Declaring “God is on your side”, a Roman Catholic cardinal, and archbishop and six other U.S bishops issued a statement Monday expressing support for LGBTQ youth and denouncing the bullying often directed at them.
“All people of goodwill should help, support and defend LGBT youth,” said the statement released by the Tyler Clementi Foundation, named for the Rutgers University student who took his own life in 2010 after he was recorded on a webcam kissing another man.
Among those signing the statement were Cardinal Joseph Tobin, the archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, and Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
According to Catholic teaching, gays and lesbians should be respected, loved and not discriminated against, but homosexual activity is considered “intrinsically disordered”. The leadership of the church in the U.S. vigorously opposes same-sex marriage and has not supported efforts to boost acceptance of transgender people.
The statement added that LGBTQ youth attempt suicide at much higher rates , are often homeless because of families who reject them and are “are the target of violent acts at alarming rates.”
“We take this opportunity to say to our LGBT friends, especially young people, that we stand with you and oppose any form of violence, bullying or harassment directed at you,” it read. “Most of all, know that God created you, God loves you and God is on your side.