Monday, December 18, 2006

Study: Thousands of homeless NYC youth are LGBT

When I read this article this morning, I got livid:

A new report shows that nearly 8,400 LGBT youth may be homeless this winter, according to statistics cited in the study by the National Runaway Switchboard and released by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.


The report cited three key findings. The first was that youth homeless is primarily caused by family conflict, often over sexual orientation or gender identity. The second was a report of harassment, discrimination and violence by employees at shelters. The final key finding was that homeless LGBT youth are more vulnerable to sexual abuse, substance abuse and mental health struggles.

And of course my knee-jerk reaction is to blame the James Dobson crowd and organized religion for this. And yes, I know it is coming from my gut and not hard statistics, but I just don’t think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out that if a person preaches long and hard enough that “gay = evil” you are going to have people who buy it and some of those people are going to be the parents of gay children. So as far as I am concerned, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell, the Pope, and all of the rest of these so-called religious people can pat themselves on the back for this tragedy. They created it. They own it. And some day I hope they answer to a Higher Power for it.

And any parent that could reject their child because of his/her sexual orientation probably should never have been a parent in the first place. The idea that someone could literally throw out their own child is just incomprehensible to me. I know the thought of rejecting my own son for being gay never entered my mind, but rejecting the religion that demonized him was a no-brainer. It didn’t take me long to realize that I would never be able to reconcile what the Catholic Church was teaching about homosexuality with the unconditional love I had for my gay son. I didn’t struggle too long with it before realizing that it was the religion preaching hate and not my son that needed throwing out. I just cannot fathom how any parent could decide otherwise.

For my husband and me, unconditional love is just that, unconditional love. Much like the love Jesus had for those that the society of His time chose to reject.


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