Resources for Faith Communities

Jane Clementi Keynotes the Gay Christian Network’s Conference in 2017

Sacred texts are not something that should be used to hurt or abuse others. They are a guide to direct and lead us through the trials and hardships of this world, of which there are many.

Faith communities should be safe and supportive places for everyone. They should not be exclusive clubs with narrow, judgmental membership criteria, but rather a place of refuge and protection from the cruelty of this world. We believe faith communities should be welcoming and inclusive of all people regardless of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, physical limitations, weight, mental health or any other real or perceived differences from the majority. But even if your faith and your faith community believes something to be a sin, it does not excuse bullying behavior. There is a huge difference between disapproval and the harmful behavior of bullying.

We must celebrate our differences and treat all people as we would want to be treated. This is something Tyler did not receive but the Tyler Clementi Foundation believes should be extended and offered to everyone.

Religious-Based Bullying

If you are a parent whose child has “come out” and you are seeking answers on how to reconcile the love you have for your child with the revelation of their gender identity/sexual orientation, we want this page to be a resource and a source of support for you. If you are a young person struggling with coming out and the response that you may receive from your faith community or your parents, please keep reading. Below is a letter from Jane Clementi, who lost her son Tyler to suicide after he was humiliated online at Rutgers University.

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Update from Jane Clementi:

“As part of a large private Facebook group of almost 600 Christian moms of LGBT kids called Serendipity Today for Moms I added my name to a list of many on two letters that were sent. One is a letter of support to First Baptist Greenville and the other is a letter of protest to SC Baptist Convention for calling on FB Greenville to recant their LGBT non-discrimination policy or be disassociated.”

The time is now! Please partner with TCF to put an end to all bullying within our faith communities. Take our Upstander Pledge today, and promise to stop any unnecessary pain, hurt and shame in your faith family by creating a safe, welcoming, affirming, inclusive place for all to come and worship authentically as they are, unencumbered of man’s dogma and filled with the hope and love that will set us all free.

Youth in Crisis by Mitchell Gold

What is it like to be called an abomination by your religious leaders? To live in fear of losing your family’s love? To be afraid to go to school because of the torment that awaits you? To lie to everyone about whom you love?

Youth in Crisis, by Tyler Clementi Foundation board member Mitchell Gold, asked forty gay Americans to share their very personal answers to these difficult questions. Many discuss their long-buried feelings here for the first time. Several young adults opened up about suicide attempts, depression, fear, and isolation that are still a part of growing up gay.

Learn the harm that religion-based bullying causes, see the dangers of “cures” like so-called conversion therapy, and get insight into the question of sin and homosexuality that divides many churches and families today. Youth in Crisis will help you become better able to help gay kids in your family, congregation, or classroom.

Click here to learn more about “Youth in Crisis” by Mitchell Gold

 

Click here to read more news articles about preventing faith-based bullying from our archives! 

Faith-related Resources for Jewish Communities

Keshet
Working for the full equality and inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Jews in Jewish life, Keshet is a grassroots, national organization led by LGBT Jews and straight allies.

Faith-related Resources for Mormon Communities

The Family Acceptance Project

The Family Acceptance Project is a research, intervention, education and policy initiative that works to prevent health and mental health risks for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) children and youth, including suicide, homelessness and HIV – in the context of their families, cultures and faith communities.Hailed as a “lifeline of hope” for LGBT Mormons and their families, this is the first in a series of faith-based versions of FAP family acceptance materials that share key research findings and family support approaches in the context of religious doctrine and beliefs. This version for Mormon families is also a “Best Practice” for suicide prevention.

Faith-related Resources for Christian Communities

Addressing Religious Arguments to Achieve LGBT Equality
This guide is a resource developed by the team at Faith in America.

The Reformation Project
The Reformation Project exists to train Christians to support and affirm lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Through building a deep grassroots movement, we strive to create an environment in which Christian leaders will have the freedom to take the next steps toward affirming and including LGBT people in all aspects of church life.

Q Christian Fellowship
The Q Christian Fellowship helps create safe spaces both online and offline for Christians of all sorts to make friends, ask questions, get support, and offer support to others. Through conferences, speaking events, videos, message boards, and more, we’re transforming the conversation in the church and working to “share Christ’s light and love for all.”

Believe Out Loud
Believe Out Loud is an online network that empowers Christians to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. We elevate the people and places where Christianity and LGBT justice intersect.

Faith-related Resources for Sikh Communities

Journey With Sikhism
A helpful guide to understand Sikh traditions and promote inclusion.

Read our interview with the first Sikh mayor ever elected in the U.S!
Mayor Ravi Bhalla grabbed headlines for being the first Sikh to lead Hoboken, but Mayor Bhalla has been challenging discrimination and standing up to bigotry his whole life.

Faith-related Resources for Muslim Communities

Bullying of Muslim Students
Recent research about the impacts of bullying and frequency of bullying of Muslim-American students.

State of American Muslim Youth
Informative guide on research and recommendations for inclusion of Muslim-American youth.

Muslims for Progressive Values
MPV establishes and nurtures vibrant progressive Muslim communities worldwide. We envision a future where Islam is understood as a source of dignity, justice, compassion and love for all humanity and the world.

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