Faith groups need to repent for gay ‘conversion’ bullying

Religion News Service | 10/16/2019 | Staff
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(RNS) — In the last few months, the American LGBTQ community has been hit with wave after wave of news on so-called conversion therapy, a thoroughly discredited practice that purports to “cure” people of their homosexuality.

Just weeks ago, a Maryland court upheld the state’s ban on offering such therapy. On Tuesday (Oct. 15), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced that it is opposing a proposed rule that would ban conversion therapy in Utah, after LGBTQ activists thought they had secured the church’s blessing on the ban.

September - McKrae - Game - Leader - Movement

In September, we saw McKrae Game, a former leader in the ex-gay movement, come out as gay while expressing deep repentance for the damage he and his peers have caused. But we also learned that real efforts are being made in megachurches to revive and expand “ex-gay” ministries. In New York, one of the country’s gayest cities, the City Council repealed its own ban to prevent a legal challenge by Christian organizations from being used as a test case at the Supreme Court.

In August, North Carolina became the first Southern state to ban conversion therapy, citing the lasting harm its causes to those who undergo it and the misconceptions it spreads.

Years - Cloud - Heart - Eyes - God

More than 40 years ago I lived under a black cloud, thinking that who I was, the very heart of me, was unacceptable in the eyes of God and those around me. I happened to grow up in a Reform Jewish community in the 1960s, but my experience is just as common for young people coming of age in a gay-shaming church, synagogue or mosque today. No matter where it happens, it is dehumanizing and is an assault on their God-given dignity. It is, in a word, bullying.

Most clergy I know would recoil at the notion that they or their faith communities...
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