Cardinal, Archbishop and Bishops Sign Historic Document Against LGBT Violence
New York, NY– Today the Tyler Clementi Foundation is pleased to announce the beginning of a new initiative inviting Catholic bishops in the United States to join with them in standing up against violence, harassment and bullying of at-risk LGBT youth. Participating Catholic bishops who have already signed the declaration are: Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, Archbishop John C. Wester, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Bishop Robert McElroy, Bishop Edward Weisenburger, Bishop John Stowe, Bishop Denis Madden and Bishop Steven Biegler. These bishops’ support against bullying is an historic step in the Catholic Church’s ministry and outreach to LGBT people.
Jane Clementi, co-founder and CEO of the Tyler Clementi Foundation, said today, “This is a great beginning. I am very grateful to the Catholic bishops who have signed the declaration and are courageously adding their voices to an effort to show God’s love by opposing any violence, harassment or bullying behavior against the most vulnerable among us. With this groundbreaking statement, these bishops are saying that all God’s children, including our LGBT siblings, deserve kindness, respect and compassion.”
The full statement, “God Is On Your Side: A Statement from Catholic Bishops on Protecting LGBT Youth” can be found on the Tyler Clementi website.
The announcement is especially meaningful on this day, January 25, the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul, who had a change of heart and mind as he went from an opponent of Christians to one of the church’s greatest leaders. Jane Clementi said, “I hope that this might be the perfect time and means to find common ground with the church and join together to speak-up to help prevent bullying behavior against the LGBT community. It’s never too late for a conversion. And it’s never too late to be an Upstander!”
This is just the beginning; the Tyler Clementi Foundation is inviting all Catholic Bishops in the United States to add their names to our “God Is On Your Side: A Statement from Catholic Bishops on Protecting LGBT Youth”
The Tyler Clementi Foundation’s mission is to end online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces and faith communities. Founded in 2010 by the Clementi family in memory of Tyler – a son, brother and friend – the foundation’s flagship bullying-prevention and education program is #Day1. Other programs include the Upstander Pledge, Upstander Speaker Series, Tyler’s Suite, and True Faith Doesn’t Bully, a public education campaign that fights religious bullying. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, re-introduced in Congress in 2019, would require colleges and universities receiving federal funding to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or religion.