Believers Must Fight for Gay Teens

By Gene Robinson

Writing in The DailyBeast, retired Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson calls on people of faith to go beyond showing compassion for LGBT youth and those living with HIV to fight the systematic injustice that puts them at increased risk.

Robinson cites the recently published report, “A Roadmap for Change: Federal Policy Recommendations for Addressing the Criminalization of LGBT People and People Living with HIV”, co-authored by CHLP, as disturbing documentation of the hostile world faced by these vulnerable young people. Robinson points to a “confluence of societal systems—policing and law enforcement, incarceration, immigration laws, and the increasing criminalization of youth and people living with HIV” that conspire to make lives already beset by the challenges of being “different” even more difficult and dangerous.

But Robinson calls religious condemnation of homosexuality perhaps the largest contributing factor to the rejection of LGBT youth by their families, pushing them into homelessness and a criminal justice system that compounds their victimization.  Changing those religious attitudes, he says, “is a matter of life and death to our most vulnerable youth.”