Speaking to an overflow crowd at the OnebyOne Luncheon on Tuesday (July 3) at the 220th General Assembly, Linda Harvey voiced her concerns about the impact that teaching that same-sex marriage is okay will have on the children of America.

“Schools now promote ‘marriage equality’ as social justice equivalent to racial reconciliation,” said Harvey. “We need to get back to Scripture, back to a biblical worldview.”

Harvey, the executive director of Mission America (Columbus, Ohio) was invited to speak by OneByOne, an organization founded in 1995 to minister to individuals who are struggling with their sexuality. The title of her talk was “Same Sex Marriage: The Destructive Impact on America’s Youth.”

Harvey is particularly concerned that acceptance of homosexuality has been paired with anti-bullying messages to the distortion of the latter.

“Homosexual acceptance has been paired with anti-bullying, and you don’t have to accept homosexuality to be anti-bullying,” Harvey said.  “You can always be civil and kind even if you disagree.”

She thinks this is particularly so in the “It Gets Better” message that many celebrities and politicians have endorsed. Begun by Dan Savage, a national sex advice columnist who is gay, “It Gets Better” is designed to steer youth and young adults who are being bullied because of their sexual orientation away from harming themselves.

Unfortunately, Harvey says, this “pairs something that our kids need to hear”—that they shouldn’t harm themselves—with “messages that they don’t need to hear”—that it’s okay to be gay.

Harvey said that this is not just an issue for Christian denominations. She believes it needs to be debated in the public policy arena, something that is not happening when speech that is viewed as anti-homosexual is equated with hate speech—even in our churches. Harvey cited several examples of students and teachers who have been the subject of intense media and public scrutiny over private remarks they have made condemning homosexuality as sin.

“Religious freedom is losing in head-to-head battles [with discrimination law],” she said.

Also at the luncheon, Bill Henderson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Hendersonvile, NC, spoke about a resource kit he and his church have developed to help a person with same-sex attraction move out of homosexuality.