Nearly 200,000 People of Faith Take Pledge to End Suicide and Homelessness Among LGBT Children and Youth
Monumental Achievement Highlights Urgency Christians Feel to Address the Harm Non-Affirming Religion Does to LGBT Kids
Hickory, N.C. - July 10, 2017 – In the lead up to and immediately following Faith in America's effort to engage the Southern Baptist Convention around the harm LGBT children and youth experience every day from being raised in highly rejecting households and churches, nearly 200,000 people of faith – conservatives and progressives alike – have united in signing FIA's pledge to Save yOur Kids! in less than three weeks.
This monumental, grassroots achievement highlights the urgency "pew sitters" are feeling right now to address the twin realities that LGBT kids raised in non-affirming households are eight times more likely to make an attempt on their life and make up nearly half of America's homeless youth.
The pledge, which can be found on the Save yOur Kids! website, commits Christians to being compassionate and open to dialogue with others who might interpret scripture differently than themselves in order to end the crisis and anguish LGBT children and youth are suffering daily.
This historic development comes on the heels of Faith in America's presence at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix, AZ in June. During the SBC's annual meeting, three representatives of Faith in America were interviewed by FOX Charlotte: Pastor Stan Mitchell of the Clergy Advisory Committee and Director of Religious Outreach, Dr. Jack Drescher of the Medical Advisory Committee, and Mitchell Gold Co-Founder and Co-Chair. Because of this coverage, LGBT youth and families with LGBT children in them were able to hear about Faith in America's growing grassroots movement that is aided by a broad coalition of advocacy groups, to end the harm caused by harmful religious teachings.
In addition, over 3,000 pamphlets were distributed to SBC messengers by Faith in America's coalition volunteers, culminating in hundreds of conversations over the course of the two day annual meeting in the hopes of being able to open up a line of communication for future collaboration.
"I'm not surprised we were able to inspire almost 200,000 people of faith to take our pledge because I know firsthand how conflicted so many Christians are over this important subject. In my community and in my travels, I regularly meet people who simply don't agree with their religious leadership or don't understand why they are being told family members are broken, when they know they are not. I am very encouraged by this response," said Mitchell Gold, Faith in America's Co-Founder and Board Co-Chair. "At a time when support for same-sex marriage is at an all-time high among people of faith and growing, we have a responsibility to come together and end the harm that is caused to these innocent kids."
A recent poll conducted by the Pew Research Center found that support for same-sex marriage has more than doubled among white evangelicals in just ten years, from 14% in 2007 to now 35% in 2017 and remains on an upward trend. Among evangelicals born after 1964, support for marriage equality is now at 47%.
Pastor Stan Mitchell added, "The Southern Baptist Convention can and has, in fact, changed on social issues before. In 1995, they offered a formal apology to people of color for their role in the inhuman practices of slavery and segregation. The extent to which the SBC chooses to repeat history remains to be seen."
Faith in America website: www.faithinamerica.org
Save yOur Kids! website: www.save-yOur-kids.org
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