Gay Houston teen attacked
Rev. Phil Schulman is minister of Northwest Community Unitarian Universalist Church in Houston.
Last week, we heard news that a teen from Langham Creek High School was allegedly chased down by other teens, beaten with a pipe and told, “You are going to quit being gay.” The boy says that he had been tipped off that the attack was going to happen, and that he approached the Vice Principal and the bus driver seeking protection. Parents are questioning the level of safety being provided to their teens. Rumors and accusations of previous conflict and offensive behavior began to emerge. Was it a hate crime? We know this–the assault was tragic, and is part of a larger pattern of violence against gay people. Incidents of violence assault the safety and security of all teens, especially any may be perceived as gay.
Unitarian Universalist congregations hold a covenant to affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person. Many of us have been working to see that the same basic civil rights become guaranteed to everyone. I have contacted the mother of the boy who was beaten and offered the support of our congregation. I am grateful to any who have offered their support to this grieving family. I see this support as living out the injunction to love your neighbor as yourself.
On Sunday, November 29, at 6:30 pm, Northwest Community Unitarian Universalist Church will have a short religious service, a prayer and peace vigil. Afterwards there will be a teen and an adult dialog for peace, healing and safety. This will be a public event where we will pray for the will to create safe community for all our teens.