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March 24, 2014

SAGE’s Statement to Homophobic Harlem Sign

HarlemIn March 2014, the ATLAH World Missionary Church in Harlem, New York City posted a sign that reads: "Jesus Would Stone Homos. … Stoning is Still the Law," among other disturbing statements. The sign has elicited controversy and concerns from members of the Harlem community, as well as from news outlets and advocates throughout New York City and around the country.

In response to the sign, SAGE Executive Director Michael Adams has responded:

"The deeply offensive and bigoted signage of the Atlah World Missionary Church is the antithesis of the Harlem community that SAGE Harlem has been a part of for the past 10 years.   Throughout SAGE Harlem’s existence, we have been proud to contribute to a community that has increasingly embraced and respected its LGBT members, including LGBT elders.  To see the hateful Atlah signage just two blocks from our SAGE Harlem center is deeply disturbing.  At the same time, we are reassured by the knowledge that this is a fringe group that does not represent the sentiments of the vast majority of Harlem community organizations and residents.  In the face of this verbal assault on the human dignity of LGBT people, SAGE and SAGE Harlem will redouble our commitment to contributing to a Harlem community where all are welcome regardless of their sexual orientations or gender identities.

Since 2004, SAGE Harlem has helped ensure that LGBT elders in Harlem, East Harlem and the Bronx can benefit from culturally and linguistically appropriate services. Located in the historic former Theresa Hotel, SAGE Harlem offers bilingual information, referrals, services, programming, educational presentations and social activities for older LGBT residents in the community, and partners with local social service providers to expand access for LGBT consumers and sensitivity to their issues.

To learn more about SAGE Harlem, please visit: http://www.sageusa.org/nyc/harlem.cfm

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