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National religious leaders support SB 1172 to end dangerous abuse of minors

Rev. Rebecca Voelkel

A coalition of more than 30 national religious leaders gathered by Gaylesta, an LGBTQ psychotherapy association that provides mental health services including therapist referrals, education and consultation and Rev. Rebecca Voelkel, faith work director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund and convenor of the National Religious Leadership Roundtable, have endorsed Senate Bill 1172, which will protect minors from damaging psychological abuse by licensed mental health professionals who falsely claim they can change their sexual orientation or gender expression.  Authored by Sen. Ted Lieu, SB 1172 is co-sponsored by Equality California, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Gaylesta, Mental Health America of Northern California, Lambda Legal, and the Courage Campaign.

“We applaud these religious leaders for taking a stand against these harmful and discredited practices and helping to protect LGBT youth,”  said Clarissa Filgioun, Equality California board president.

“We see the heartbreaking effects of this deceptive and dangerous psychological abuse and we know that, as religious leaders, we must say no. No to injury, no to suffering, no to the pain it causes.  Our religious traditions call us to affirm the worth and dignity of all God’s children – these practices denigrate that which is sacred in all people and they must be stopped,” said Rev. Rebecca Voelkel

“In our years of ministering to LGBT Catholics, we have seen the devastation wrought by this damaging psychological abuse, and know the years of legitimate therapy, prayer and reflection required to return victims to a healthy, whole identity,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of Dignity USA, an LGBT Catholic organization.

The 32 religious organizations endorsing SB 1172 are:

The Taskforce’s National Religious Leadership Roundtable, an interfaith network of leaders from pro-LGBT faith, spiritual and religious organizations

A Wider Bridge, bridging the LGBTQ communities of Israel & North America

Believe Out Loud Network

Dignity USA (LGBT Catholics)

Dignity San Diego

Ecumenical Catholic Church

Faith in America

Glory to Glory Christian Church, United Church of Christ

Integrity USA (LGBT Episcopalians)

Institute for Judaism, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion

Keshet, LGBT Jewish Network

Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay & Transgender Justice

First Metropolitan Community Church of Atlanta, GA

Metropolitan Community Church of the Valley

Metropolitan Community Church – New England Ministries

Metropolitan Community Church of Albuquerque

Metropolitan Community Church of Austin

Metropolitan Community Church of the Blue Ridge

Metropolitan Community Church of Central Texas

Metropolitan Community Church of Sarasota

Metropolitan Community Churches – Office of Church Life & Health

Metropolitan Community Churches – USA

Metropolitan Community Churches – Office of Emerging Ministries

More Light Presbyterians

Muslims for Progressive Values

New Ways Ministries (a gay-positive ministry of advocacy and justice for LGBT Catholics)

Progressive Christians Uniting

Reconciling Ministries Network: United Methodists

Reconciling Works: Lutherans for Full Participation

Religious Institute Faithful Voices on Sexuality and Religion

Seventh-day Adventist Kinship International

SoulForce

The faith leaders who have registered support for SB 1172 have sent letters to Gov. Jerry Brown, urging him to sign the measure. Brown has until Sept. 30 to sign or veto the bill or it will become law Jan. 1, 2013.

 



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Posted by Associate Editor on Sep 18, 2012. Filed under Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “National religious leaders support SB 1172 to end dangerous abuse of minors”

  1. +neil V. Christensen, c.s.e.f.

    Please add our Name, to your List of people supporting the end to conversion Therapies.

    The Community of Sts. Elizabeth of Hungary & Francis de Sales.

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