to guide group discussion:
1. Is it compassionate and loving to encourage people in any behavior or lifestyle that can harm them?
2. If a person has an unwanted emotion, feeling or behavior, should have they have the right to seek professional treatment or therapy?
3. Does affirming LGBT behavior and lifestyle reduce suicide and mental health risks
4. What does the statement, ‘I am gay’ mean in contemporary society? Is there a difference between saying: “I’m gay” and “I experience same-sex attraction.” What does each of those statements imply?
5. Most people understand it is unhealthy to focus on one’s profession, one’s home, one’s car, as an identity. Discuss whether or not it is healthy, or wise, to label one’s self or accentuate sexual attraction as an identity.
7. Studies, over time, show that individuals who experience same-sex attraction (SSA) are not “born that way.” (The widely-accepted science understanding is that same-sex attraction is connected to a combination of pre-disposing characteristics and social/environmental influences.) Does this change your perspective on the LGBT issue; if so, how? Should this fact be an integral part of LGBT discussions; if so, why?
8. As religion and society, as a whole, has become more accepting and tolerant of LGBT behavior and lifestyle, LGBT suicide rates have, concurrently, remained the same or in some age brackets, risen. Consider and discuss the reasons why a decrease in “stigma” has not lowered mental health risks for LGBT.
9. Do religious doctrines that do not validate LGBT behavior and lifestyle contribute to increased levels of mental health problems and suicide risk? Or, does religious observance provide a protective effect (in areas of mental health and suicide risk) for those who experience same-sex attraction?
10. Is rejecting LGBT behavior the same as rejecting the person? [emphasis on “behavior” is intentional]
11. Acceptance and normalization of LGBT behavior and lifestyle is increasingly being mainstreamed into the educational system – oft times outside of parental input or control. Is this type of education needful? Appropriate? What will your response be should these courses come to your child’s school?