…when statistics show that as many as 40% of the nations homeless youth are gay or transgender, compared to 3-5% of the overall youth population, we have to acknowledge that were facing a crisis. The disparity suggests that gay and transgender youth stand a much higher chance of becoming homeless because of abuse, neglect and familial rejection due to sexual orientation or gender identity that drive them to the streets. The kids on the Christopher Street Pier that day, and the other gay and transgender youth living on the streets who make up the 40% have done nothing wrong, other than being born the way they were supposed to be. And because of who they are, these kids have been forced to leave their homes, subjected to abuse or worse.
[For the full article, see the blog, Towleroad, 6/26/12.]
Homophobic clergy can be seen to be the major factor when parents kick their kids out of the house, forcing them to be homeless, because their children came out to them, thinking that they could trust their parents to understand and unconditionally love them. Indeed, this is the way it would be were it not for homophobic clergy’s influence in lying about same-sex attraction and love! All too many people believe the lies emanating from the ignorance and/or hatred of these clergy, and that is one of the reasons why churches should not enjoy tax exempt status, and why one of the best methods of activism is to choose one homophobic church in a given city or jurisdiction and consistently, and continuously, picket that church every Sunday during their services, telling people that that church is preaching a false Gospel, and is diametrically opposed to Jesus’ teachings. Homophobic clergy are erroneously felt to be speaking for God, and erroneously felt to be correctly interpreting the Bible! These assumptions are not true! And any parent who would kick their Gay child out of the house is engaging in the demonic, as is any clergy who says that being Gay is “disordered” and is a “sin.” Just because someone turns his collar around doesn’t necessarily make him/her a person of God! He/she might well be working for the devil! Moreover, I can virtually guarantee that if every single Christian worthy of the name, and all decent people, refused to give one red cent to any church or secular institution that discriminates against LGBT people, such discrimination and exclusionary/hateful rhetoric and actions would largely disappear. In churches, just like in virtually all secular institutions, money talks! Indeed, as the late attorney Melvin Belli once quipped, “Money doesn’t talk! It screams!” Put these hateful clergy and institutions at risk by not enabling them to continue to spew their venom by withholding all monies from them; put no money in their collection plates, and they will quickly change their tune. As I wrote a long time ago, if there were more money to be made by supporting LGBT people and equal rights, as opposed to preaching homophobic lies and hate, most strident homophobic “Christian” clergy who make money from their ignorant and hateful rhetoric would be proudly marching in Pride Parades! The best way to neutralize verbalized homophobia is by withholding funds, and that is one of the best ways to engage in meaningful activism to help move the LGBT civil rights movement forward. In addition, taking just one homophobic church in each city or jurisdiction, and continually picketing that church every time it is holding its services, carrying signs that state that what goes on in that church violates Gospel teachings, can do a lot to mitigate homophobia in churches. Homophobic clergy and their followers help destroy families and help kill people, and these facts must never be forgotten! As I’ve written here at Whosoever before:
Make no mistake, every drop of blood shed by GLBT people either through suicide, bashing, or murder, are on the hands of all those religious leaders, their followers, and their allies who spew forth their ignorance, prejudice, and hate against GLBT people and their relationships! These wolves in sheep’s clothing take the Bible, God’s love letter to His children, and selectively and perversely use it as a club to condemn others, and deny GLBT people full inclusion in the Church and in society.
Professor Emeritus of Sociology at California State University, Chico, Rev. Dr. Jerry S. Maneker served as an ordained priest in the Congregational Catholic Church, a division of the Independent Catholic Churches International (ICCI). For many years he published a weekly column in the Sacramento Valley Mirror titled “Christianity and Society” where he dealt with a variety of social issues from a biblical and sociological perspective. He also published a blog called “A Christian Voice for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Rights” and the website Radical Christianity.