Faith In America Announces Medical Professionals Traveling to Phoenix for Southern Baptist Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: 
BStrider@eleisongroup.com

FIA Organizes Medical Professionals to Offer Fact- and Science-Based Information to Nation Regarding Health Crisis Our LGBT Kids and Teens are Experiencing; Prepared to Speak with Southern Baptist Messengers and Media in Phoenix.

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Faith in America announces details regarding medical professionals participating in the unprecedented effort to focus the nation’s largest protestant denomination on what they must be doing to not harm and, instead, protect America’s teens and kids who are LGBT.

America’s LGBT teens and kids are in crisis. For example:

  • Condemning families and communities have caused enormous harm to LGBT people, especially young, vulnerable teens.
  • LGBT teens from condemning families are 8x more likely to commit suicide than those in supportive ones.
  • LGBT youth make up nearly half of America’s homeless teens.
  • LGBT children are 70x more likely to become victims of trafficking than their peers.
  • 1-in-4 trans teens have attempted suicide.

Find more details here: www.faithinamerica.org/medical

Faith in America (FIA), an organization that exists to end religious-based harm to our LGBT community, realizes Americans can no longer sit by while our children and teenagers are being hurt. FIA has launched a 3-year program called “Save yOur Kids!” (SYK). Our SYK project is developed to address religious-base practices that condemn our teens and youth, creating hostile environments both at church and home, places most needed by our youth, as well as in schools and society at large.

Part of the SYK project is to offer fact- and science-based information to the media and the public. The Medical Advisory Committee SYK has created includes some of the foremost physicians and researchers in the nation who have been directly involved in much of the science around sexual orientation over the past couple of decades.

The Medical Advisory Committee will serve as media surrogates to speak on behalf of LGBT kids and teens. FIA will inform and encourage media to engage these doctors and provide a voice that is distinctly fact and experienced-based and can address the anti-LGBT voices from the religious right and other right wing groups who have misled on this topic over the years in the media.

This also includes directly dialoguing with condemning religious organizations and individuals. Three of the leaders in this field and on the FIA Medical Advisory Committee will be part of the FIA delegation of clergy, a country music star, parents, local and national volunteers, bound for the Southern Baptist meeting in Phoenix beginning on June 13.

“Science is clear: LGBTQ youth are at risk and need our help. People of faith unhappy about these findings may deny them, and some may even distort them. Unfortunately, denial and distortion of science can expose their LGBTQ children to potentially harmful practices and interventions,” according to Jack Drescher, MD, of New York Medical College.  “We know parents love their children and want to keep them safe, regardless of religious beliefs. We join FIA in formally calling upon SBC’s leadership to alter its course of religion-based harm to one of religion-based help. Faith communities can be sources of great support to LGBTQ youth if they stop condemning them and begin instead to embrace these children with unconditional love. “

The three medical professionals who will be engaging Southern Baptist Messengers and talking to the media about the health crisis our LGBT teens and kids are living through are:

  • Jack Drescher, MD – Professor Psychiatry, New York Medical College. Past President of the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Drescher is an expert media spokesperson on issues related to gender and sexuality. He has published and teaches extensively around this subject at New York Medical College and New York University. 
  • Joshua Wolff, PhD – Asst. Professor, Adler University. Dr. Wolff is a professor of psychology with significant published work on the role social stigma on LGBT hostile religious campuses plays in the attendant mental health and substance abuse challenges afflicting the college students.
  • Robert Hoffman - Co-Chair and acting Executive Director for Faith in America. A former Fortune 500 Apparel Executive, Hoffman now works professionally as Managing Partner of Piedmont Counseling and Development Group and is an MPH candidate at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine.

“This is an historic moment and we, at Faith in America, are pursuing an important course,” says Mitchell Gold, FIA co-founder. “I live and  work, and have traveled amongst many people who are incredibly good, well- meaning folks.  But they simply do not know the harm they are causing innocent kids and will never know unless we take the time to share this life saving information.  We ask the media to cover this with the seriousness it deserves. This is not about conflict and division. It is about speaking the truth, and standing up for our kids and teens being hurt. Our doctors are experienced and their fact- and science-based message is essential to ending the harm being caused to innocent lives.”

Studies have shown that if a person believes sexual orientation is a choice, they are 70+% more likely to be against LGBT equal rights (2007 Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs Survey). Conversely, if a person understands sexual orientation is part of how you are created, they are 70+% more likely to be in favor of LGBT equal rights. 

“The choice vs. nature argument is especially significant when engaging persons who view homosexuality as a sin. Sin is about making wrong choices and actions,” adds Pastor Stan Mitchell. “So the more we can get religious people to the realization that sexual orientation is an innate part of a person, a natural part of a human’s being, not a choice, that dramatically undermines the basis for viewing homosexuality as behavior-driven immorality or some perverse proclivity. And it further undermines any justification a person might feel for their condemnation or proactive prejudice.”

We know Baptists care about yOur kids and we believe we can start a conversation and find common ground and common purpose. No one wants these LGBT SBC kids to feel they’d be better off dead or on the streets than with their family and community.

“Faith in America believes there is a great work to be done,” added Robert Hoffman, FIA acting Executive Director. “We have made ourselves available to grasp and follow our calling, to go and enjoin in the work where it’s most needed. Along the way, we hope to build new bridges, make new friends, and serve a purpose higher than us all.”

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Faith in America website:  www.faithinamerica.org

Save yOur Kids! website:  www.save-yOur-kids.org

Faith in America on Twitter: @faithinamerica

Faith in America on Facebook: www.facebook.com/faithinamerica