For GLBT Youth, Silence Leads to Bridges of Tolerance

Gay rights may be the new abortion when it comes to Washington, but across the country it’s the new school prayer.  … [A]s with school prayer, religious conservatives are on the defensive and some seem to be using the other side’s playbook. They emphasize free speech and tolerance for opposing views — including the view that sexual orientation can be changed.

Take this week’s nationwide Day of Silence, an observance sponsored by GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, in which students at thousands of schools and college remained silent for all or part of the school day to dramatize the silencing effect of bullying on gay and lesbian kids. The symbolism may be a bit convoluted, but as I discovered researching my book the problem is real. So is the change in attitudes toward homosexuality that has made the Day of Silence, while still controversial in places, such a routine school event, along with Homecoming, the prom and the big game. CNN marked the Day of Silence this morning with an interview of an articulate Georgia high school student named Cory Phelps, himself a former victim of bullying, who put an all-American face on an event that would have been unthinkable a generation ago. …

[H]ere’s the interesting thing: Instead of a boycotting the Day of Silence or competing with it by staging a “Day of Truth,” some conservative students are being urged to embrace the mantra of mutual respect. Warren Throckmorton, a psychology professor at Grove City College in Western Pennsylvania, has proposed that evangelical Christian kids join with their “GLBT peers” in taking a “Golden Rule Pledge.” Last year, Throckmorton notes on his blog, “students in over 30 high schools and colleges participated by agreeing with GLBT peers to respect each other as Image bearers of God. Students distributed pledges to honor the teaching of Christ to love as He loved and to treat others as we want to be treated.”

via LA Times:  Silence is golden for gay kids


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