Tuesday July 25, 2017
I am disheartened by the letter "LGBT causes should not be in churches" (July 17). Such gay shaming can have tragic effects on gay youth. Anti-gay stigma is one of the primary reasons for significantly higher suicide risk among LGBT youth compared to their straight peers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Encouragingly, a positive effect of society's rejection of the intolerance peddled by the letter writer is evidenced by a recent study reported in JAMA Pediatrics that noted a sharp decrease in gay youth suicide attempts in states that had legalized same-sex marriage.
At least this letter gives us another opportunity to offer kudos to the Lutherans for opening their doors to the LGBT community and showing what God's mission truly means: to love thy neighbor. As a pastor friend of mine tells me, throughout the Bible, Jesus loves those on the margins of society, touching those deemed untouchable, loving those deemed unlovable, welcoming everyone into God's realm.
Society must reject anti-LGBT rhetoric