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FW: [NGLTF] Report examines faith-based initiatives

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  • John Mayes
    ********************************************************************** NATIONAL GAY AND LESBIAN TASK FORCE PRESS RELEASEContact: David Elliot, Communications
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 6, 2001

      David Elliot, Communications Director
      202-332-6483 ext. 3303
      800-757-6476 pager

      1700 Kalorama Road NW, Washington, DC


      Feb. 6, 2001 - George W. Bush's proposals to channel federal funds to
      faith-based social service programs pose a fundamental threat to the
      gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) community, the National
      Gay and Lesbian Task Force warned today.

      NGLTF Executive Director Elizabeth Toledo warned that Bush's proposals
      pose a threat not only to GLBT social service workers and service
      recipients, but also to any person in need of services whose faith
      tradition may be different from that of the provider institution.

      "Youth, elders, the homeless, women seeking reproductive counseling and
      individuals who seek treatment for alcohol or drug abuse all face a very
      real threat that services will be offered in an unfriendly and hostile
      setting," Toledo said. "For generations, churches, synagogues and other
      faith institutions have worked wonders for people from all walks of life.
      But our nation's founders never envisioned that these institutions would
      replace government. And our founders never envisioned that government
      would 'establish' churches or synagogues through funding or
      through other formal relationships."

      NGLTF today released a report that lays out the pitfalls inherent in Bush's
      proposals. The report outlines why such initiatives represent a threat to
      the GLBT community, and what problems have surfaced in Bush's home state
      of Texas when similar initiatives were put in place. The report may be
      found on the "W Watch" section of NGLTF's web site, at

      The report details the problems encountered when Bush, as Texas governor,
      pushed the Texas Legislature to create a new state agency, known as the
      Texas Association of Christian Childcare Agencies, as a way to circumvent
      existing state licensing procedures for privately run homes that
      serve troubled youth.

      One of the first entities licensed by the new agency was a group of homes
      run by the People's Baptist Church of Corpus Christi and founded decades
      ago by fundamentalist Lester Roloff. Subsequently, according to allegations
      that surfaced in both media reports and a civil lawsuit, three youth who
      lived in the homes were whipped, beaten, denied food and water, and forced
      dig a 15-foot pit. The superintendent of one of the homes later was charged
      with unlawful restraint, a felony.

      "We won't let Bush tear down the historic separation of church and state,"
      Toledo said. "His proposals also could eliminate accountability and endanger
      the very clients that social services are intended to help."
      Founded in 1973, NGLTF works to eliminate prejudice, violence and injustice
      against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people at the local, state
      and national level. As part of a broader social justice movement for
      justice and equality, NGLTF is creating a world that respects and celebrates
      the diversity of human expression and identity where all people may fully
      participate in society.

      This message was issued by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
      Communications Department. If you have a question regarding this
      post, please direct it to the contact at the top of this message.

      To reach the NGLTF Communications Department at NGLTF, please call
      David Elliot, Communications Director, at 202-332-6483 x3303 or pager
      800-757-6476 or email delliot@....

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