For many people, religion can be a source of comfort, hope, and community. But for others, religion has been a source of bullying and pain.
Through our True Faith Doesn’t Bully campaign, the Tyler Clementi Foundation is standing up to end religion-based bullying.
We are initiating a letter-writing campaign to educate Pastors of the Southern Baptist Church denomination to the pain and harm of teaching young people that they are broken, less than or separated from God, because of who God created them to be or who God created them to love. Please join us and share your story of how these teachings impacted you. Please see our Letters of Affirmation on this link.
Additionally, we are pleased to announce the beginning of a new initiative inviting Catholic bishops in the United States to join with us in standing up against violence, harassment, and bullying of at-risk LGBT youth. To find out the participants and the full statement of God Is On Your Side: A Statement from Catholic Bishops on Protecting LGBT Youth, click here.
What is religion-based bullying?
Bullying, broadly defined, is unwanted and harmful verbal, physical, psychological, sexual or social acts by an individual or group, as well as any real or perceived threat or imbalance of power. When individuals or groups use religion to demean or harass people, to exclude them, to make them feel bad about themselves, or to harm them in any other way, this is bullying.
LGBTQ individuals are particularly vulnerable to religion-based bullying because of the history of religious groups condemning LGBTQ people. Treating LGBTQ people as less valued, preaching at LGBTQ people, and calling LGBTQ people’s sexual orientation or gender identity “sinful” are all potential examples of religion-based bullying.
We believe that all people should have a place in their chosen faith communities, and that no person should be made to feel that who they are is a sin, whether or not they belong to a faith community.
See what we’re doing to stop religion-based bullying
Some highlights of our current and recent work:
- On November 13, 2017, the Tyler Clementi Foundation joined forces with Faith in America to work together to end religion-based bullying. Learn more.
- We’re standing up against so-called conversion therapy and harmful theology and the ways they’re being used to bully LGBTQ people.
- On September 7, 2018, we announced a partnership with leading LGBTQ faith advocate Justin Lee.
- We previously partnered with Faith in America on the Save yOur Kids! campaign to equip, educate, and engage.
Going forward, we’re continuing to spread the lifesaving message that True Faith Doesn’t Bully.
Learn how you can make a difference
You can help end religion-based bullying and take a stand that True Faith Doesn’t Bully.
- Take the Upstander Pledge and the Faith Challenge.
- Speak up anytime you hear people using religion to belittle or exclude others—whether that’s in your family, at work, at school, in your place of worship, or anywhere else.
- Get involved with faith organizations that stand against bullying and help spread their positive message in your own community.
- Share your Upstander story with us and let us know how you’re standing up against bullying—or how someone else has changed your life by being an Upstander.
Your voice matters.
Get faith-based resources you can use
Many faith-based organizations are boldly standing up against bullying. Here are some of them and the resources they offer.