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“We Will Continue to Stand Up for our LGBTQ kids,” Loomis Church Pushes Back Against Far-Right Wing Activist Group

  • On March 19, a far-right wing activist group released a highly-edited video meant to discredit local pastor and the LGBTQ community
  • Project Veritas activists posed as parents searching for support and illegally videotaped a conversation with Pastor Casey Tinnin of Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ
  • Project Veritas and other far-right groups have a pattern of releasing false information and heavily edited videos to further their political agenda
  • Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ will continue to serve and provide support to the LGBTQ community

[Loomis - March 22] - Leaders of Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ are pushing back against outlandish claims made by far-right wing activist group, Project Veritas, about The Landing Spot and the safe space they create for LGBTQ+ teens and their parents. 

On March 19, a discredited far-right wing activist group released a highly-edited video meant to take the comments of a local pastor out of context and seize on the growing anti-LGBTQ sentiment in the region and across the country. 

Masquerading as parents seeking help and support for their transgender child, two Project Veritas activists met with Loomis Basin Congregational UCC Pastor, Casey Tinnin. Loomis Basin Congregational UCC hosts The Landing Spot, a program that provides support for LGBTQ teens and their parents. Pastor Tinnin regularly meets with parents of LGBTQ youth in need of support and resources, ministering in the community and meeting people where they are. The Project Veritas activists proceeded to illegally record their conversation and then edit it to discredit the church, Pastor Tinnin, and The Landing Spot. 

“The claims made by this far-right group are outlandish and would-be laughable, except we are seeing unprecedented threats of violence and anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country. These attacks are fueled by hate, and meant to dehumanize and discredit LGBTQ people. We know that we are all beloved children of God. We will continue to support LGBTQ youth and their families through our programs and ministry and we will not be intimidated by this discredited group and their disgusting tactics. We stand with our pastor, The Landing Spot, and the LGBTQ community.” - Sara Bocciardi, Church Council Co-Moderator, Loomis Basin UCC

“Unfortunately, the LGBTQ community has long been targeted by right wing groups, trying to erase queer people from our neighborhoods, schools, families, sports, bathrooms, church–everywhere. This awful video underscores the need for resources and support for the LGBTQ community, and I fully support our church’s commitment to creating that safe space. We will remain a welcoming and affirming church and continue to greet the LGBTQ community with open arms, just as Jesus would.” - Janie Johnson, member of Loomis Basin UCC for 33 years

“In the midst of a national political attack on the LGBTQ+ community, we are committed to walking in the way of Jesus. This means that we stand with the most marginalized communities including LGBTQ+ individuals, and we stand against religious extremism that would cast these beloved people out. In this moment in history we must not be silent to injustice.  We understand that the arc of justice is long, and we are committed to building a safer, kinder, and more welcoming Placer County for all of God's people.” - Pastor Casey Tinnin, Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ

Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ is an open and affirming church in Loomis, CA. That means that they welcome everyone to fully participate in their faith community, including all LGBTQ people. For five years, Loomis Basin UCC has operated The Landing Spot, a non-religious support group for LGBTQIA+ youth and their parents in Placer County. Activities include hosting monthly support groups and organizing activities, speakers, and events.

LGBTQ youth are in dire need of safe and welcoming spaces. According to The Trevor Project:
  • 45% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, including more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth;
  • LGBTQ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their straight counterparts;
  • Only 26% say they always feel safe in their school classrooms -- and just five percent say all of their teachers and school staff are supportive of LGBTQ people;
  • 67% report that they’ve heard family members make negative comments about LGBTQ people;.
  • One accepting adult can reduce the risk of a suicide attempt by 40% for queer youth. 

In addition to holding community events, The Landing Spot has provided resources and worked with various schools in the region when LGBTQ students sought community support. Following the release of this video, Roseville Joint Union High School District has paused its partnership with The Landing Spot. 

“The Landing Spot was a life-saver for our family back in 2017 when our oldest child, a 2019 graduate of Woodcreek High School, told us he was transgender. I had no idea what to do or how to provide support for my child, but I had heard of The Landing Spot through my son’s school and GSA. I immediately reached out to Pastor Casey who provided resources, guidance, and understanding as we navigated our son’s transition. Since then, I have seen The Landing Spot help countless parents and teens navigate life as an LGBTQ+ person. Pastor Casey has created an amazing support organization for these kids and parents in our community. To see him be maligned by this hate-filled group is extremely alarming and reminds us why we need leaders like him in our community.” -Sally A., Landing Spot Parent

Project Veritas is a well known far-right wing organization that uses deceptively edited videos to discredit journalists and organizations with which they don’t agree. Their tactics include illegally recording journalists and organizations without their knowledge, deceptively editing the content to further their agenda, and attempting to generate bad publicity for groups and people they hold in contempt, including women’s health providers, the LGBTQ community, and mainstream media groups.

Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ is exploring legal action against Project Veritas.