Friday, November 15, 2013

Bronx School Invites Gay Bullying

The new Bronx LGBTQ Center expressed their concerned after learning that Cardinal Spellman High School has invited Father Donald Timone to speak at its school about LGBT issues. While they respect freedom of speech, they do not respect bullying & hate speech, especially when it negatively impacts the lives of at-risk teenagers. Fr. Timone's misinformed & unenlightened rhetoric adds to the toxic environment that drives so many LGBTQ youth to despair & beyond. Peter C. Frank, the Center's secretary stated, "No educational institution should be so irresponsible as to invite someone whose entire approach to LGBTQ individuals is based on bad science. Exodus International, a Christian ministry that formerly advocated attempts to 'pray away the gay' (i.e. conversion therapy), recently disbanded after admitting that a person's sexual orientation cannot be changed & that reparative therapy is in fact harmful." Fr. Timone is affiliated with COURAGE, an organization that treats gay, lesbian, bisexual & transgender people as addicts curable by participation in a 12-step program, instead of accepting & respecting them as the loving individuals they are. Courage's "free speech" promotes self-loathing among LGBTQ individuals & encourages others to hate LGBTQ people simply for being who they are, thus putting them at a greater risk of being bullied. Mr. Frank added, "Cardinal Spellman High School should instead, like Pope Francis's recent statements, be sending a message of love, inclusion & acceptance.” Rev. Carmen Hernandez, a board member of the Center concluded, "We at the Bronx LGBTQ Center want all youth to know that you are fine just as you are. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you, whether you're straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning. We accept & celebrate you for who you are." The Bronx LGBTQ Center is a safe space for all who are struggling with issues of sexual orientation or gender identity. Their Youth Group meets at 4P every Friday at Union Community Health Center, 260 East 188th Street, 5th Floor, the Bronx.
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