We’re in the middle of Gay Pride Month…or June, as I like to call it. By this month’s end, there will have been hundreds of pro-homosexual rallies across the country, with millions participating in the fanfare.
And you might be surprised at how many young people will be involved.
The All Encompassing Question
Homosexuality is one of the biggest debates facing America. The questions surrounding this issue have bled into political, religious, social, scientific, and educational arenas…with very few concrete answers being found. Thus, it affects many people groups, young people being just one of them.
When I speak to teenagers around the country at conferences or camps or retreats, the same question surfaces in different ways. I might be standing in line at the dining hall with a youth group, or walking over to the pool with some guys after playing paintball, but the question always starts off the same: “So, Pastor David, I’ve got this friend who thinks he’s gay….”
Think about it: homosexuality is just one of the many “new” realities facing maturing young people who are simultaneously wrestling with physical changes to their body, increased school demands, peer pressure, and a host of other changes that affect their personal identities. But the perplexities of homosexuality remain one of the most-defining questions of this generation.
What do we say in response? How do we say it? And what authority do we lean upon in stating our case?
Though homosexuality is just one of the “new realities” with which young people must contend en route to adulthood, I can’t take any “new” stance on this issue. It’s just not needed. I’m convinced that Jesus Christ’s followers must formulate – and articulate! – a doctrine on this issue that’s congruent with scripture, a doctrine of compassion and truth. (We’ve tried to outline one here.) Then, the Church must live in accordance with that biblical statement.
If the Church doesn’t quickly formulate a response, it can expect to lose its voice with young people on this subject. After all, the other voice is growing much louder. When the Church loses its voice, it will be even easier for young people to engage themselves in the homosexual agenda…like some of these young people below.
Passing the Torch to a Younger Generation
“Gay Pride,” as it’s called, is making somewhat of a surge in communities across America. For example, Pittsburgh’s Market Square was recently the site of a flash mob in support of Pittsburgh Pride 2011, a pro-gay event in The Steel City. (Take a look at the photo on that site; I’d bet the average age of the dancers in that video is approximately 22.) And when this young dance crew finished their choreography, they melted into the crowd.
But while they faded away, other young people were “stepping out” about “coming out.”
For example, teens in Tennessee rallied outside the state Capitol protesting what has been called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill that would prevent schools from teaching about homosexuality.
Young people’s involvement isn’t exactly “new.” For the last few years, teens and young people have been attending gay pride events. Last year, Constance McMillen, the girl from Mississippi whose school canceled her prom rather than allow her to bring her female date was invited to grand marshal the New York Gay Pride Parade in June of 2010.
Are these kids getting involved because they’re bored? Does activism make their college applications look that much better?
Or is it deeper than that?
In May of 2011, Gallup released their findings of a survey on the acceptance of gay marriage’s legality. For the first time ever, a majority of Americans, 53%, believe that same-sex marriages should be just as valid as traditional marriages.