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Forum to focus on gay acceptance

Youth OUTright WNC will hold an informal discussion focusing on the perspectives of religious leaders who represent institutions that welcome and support lesbian and gay people people at 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12.

The forum will take place in the Fellowship Hall of the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Hendersonville. Several youth will serve as moderators and all youth will be encouraged to ask questions; panelists will also be encouraged to present questions and issues.

"Many of our LGBTQ youth come from very religious families, and too often their religious traditions have a supremely negative view of homosexuality," Jim Faucett, Youth OUTright Executive Director, said. "It's important that they know that not all religious leaders and teachings universally condemn them for who they are."
The panel will consist of the Rev. Jane Nelson, MCC Sacred Journey; the Rev. Richard Weidler, First Congregational Church of Hendersonville; the Rev. James McKinley, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Hendersonville; and Rabbi Philip Cohen, Agudas Israel Synagogue.
Youth OUTright, WNC Inc., a 501c-3, not-for-profit organization, offers monthly discussion groups and social activities for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth from ages 14 through 23. Meetings are held at the First Congregational United Church of Christ, 1735 Fifth Avenue West, in Hendersonville. Youth OUTright's mission is to empower LGBTQ youth to be confident and vital members of the greater community.