The Nashville Statement, released by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood on Tuesday, says that only heterosexuality is permissible, calls people born with intersex conditions “disordered,” derides transgender identities as “transgenderism” and makes clear that anyone who is an L.G.B.T. person is immoral.
.. The statement can’t be written off as the regressive stance of a fringe group: More than 150 influential conservative evangelical leaders, half of whom belong to the Southern Baptist Convention, signed the statement. Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, and James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and member of Donald Trump’s faith advisory board, endorsed it. Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s public policy arm, also signed on. Presidents of seminaries, editors and writers at the largest conservative publications, as well as presidents and directors of conservative think tanks added their names.
.. L.G.B.T. youths have disproportionately high rates of suicide and of anxiety and depression — problems that are undoubtedly worsened by the condemnation of those who hold beliefs like the ones in the Nashville Statement. Those whose families reject them, most of whom are from religious backgrounds, are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers. L.G.B.T. youths also suffer from high rates of homelessness. Because of conservative churches’ teachings about sexuality, some parents prefer their L.G.B.T. children sleep on the streets instead of in their homes.
.. Evangelicals’ promotion of “reparative therapy” that tries to change L.G.B.T. people’s sexual orientation or gender identity, which has been condemned by every major medical organization, has also brought harm and death.
.. More broadly, the type of theology underlying the Nashville Statement is used to defend the denial of goods and services to same-sex couples. The political power evangelicals hold in the United States allows them to codify their beliefs in law.
The Nashville Statement Is an Attack on L.G.B.T. Christians