Thursday, September 30, 2010

Auggies Stand Up Against Hate

This just in . . .
More than 250 Augsburg students participated in a “Rally 4 Respect” to express their unity as a community and their commitment to be in solidarity with students who are marginalized or victimized.
See the full story from the Metro Lutheran.

Lutherans Concerned lauds these students who are willing to stand up—and organize—for justice. With you we are well pleased.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Raising Up Healthy Kids, Families

Train up the children in the way they should go.  Proverbs 22:6

Here are a a few items on that theme that have crossed the LC/NA news desk recently:

Twin Cities Clergy, Others Call Attention to Problem of LGBT Youth Suicide
Local activism has helped raise awareness of a pernicious problem: the high rate of suicide among LGBT teens. On Monday, a number of concerned students, parents, and clergy (including local Lutherans) gathered for a press conference to call attention to this problem within the Anoka-Hennepin School District (Twin Cities area), where a "neutrality policy" has led to the district's inability to deal effectively with harassment and bullying of LGBT students. See a news report of the conference here.
The group’s work resulted in a strong editorial from the Star Tribune, a major newspaper of the Twin Cities, and is a fine example of how the church can collaborate with secular groups to work for social justice. Here’s an excerpt from the Star Tribune:

School leaders could, for example, follow the lead of many other metro-area school districts, including Minneapolis, that have clearer, stronger anti-harassment rules. National and local studies have shown that those types of policies reduce bullying and help all children feel safer.

The [school] board's hesitancy is similar to other foot-dragging in this country about correcting unfairness directed at gays. Witness court rulings across America that make gay marriage legal in some states and not in others, or the recent congressional failure to drive a nail in the coffin of the military's "don't ask, don't tell'' policy.

When it comes to gay and lesbian issues, there is too much listening and not enough action. Bigotry should not be tolerated in any form.
You will want to read the whole editorial.


Florida Adoption Ban Ruled Unconstitutional
From a story in last week’s New York Times


A 30-year-old Florida law that prohibits adoption by gay men and lesbians is unconstitutional, a state appeals court ruled on Wednesday, and the state’s governor said the law would not be enforced pending a decision on whether to appeal. . . . Evidence presented at the trial by opponents of the ban found no difference in the well-being of children raised by gay parents versus heterosexual parents.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pastor Jen Nagel Received onto the Clergy Roster of the ELCA

On Sunday, September 26, Pastor Jen Nagel was received onto the clergy roster of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) at Salem English Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rite of Reception was part of a 10:30 a.m. Sunday worship on that day. Bishop Craig Johnson, Minneapolis Area Synod of the ELCA, was the preacher. Salem is a transformational congregation on the edge of Uptown in south Minneapolis at 2822 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408.

Rev. Jen Nagel said, "When I became Salem's pastoral leader in 2003 and when they voted to call me as their pastor in 2007, it's been the courageous, bold, Spirit-led actions of this gutsy congregation in the lead. I am grateful that we can celebrate this milestone, knowing still that there is much more justice to come. I'm also grateful to a cloud of witnesses who are part of this Kairos time: those praying, organizing, voting, and implementing the policies, and those who have risked and given to see God's reign."

Pastor Jen Nagel was received onto the roster of clergy as a result of the decisions of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly that voted to eliminate the policy that had since 1989 precluded service as ministers by those in a lifelong, committed same-gender relationship. Until Sunday's Rite of Reception, Jen had been on the roster of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM).

Since 1990, ELM has credentialed pastors for ministry and maintained a roster of clergy barred from serving other denominations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, worked with Lutheran congregations to open their calls to members of the ELM roster, and provided direct financial grants to fund this ministry. ELM is an independent organization, not part of any Lutheran denomination.

Ordained as pastor at Salem Lutheran in January 2008, Jen had actually served as the pastoral leader for the congregation since July 2003. Jen has a Master of Divinity degree from the University of Chicago-Divinity School, completed work at Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota. Prior to Salem Lutheran, she served in Minneapolis at Central Lutheran Church and the Hennepin County Medical Center. She has also previously served in Africa, Chicago, Michigan, and outdoor ministry settings.

Jen's ordination was an act of ecclesial disobedience at the time. Her ordination was referred to as an "extraordinary" ordination in that it occurred outside the normal practice of the ELCA and was not recognized at the time. At the service on September 26, the ELCA will recognize her ordination and ministry.

Jen's reception onto the roster followed the reception of six of her colleagues in Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries in San Francisco, three others in the Twin Cities, and preceded those to take place in the weeks and months to come. In addition to these receptions of those whose ordinations were not recognized by the ELCA at the time they took place, there have been and will continue to be reinstatements of pastors who were removed from or left the roster of clergy solely for the reason of being in a committed, lifelong, same-gender relationship.

Jen has served as a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches, the Synod Council and Executive Committee for Minneapolis Area Synod, as Chaplain to the LCNA Board, and as Collegium Chair of the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries Covenant Circle. Currently Jen is the Co-Chair of the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries Covenant Circle.

Jen and her partner, UCC Pastor Jane McBride, and their daughter, Eliza Grace, live in the Twin Cities.

For further coverage, see this segment of "A Church Divdied, Together" covering the story of Pr. Jen and Salem Lutheran, produced by Minnesota Public Radio. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Eyes on Idaho

Two year old Shekinah Christian Community of Lewison, ID has become the second Reconciling in Christ worshipping body in Idaho. Shekinah, which can be translated as "presence of God," is a non-traditional house church in Lewiston in which the community worships liturgically together. Their original formation included the concept of LGBT inclusion and they have now adopted an official affirmation of welcome- and we at LC/NA are happy to welcome them, as well.

Stay tuned for more about Shekinah. We'll link to their webpage when it's completed!

Lutheran congregation recognizes City of Edina for human rights changes

As reported in the Metro Lutheran:
Edina Community Lutheran Church (ECLC), an Evangelical Lutheran Church in America congregation situated just over the Minneapolis border in Edina, recognized the City of Edina on Sunday, September 19 for its new far-ranging human rights statute concerning domestic partners. 
 
Yay for Edina, Minnesota! Yay for Edina Community Lutheran Church! Go on, read the whole story.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Let it be recognized . . .

From the Rite of Reception of September 18, 2010:
Let it be recognized and acclaimed that Ruth Frost, Phyllis Zillhart, and Anita Hill are called and ordained ministers in the church of Christ. They have Christ's authority to preach the word of God and administer the sacraments, serving God's people as together we bear God's creative and redeeming love to all the world.
Let the people say, as they have been saying for a long time, Amen!

For media coverage of the September 18 service of the Rite of Reception for Rev. Anita Hill, Rev. Ruth Frost and Rev. Phyllis Zillhart, see the links below.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Researchers are seeking participants. Can you help?

District 202 and Dr. Kevin Nadal of John Jay College, City University of New York, are each conducting studies to benefit LGBT people and their allies: the former will interview young LGBT people and their parents in order to better understand their needs and interests, and the latter will study discrimination.


District 202 was founded 18 years ago in response to the lack of safe, sober, supportive space for LGBT youth. Here young people found a place in which to build their own unique community in a new image- a place to speak, to mentor others and to be empowered in return. Since then District 202 has helped form another six groups serving LGBT youth, and has branched out to include a secure online presence for social networking. Its study is helping to inform the organization's programming as it develops in other exciting directions.

Their professional researchers would like to confidentially interview (in their own homes, a third party location or in group discussion) the following individuals:
  • 10-13 year-olds who identify as LGBT or are questioning their sexual/gender identities
  • Parents of 10-13 year-olds who identify as LGBT or are questioning their sexual/gender identities
  • 14-16 year-olds who identify as LGBT or are questioning their sexual/gender identities.
Email either Curt Prins from District 202, or Nancy Clift from Clift Research, to express your interest in interviewing.


Dr. Nadal and Morgan Rasmus are looking for individuals willing to complete an approximately 30 minute long online questionnaire studying "subtle discrimination" in order to help both educators and psychologists become "aware of how discrimination affects several groups based on their sexual orientation." They note that there is almost or absolutely no physical or psychological risk associated with taking the study, but could greatly contribute to societal understanding of discrimination and its impact on LGB people. To participate, volunteers must be:
  • at least 18 years old, and
  • identify as LGB.
You can take their survey online here, and contact Morgan Burns (mer2171@columbia.edu) or the principal investigator Dr. Nadal (knadal@jjay.cuny.edu) with any questions.


Consider taking part in a survey if you are qualified, or passing them along to friends and acquaintances who may be interested.

Rite of Reception - News Report from the ELCA

We think our readers will appreciate this news release from the ELCA:

---------------------------------------

ELCA NEWS SERVICE


September 17, 2010
ELCA to Receive Three Pastors Through 'Rite of Reception' Sept. 18

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Three pastors with historic ties to the struggle for inclusiveness in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will be welcomed for the first time to the church's clergy roster when they participate in the church's "Rite of Reception" Sept. 18.

The Rev. Anita C. Hill, the Rev. Phyllis Zillhart and the Rev. Ruth Frost will be received at a worship service at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, St. Paul, Minn. All were part of well-known "extraordinary" ordinations and have been on the clergy roster of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries, Chicago.

Frost, Hill and Zillhart became eligible for reception onto the ELCA clergy roster this year. In 2009 the ELCA Churchwide Assembly directed that ELCA clergy policies be amended to make it possible for qualified candidates living in publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships to serve as ELCA clergy and other professional church workers. In April the ELCA Church Council adopted new ministry policies and approved the Rite of Reception.

The Rev. Peter Rogness, bishop of the ELCA Saint Paul (Minn.) Area Synod, will preside and the Rev. Barbara Lundblad, Union Theological Seminary, New York, will preach.

Among the other church leaders expected to participate in the service are the Rev. Herbert W. Chilstrom, Green Valley, Ariz., former ELCA presiding bishop; the Rev. Lowell O. Erdahl, Roseville, Minn., former bishop of the ELCA Saint Paul Area Synod and a leader at Hill's ordination in 2001; and the Rev. Craig Johnson, bishop of the ELCA Minneapolis Area Synod.

Rogness told the ELCA News Service he looks forward to the service "with positive anticipation" and said people who know the three pastors respect them.

"They've sought consistently to cast all of these matters not as win-lose propositions, or one faction of the church doing battle with another faction of the church," he said. "They will consistently talk about this as a yearning for the church to open its doors."

The event signals an openness in the church, especially for younger people and others who may stand outside the faith, Rogness said. It's also an occasion for people who favor the policy changes and have shown sensitivity and restraint toward those who disagree, to celebrate and rejoice, he added.

Frost and Zillhart were ordained and called by St. Francis Lutheran Church, San Francisco, in 1990. Because they were not approved for ordination by the ELCA, St. Francis was suspended from the ELCA for five years and eventually expelled. The congregation became an independent Lutheran congregation, and Frost and Zillhart continued to serve there for 15 years.

At the same time as Frost and Zillhart's ordinations, First United Lutheran Church, San Francisco, ordained the Rev. Jeff Johnson, who was not approved for ordination by the ELCA. That congregation was also suspended and eventually expelled from the ELCA. Johnson was received by the ELCA July 25 in a Rite of Reception.

During those years in San Francisco, Frost and Zillhart ministered to many people affected by grief and loss because of AIDS. "A lot of our ministry was disarming the power of religious abuse," Frost said in an interview. "Our message was that it was vital to integrate sexuality and spirituality in order to be whole."

Frost, who has served nearly five years as a chaplain with Hospice of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis, said she looks forward to being received by the ELCA and connected to a wider body of Christians.

"It's an honoring of many years' service that has gone unrecognized prior to this year," Frost said. "By extension it is honoring the gifts of the gay and lesbian people in ministry everywhere -- those who have served invisibly and those who had to leave the ELCA."

Tomorrow's receptions are more than the pastors' individual receptions in the life of the church, Frost said. "It is symbolic of a wider welcome," she said.

For the past two years Zillhart has been serving as a chaplain at Fairview Home Care and Hospice, Minneapolis.

Zillhart said the Rite of Reception, "feels good … like a homecoming."

"I always knew that it would happen eventually," she said. "Once hope, visibility and justice comes out of the box, there's no putting it back in. I didn't know I would see it in my lifetime. I didn't know it would be coming around for me."

Of special significance to Frost and Zillhart is that some members of St. Francis will make the trip to Minneapolis for the event.

"It feels important to me that we're not doing this as individuals," she said. "A congregation was taking a big chance, a bold step back in 1990. It will be good to have them there."

Zillhart also reflected on the significance of being received by the ELCA at the same time as Hill. Hill was present when Frost and Zillhart were ordained in 1990, and placed a stole on Frost. They, too, were present when Hill was ordained.

Since 1994 Hill has served at St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church, St. Paul, Minn. She was ordained at the same place as this weekend's Rite of Reception service. St. Paul-Reformation was censured for calling and ordaining her.

"It is exciting and fulfilling that this 'regularizing' is going to take place," she said. in an interview. "I see it as a confirmation and validation of the vision of the congregation that started a ministry called 'Wingspan' in 1983." Hill said St. Paul-Reformation worked to change the ELCA's ministry policies, but said that there is still more work to be done for people who are gay or lesbian, and in other areas of justice.

Hill sees this weekend's event as a rite for the congregation she serves and the efforts members made that led to policy changes. "This rite is for all the people who paid their way to churchwide assemblies, who visited their bishops to tell their stories, and the 16 members who stood in the front of the plenary hall at the churchwide assembly in Orlando," Hill said. "It's not an issue. It's about people and their lives."

Well aware that some in the ELCA and others who have left do not agree with the church's decisions in 2009, Hill said she hopes for opportunities to converse with people who have questions and doubts.

"The experience of St. Paul-Reformation welcoming GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) people is that the church can grow and thrive, and be about mission beyond its walls. Every kind of Christian can work together. Reconciliation is what Christ has brought us," she said.

St. Paul-Reformation announced it will broadcast the Sept. 18 worship service live at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time at http://www.stpaulref.org/ on the Web.

For information contact:

John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or news@elca.org
http://www.elca.org/news
Twitter: http://twitter.com/elcanews

MPR News Covers the Sept 18 Rite of Reception

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) contiues to provide thoughtful coverage of the changes regarding ministry policies in the ELCA. See the MPR story about tomorrow's Rite of Reception, including an interview with Pastors Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart.

Logo for "A Church Divide, Together"

Also, be sure to check out the homepage for the ongoing MPR news project, "A Church Divided, Together."

  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Service of Reception will be webcast live on September 18

The Service of Reception of Pastors Anita Hill, Ruth Frost, and Phyllis Zillhart will be webcast live from Lutheran Church of the Redeemer (St. Paul, MN)  on September 18, this Saturday.

To view the live webcast, go to http://www.stpaulref.org/.

The Service begins at 2:00 pm Central Daylight Time. The service is scheduled to run approximately 2 hours.

In 1989, Ruth Frost, Phyllis Zillhart, and Jeff Johnson, lesbian and gay candidates were denied ordination by the ELCA. In 1990, they were ordained "extraordinarily" by two congregations in San Francisco, St. Francis Lutheran and First United Lutheran. Both congregations were expelled from the ELCA for this act of ecclesial disobedience. The three went on to found Lutheran Lesbian & Gay Ministries, a predecessor to the current Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM). The story of these ordinations and subsequent trial was told in a PBS documentary video, "Call To Witness."

Anita Hill was ordained "extraordinarily" by St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran in 2001. The congregation was censured and sanctioned by the ELCA for this act of ecclesial disobedience. The story of this ordination and Anita Hill has been told in a documentary video, "This Obedience."

All three of the pastors will have been on the roster of ELM from their ordinations till Saturday.

Pastor Hill serves as co-pastor of St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church in St. Paul. Pastor Ruth Frost works at the Hospice of the Twin Cities and Pastor Phyllis Zillhart at the Fairview Home Care and Hospice, both in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Saturday, they will be received onto the roster of clergy because of the decisions of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly that voted to eliminate the policy that had since 1989 precluded service as ministers by those in a lifelong, committed same-gender relationship. Pastors Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart have been partners since 1984. Coincidentally, Sunday the 19th marks the 26th anniversary of their relationship. Pastor Anita Hill and Janelle Bussert have been partners since 1993.

Go here for an earlier blog report about this event.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

St. Stephen's Lutheran Church

If you live anywhere near Monona, Wisconsin, you should hurry over to congratulate St. Stephen's Lutheran Church on joining LC/NA as a Reconciled in Christ congregation. Home to both traditional and rock worship services as well as a variety of outreach projects including a food pantry and refugee sponsorship, St. Stephen's openly affirms their welcome of all people whatever their sexual orientation or gender identity.

We're glad to have you walking on this journey with us, St. Stephen's. Thank you for extending your welcome a little further.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Presbyterians are Honoring a Lutheran

Presbyterian Welcome, a sister organization to Lutherans Concerned/North America, is honoring the services of The Rev. Barbara Lundblad for her continued commitment to the Presbyterian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. Barbara will be receiving one of Presbyterian Welcome’s Faithful Servant Awards, which celebrates recipients’ continued commitment to the Presbyterian lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Barbara has long been a leader among Lutherans Concerned circles. She has presented at many LC/NA assemblies as a keynote speaker, Bible Study leader, and chaplain. She was the preacher at the 2009 Goodsoil Worship at the ELCA Churchwide Assembly (which occurred hours after a tornado hit the building). She also served as a co-President of the Lutheran Network for Inclusive Vision. Certainly she is well known in Lutheran circles, but her service and commitment reach out even further.

When she is not supporting Lutherans Concerned and the welcoming movement, Barbara is the Joe R. Engle Professor of Preaching at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York and is an ordained minister of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The press release notes Barbara’s “work teaching homiletics to countless lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Presbyterians and their allies while supporting and providing a model to them on their journeys in the Presbyterian Church. In addition, Barbara serves as an adviser to the Queer body of students through their organizations at Union.”

For those of you in the metro New York area, the Faithful Servant Awards will be presented Monday, November 8 at 7:00 PM at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, 7 West 55th Street and Fifth Avenue. For more information, contact Presbyterian Welcome.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Meet Augustana Lutheran Church

Augustana Lutheran Church of Portland, Oregon has adopted an Affirmation of Welcome completing their Reconciling in Christ process. This congregation has dedicated itself to peace and social justice, in part by partnering with community agencies including Well Arts Institute, Familias en Accion, CAT (Community Alliance of Tenants), Irvington Cooperative Preschool, Oregon Farmworkers Ministry, Oregon New Sanctuary Movement and the National Community Land Trust Network. Augustana is actively involved in the Albina Ministerial Alliance and Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon as well as a leader in interfaith prayer services for peace and the New Sanctuary Movement. It is a joy for Lutherans Concerned to welcome them today!


Friday, September 3, 2010

National Suicide Prevention Week is Sept 5-11

As we reported earlier, suicide is a particularly pernicious problem within the LGBT community. According to the American Association of Suicidology, there are many factors that contribute to a higher than average suicide rate among LGBT youth. Self-esteem issues, societal attitudes, and conflict within the family and at school are all risk factors. Religion can also contribute to a higher risk. Religious doctrine regarding same-gender relationships can cause families, teachers, friends, and others to socially and emotionally reject LGBT youth. These youth may be more vulnerable to suicidal ideation.

Next week (September 5-11) is National Suicide Prevention Week. What are will you be doing during this week to raise awareness and save young lives in your community?

Here are some links to resources:

 

 

Banner celebrating all of God's children now available

A note from Pilgrim Lutheran Church in St. Paul, Minnesota:


Join us in making an inclusive witness!

After the ELCA changed the policy regarding rostering in August 2009, the Evangelism Committee of Pilgrim Lutheran Church designed a banner to hang outside of the church building, bearing witness to this movement toward the fuller inclusion of all of God’s children in the life and ministry of the ELCA. We invite all ELCA congregations to join Pilgrim Lutheran in making our witness in a variety of ways about the ever-more inclusive ministry that we share. We think this banner is one of those ways to make our witness.

It is made of weather-resistant vinyl, is 4’ x 2.5’, and comes with attachable clear grommets for use in hanging.

To order the banner, mail a check for $100 (made out to Pilgrim Lutheran Church) to:

Pilgrim Lutheran Church
1935 St. Clair Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105

Also, email us at with the contact's name, church name, address, phone number, number of banners ordered, and if you need rush delivery.

When we receive your check, we will place the order immediately, and the banner will arrive in 14 days. Add $5 extra per banner for rush delivery (3 business days).

One of the ways we have given thanks for our partnership in the Gospel was to celebrate “A Festival of Inclusivity and Justice” on Sunday, August 22, in honor of the one-year anniversary of the ELCA policy change. If you are finding other ways to make our inclusive witness known in your community and church, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Salem Lutheran Church

Today Salem Lutheran Church of Bridgeport, CT, established in 1887 by Swedish immigrants, joined Lutherans Concerned/North America in the Reconciling in Christ program. We encourage those in Connecticut to visit, and all to send them their prayers and greetings as we welcome them today!

Salem's choir

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Our churches need to welcoming and safe for all.

From a recent news article (emphasis added):
Two LGBT students . . . used the public comment portion of Monday’s meeting to describe their feelings of isolation at school.

Christina, who graduated from Anoka High School and who was friends with Justin, said, “When experiencing these problems, you can’t go to your parents, where you face rejection from those you love the most.” She continued, “You can’t go to your church if you are in condemnation from a religion you’ve always embraced.”

“You can’t go to your community.” She added, “Even in parks we have experienced harassment from people shouting ‘lesbian’ at us until we eventually got in the car and drove away.”
Read the whole article here.

As the article points out, Christina was a friend of Justin Aaberg, who was a gay student at Anoka High School in Anoka, Minnesota. Justin committed suicide in July.

This story illustrates just one of the reasons why a clear, intentional welcome for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities—welcoming them as people who share the worth that comes from being unique individuals created by God—is crucially important. The Reconciling In Christ program helps Lutheran congregations offer such a welcome.

Suicide is thought to be the third most frequent cause of death among people between the ages of 15 and 24, and that number is up 300% since 1990 (1). Among sexual and gender minority youth, the frequency of suicide is even higher: some research suggests that gay youth are two to three times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people (2), and transgender youth suicides are thought to be even higher than that. This makes suicide the leading cause of death in this group (3). In addition, nearly all of LGBTQ (4) suicides occur between the ages of 16 and 21 (5).

Suicide is a complex problem that does not have an easy solution. However, it's clear that being an LGBTQ teen in a hostile environment can be scary, lonely, and confusing. Rejection by family,  friends, and church is extremely painful and, at times, can contribute to the despair and hopelessness felt by some teens. In addition, bullying and harassment, including even violent harassment, are often overwhelming problems for LGBTQ youth.

For more information, see the resources and references provided below.

Resources

The Trevor Project 24/7 suicide and crisis prevention helpline for gay and questioning youth.

GLBT National Help Center: National hotline providing peer counseling, information, and assistance with other resources available to gay and lesbian teens.

Gay-Straight Alliance: Youth-led organization for students interested in starting or maintaining a GSA in their school.

Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network: Organization for students, parents, and teachers that tries to affect positive change in schools. Offers information on what you can do in your state.

P-FLAG: Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. An organization which offers support, education, and advocacy.

Safe Schools Coalition: Partnership of organizations that seek to promote tolerance in schools by providing resources for students, parents, and schools.

Trinity Place Shelter: A shelter providing homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth in New York City.

References

(1) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2007). Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System. Retrieved February 20, 2008 from http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/wisquars

(2,3) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide,” by Paul Gibson, in Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide, ed. Marcia R. Feinleib, Washington DC, January 1989.

(4) LGBTQ stands for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer."

(5) Pollak, Michael, “Male Homosexuality” in Western Sexuality, eds. Phillippe Aries and Andre Bejin, NY: Blackwell, 1985.