baptist meeting in Phoenix beginning on June 13.

“Sin is about making wrong choices and actions,” says Pastor Stan Mitchell. “So the more we can get religious people to the realization that sexual orientation is an innate part of a person, a natural part of a human’s being, not a choice, that dramatically undermines the basis for viewing homosexuality as behavior-driven immorality or some perverse proclivity. And it further undermines any justification a person might feel for their condemnation or proactive prejudice.”

The ministers who will be engaging Southern Baptist Messengers and talking to the media about the spiritual crisis our LGBT teens and kids are living through are:

  • Pastor Stan Mitchell, GracePointe Church, Nashville
  • Pastor Aaron Sprietzel, One Church, Phoenix
  • Pastor T. Anthony Spearman, Greensboro, NC
  • Pastor Lara Forbes, Faith Evangelical Lutheran
  • Pastor James Pennington, First Congregational UCC, Phoenix

“This is an historic moment and we, at Faith in America, are pursuing an important course,” says Mitchell Gold, FIA co-founder. “I live and work, and have traveled amongst many people who are incredibly good, well- meaning folks.  But they simply do not know the harm they are causing innocent kids and will never know unless we take the time to share this life saving information.  We ask the media to cover this with the seriousness it deserves. These ministers have been standing up. They have transformed their churches in red states to sanctuaries of acceptance and love, beacons of hope. They are changing America and FIA is delighted to facilitate their efforts.”

We know Baptists care about yOur kids and we believe we can start a conversation and find common ground and common purpose. No one wants these LGBT SBC kids to feel they’d be better off dead or on the streets than with their family and community.


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