Profits from Atlanta-filmed movie go to anti-LGBT groups
Faith-based ‘90 Minutes In Heaven’ stars Hayden Christensen, Kate Bosworth
Profits from ticket sales to an Atlanta-filmed movie benefit anti-LGBT organizations. The faith-based movie, “90 Minutes In Heaven,” stars Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker in the “Star Wars” prequels) and Kate Bosworth (“Superman Returns”) and opened in theaters nationwide on Sept. 11.
The movie is based on the 2004 best-selling book by Don Piper, which documents a near-death experience he had in 1989. It is the first movie from Giving Films, founded by Rick Jackson, chairman and CEO of Atlanta-based Jackson Healthcare, the nation’s third-largest health care staffing company. Jackson is also the owner of the Family Christian retail chain, which has over 250 stores across the country.
Giving Films donates 100 percent of the profits from its films to seven different charities. A Georgia Voice investigation revealed two of those charities have anti-LGBT policies.
World Vision, an international evangelical Christian humanitarian aid organization, is supported in part by Giving Films. It generated just short of $1 billion in revenue in tax year 2012.
The group found itself in the center of controversy last March after changing a longstanding policy and saying it would begin to hire people who were in same-sex marriages. However, just 48 hours later, facing a backlash from supporters who threatened to pull donations, the group reversed its decision and went back to the previous policy. World Vision confirmed to Georgia Voice that it continues to deny employment to people in same-sex marriages.
Faith-based orphanage denies same-sex couples the right to adopt
The Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO) is, as the name implies, a faith-based adoption and foster care organization. It collected over $1 million in revenue in tax year 2013 and is supported in part by Giving Films.
Representatives from CAFO did not re- spond to repeated requests for comment, but multiple entries on the organization’s blog dating back to 2009 show its opposition to same-sex couples having the right to adopt.
Oct. 2009: CAFO criticizes a bill that would ban government partnerships with adoption agencies who will not place children with same-sex couples.
Jan. 2010: On a Christianity Today article on “the politicization of adoption,” CAFO wrote, “The current Christianity Today carries an important article on the tragic growing politicization of adoption, particularly as a result of attempts by activists from the GLBT community to use laws and regulations to pressure faith-based adoption agencies to place children with gay and lesbian couples. What previously was presented by activists as an effort to secure the legal right of GLBT individuals to adopt is increasingly morphing into an effort to deny agencies the right to make placement decisions according to their convictions on what’s best for children.”
Oct. 2011: CAFO decries a situation in Illinois where the Department of Children and Family Services stripped an anti-LGBT adoption agency of its contract to provide foster care services, saying, “Why turn the foster care arrangements upside down, disrupting long-standing contractual relationships and the successful recruitment and placement records of these faith-based agencies? Not because gay persons or civil-union partners in Illinois otherwise would be left out in the cold if they wanted to become qualified as foster care homes. Everyone admits there are plenty of agencies more than happy to serve them. No, the contracts had to be stripped because the government insists that no private agency should be allowed to exercise a faith-based conviction that it is best if a foster child is placed with a married mother-father family... Such a conviction, to the government, expresses mere invidious discrimination and it cannot be tolerated.”
All the blog posts were still on CAFO’s website as of press time.
FaithBridge Foster Care is an Alpharetta-based adoption and foster care organization supported by Giving Films. It collected over $2 million in revenue overall in tax year 2013.
FaithBridge refused multiple requests for comment on its adoption policies, but on its website it states its “Position on Morality,” which includes the line, “We believe that the term ‘marriage’ has only one meaning and that marriage is sanctioned by God which joins one man and one woman in a single, exclusive union.”
‘All children deserve safe, loving parents’
Sociologists have largely found that children raised by same-sex couples fare no differently from those raised by opposite-sex couples, and one study from 2014 by BMC Public Health even showed that children raised by same-sex couples did slightly better “than the general population on measures of general health and family cohesion.”
A 2013 study by the Williams Institute showed that more than 16,000 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 22,000 adopted children, and approximately 2,600 same-sex couples are raising an estimated 3,400 foster children in the United States.
It is legal for same-sex couples to adopt children in Georgia, although second-parent adoption laws vary by county and by judge. Several local organizations, like CHRIS Kids, have adoption programs that help place children with all couples no matter their genders.
“We believe that all children deserve safe, loving parents who are dedicated to their welfare and that same-sex couples can provide the safe, loving homes that children need and deserve,” said CHRIS Kids CEO Kathy Colbenson. “We can’t imagine that anyone would want a child to grow up in foster care when a safe, loving home with committed parents is an option.”
Georgia Voice reached out to representatives of Jackson, Christensen and Bosworth and did not receive any responses as of press time.
“What previously was presented by activists as an effort to secure the legal right of GLBT individuals to adopt is increasingly morphing into an effort to deny agencies the right to make placement decisions according to their convictions on what’s best for children.”
—A blog post from the Christian Alliance for Orphans
Representatives for Kate Bosworth and Hayden Christensen did not return requests for comment on their film ‘90 Minutes In Heaven.’ (Courtesy photo)