The debate over homosexuality is heating up in America's schools as a gay activist group is sponsoring it's annual "Day of Silence" for students Friday, April 16.
They say it's a silent protest against the harrassment of gay students, but Christian groups say the day promotes gay rights.
The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network targets schools across the country to make them safe for those students. Its "Day of Silence" calls on students to remain silent during the school day, when possible, to draw attention to its cause.
But a number of Christian groups are not buying it.
"Many Christians see it as a day to promote homosexuality, and not, simply lessening bullying," Bob Stith with the Southern Baptist Convention said.
Some conservative organizations like Concerned Women for America say Christian students should not attend school on the "Day of Silence."
"Schools receive funding based on the attendance of students, and so, if schools are allowing the 'Day of Silence' they could end up paying a financial hit if these students don't attend school on that day," Wendy Wright with Concerned Women for America said.
But other groups, like the ministry Exodus International, are encouraging Christian students to attend school and engage with their peers.
The Exodus-sponsored "Day of Truth" Web site offers students ideas on how to talk about the issues.
Other groups are urging students to call for mutual respect and to hand out "Golden Rule cards" to those promoting the Day of Silence.
For the other 364 days a year, Christian leaders like Stith say friendship is key, saying that developing relationships with those who struggle with same-sex attraction could make all the difference.
"Listening to hundreds and hundreds of men and women who've come out of homosexuality, the thing that ultimately reached them was that there was someone in their life who loved them unconditionally with the love of Christ," he said.
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