Monday, November 22, 2010

Having Faith ... in Equality - New Report by FIA

Faith In America has released a free report on "Addressing Religious Arguments to Achieve LGBT Equality."

"Our mission at Faith in America is to confront religion-based bigotry that lies at that heart of discrimination toward LGBT people. Full equality will not be achieved until the root of the issue is addressed. This report provides important information on how to start the conversation, persuade the movable middle and win the hearts and minds of those that will help bring an end to religion-based bigotry in all its forms."

This report highlights and refutes common assertions used by people of faith to justify bigotry and discrimination against LGBT folks. For example:

"Charge: Homosexuality is a sin … it says so in the Bible. Response: First, that is your interpretation of the Bible, and you should be aware that many others don’t interpret it that way. Second, we should all remember that millions of people have been harmed over the years because the majority’s religious teachings have determined minority groups’ civil rights. Religious teachings were used to support the horrors of slavery, deny women the right to vote, deny loving interracial couples the right to be married, deny black people their full and equal place in our society and deny minority religious groups equal rights. We have learned from these horrible mistakes that it is wrong to use religious teachings to dehumanize and marginalize any minority group. It is no less wrong today to use religious teachings to deny gay people full and equal civil rights."

The report also provides strategies and techniques for addressing this type of prejudice, e.g., "Talking about religion-based bigotry is more effective than using the term 'homophobia.' Using the term 'homophobia' is generally not effective with people of faith. 'Homophobia' is defined as an irrational or unreasonable fear of homosexuality. For many people of faith, especially those who hold to a literal interpretation of Scripture, there is nothing wrong or irrational about fearing sin."

It also provides facts solid facts to covey the importance and seriousness of their message:
  • Gay kids who experience family rejection are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide and 6 times more likely to report high levels of depression.
  • 1,000+ rights and responsibilities are currently the exclusive right of heterosexual couples.
  • If a person believes sexual orientation is a choice, they are 70% more likely to be against LGBT equal rights. If a person believes sexual orientation is part
    of how you are created, they are 70% more likely to be in favor of LGBT equal rights.
Faith In America was formed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization in 2005 by Mitchell Gold with the goal of countering the messages of bigotry, prejudice, and hostility toward the LGBT community being taught under the guise of religious belief and religious teaching.

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