We’re excited to be part of the groundswell of Catholics who are standing with LGBTQ people and against the bullying, harassment, and violence they face — and we invite you to join us!
More than a dozen bishops and 100 Catholic organizations have joined the Tyler Clementi Foundation to say, “The Catholic Church values the God-given dignity of all human life and 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. Most of all, know that God created you, God loves you, and God is on your side.”
The Tyler Clementi Foundation works to end bullying by forming #Upstanders — people willing to stand up to affirm the dignity of every person, especially when they are facing harassment because of age, race, nationality, faith, gender identity, sexual orientation, or cultural identity. The foundation was established in 2010 by the Clementi family after their son, Tyler, committed suicide at the age of 18 after experiencing online bullying because he was gay.
LGBTQ people in our generation face prejudice and rejection because of their orientation, and consequently experience homelessness and attempt suicide at higher rates than their straight peers. But, as the Catholics who signed the Tyler Clementi Foundation statement affirm, we follow the example of Jesus Christ, who “taught love, mercy, and welcome for all people, especially for those who felt persecuted or marginalized in any way.”
So we invite you to join us in this #Upstander movement by taking this pledge:
- I will stand up to bullying whether I’m at school, at home, at work, in my house of worship; whether I am speaking in the digital cyber world or out in the real world with friends, family, colleagues, or teammates.
- I will work to make others feel safe and included by treating them with kindness, respect, and compassion.
- I will not use insulting or demeaning language, slurs, gestures, facial expressions, or jokes about anyone’s sexuality, size, gender, race, any kind of disability, religion, class, politics, or other differences, in person or while using technology.
- If I realize I have hurt someone I will apologize.
- I will remain vigilant and not be a passive audience or “bystander” to abusive actions or words.