Two-Thirds Blame Churches for Gay Teen Suicides

People hear homophobic messages from the pulpit, says poll
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2010 6:10 PM CDT
A man who identified himself as Richard prepares a sign in opposition to gay marriage Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010, outside City Hall in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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(Newser) – About 65% of Americans think that anti-gay messages from religious leaders contribute to suicides among homosexual youths, a new poll finds. Slightly more, 72%, agree that religion at least somehow contributes to negative views of gays and lesbians, say researchers at the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute. Twice as many people gave churches low marks as gave them high marks.

The leader of the gay rights group Faith in America tells the Salt Lake Tribune that the results point to progress. “There is a growing awareness and understanding about the harm that is caused when society places a religious or moral stamp of disapproval on the lives of gay and lesbian individuals, especially youths," he says.

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