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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Pastors Speak Out On Gay Harassment

Gay Harassment and the Struggle for Inclusion

Weeks before she had any reason to know the name Tyler Clementi, the Rev. Audrey M. Connor was planning a celebratory day of worship at her church in Lynchburg, Va. It would take place this Sunday, the eve of a gay-rights event called National Coming Out Day. There would be prayers, songs and testimonies by three congregants who had successfully emerged from the closet.

Then, late last month, Ms. Connor watched the first news alert about Mr. Clementi's suicide scroll across her computer screen. An 18-year-old freshman at Rutgers, Mr. Clementi jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge after, the police say, his dorm-room intimacies with another man were stealthily filmed and posted online by two classmates.

Those initial reports sprung loose shards of Ms. Connor's own memories and experiences, she recalled in a telephone interview this week. She thought back to being teased as her sixth-grade boyfriend's "boyfriend," fully 15 years before she broke cover as a lesbian. She thought back to a gay college classmate who once told her that if his family had kept a gun at home, he would have shot himself in high school to escape the hatred and ridicule. More...

..............................liberal clergy members firmly believe that the traditional condemnation of homosexuals and homosexuality in organized religion enables, indeed ratifies, the bigotry inflicted by peers. More...


................"Clergy have a key role," said the Rev. Pat Bumgardner, pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in Manhattan. "We have a chance to shape public opinion, people's willingness to wrestle with the diversity of God's creation. Pastors need to step up to the plate and speak about the wrongness of bullying, the wrongness of cruelty.

"There's no religion on the face of the earth that countenances the taunting to death of children."



1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Just like we Americans ok the murder and eatting of the flesh of cows, some countries consider the cow sacred and even some countries, ones loved ones reincarnated as cows.

Just like us "rednecks" believe it is our right to kill deer for food and sport. Something we are taught from the get go.