A mental health crisis faces millions of people right now and WE can solve it. Millions of LGBTQ+ people, especially teens, face traumatic depression, fear, isolation, rejection, persecution and isolation—usually alone. Studies show, that to deal with their rejection by family, friends, and clergy, LGBTQ+ people are far more likely to use drugs or alcohol to deal with their rejection by family, friends and clergy, suffer intense mental anguish, much more likely to attempt suicide.
And far too often, they do in fact take their lives. The very teachings that “homosexuality is a sin” in whatever form different denominations express it, is at the heart of this pain. Love, knowledge, support and full acceptance—all within everyone’s power—can end this mental health crisis.
This letter is a sincere plea for religious leaders who may not realize the harm their words and actions can cause, to change the non-affirming teachings to one of full inclusion. We are also calling on all parents, educators, politicians and friends, to fully embrace LGBT+ people for being just who they are.
Religious teachings have changed in the past when the human suffering became too great and too obvious. This letter is a clarion call for religious leaders to start the process now to change their teachings before one more life is lost, before one more heart aches unnecessarily.
LGBTQ+ is not a sin.
There are teenagers all over the world today in crisis mode because they fear what will happen if others discover their sexual orientation or gender identity. Please join the LGBTQ Not A Sin project today by signing our important letter to all non-affirming religious leaders urging them to end all negative teachings, and end the immense harm to innocent, vulnerable LGBTQ+ people, especially teens.
Dear Leaders of Non-LGBTQ+ Affirming Religions,
The teachings of your faith tradition suggesting LGBTQ+ people are sinful, sick, unworthy, abnormal or disordered because of their sexual orientation or gender identity is wreaking havoc on the lives of innocent and vulnerable people. These toxic teachings are contrary to science and common sense.
These teachings also directly oppose the core beliefs that each and every person is special; that their lives are of infinite value; that they deserve respect, compassion and sensitivity; and that they are worthy to love and be loved.
These teachings are especially dangerous for young people. LGBTQ+ teens are significantly more likely to suffer immense mental anguish, suicidal thoughts or worse, suicide. While they make up only 5 to 7% of the population, 40+% of homeless youth in America are LGBTQ+. More often than not, their parents disown them, often on account of religion, causing them to be homeless. Too many have lost their lives because of harmful religious teachings. Worldwide, these religious teachings are used as excuses to harass, beat, jail, torture and execute LGBTQ+ people. As such, these teachings are not life-giving but death-dealing.
When religious leaders continue to use non-affirming language from a position of power, it is a heinous form of bullying. Those who do not speak up, in opposition to this bullying, are complicit. True Faith doesn’t bully or support bullying by looking the other way.
Religions have changed their teachings in the past once the human suffering was too obvious. Over time, many religions have changed their teachings on issues like slavery and the death penalty, as people learned more about how these teachings were an assault on human dignity. Today the human suffering because of religious teachings of LGBTQ+ people is widely known. We can look at the hundreds of pieces of legislation being initiated today by non-affirming religious people using their teachings against LGBTQ+ people, and most especially transgender youth. The time to change is long past due.
We respectfully ask that you immediately begin the process to remove from your faith tradition all traces of homophobia and vilification of and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people, and to affirm the truth that it is not a sin to live one’s life in accordance to one’s true sexual orientation and/or gender identity. These are matters of life and death.