A $20,000 crowdfunding campaign for Seth Owen, a Florida teen who became homelessness after refusing to attend his parents church, has exceeded its target by over $18,600.
The GoFundMe page, set up by a former teacher, explains why the money is needed:
Earlier this year (after a year of attempted conversion therapy), Seth’s parents gave him an ultimatum. He would either continue to attend the church that outwardly attacked him and his sexual orientation or he would need to leave home. For his own well-being and safety, Seth chose the latter. He’s been living with friends and working to sustain himself since financially.
His parents have refused to support him emotionally or financially because they deem his sexual orientation inconsistent with their religious beliefs. Throughout this all, Seth held his head high and continued to work almost full-time while finishing high school at the top of his class as the co-valedictorian.
Seth was admitted to Georgetown University and received a financial aid package based on the premise of parental support. Seth appealed this decision with letters from mental health professionals, school personnel, mentors, and community organizations, but Georgetown University has refused to amend his financial aid package leaving Seth with $20,000 bill to cover his first year.
According to this report, Owen’s problems began in his sophomore year of high school. He said:
I was writing a paper one night and my dad decided to check my phone. He was searching for quite a few hours and found a photo that clearly showed that I was gay and questioned me for quite a few hours that night.
Days later, Owen said his parents sent him to counseling.
They made it clear the intention was to make me straight. (That) was their end goal.
Seth continued to live with his parents for a couple years, staying busy will three jobs, after school programmes, dual enrollment classes and swimming, but moved out after he was given an ultimatum:
Either go to church or you can move out.
Owen refused because he claimed the he pastor at his parents’ church had strong opinions about women’s place in society and the LGBTQ community – opinions that Owen couldn’t abide.
So he did move out.
His parents have refused to support him emotionally or financially because they deem his sexual orientation inconsistent with their religious beliefs, proving yet again that religion poisons everything.