Sunday, January 31, 2016

Reported Spike in Suicides of LGBT Mormon Youth After LDS Church Enacts New Gay-Excluding Policy: Some Links for You

As Chris Morley notes in a series of comments here yesterday (this is his initial comment in the thread), a story has made the rounds this weekend about the new policy the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints recently enacted punishing the children of same-sex couples (previous commentary on this story is here, here, and here). On 28th January, the Salt Lake Tribune published a report citing data from the group Mama Dragons, Mormon mothers supporting their gay children, which indicates that there have been 32 suicides of young LGBT Mormons following the church's adoption of its new gay-excluding policy.

Chris has provided several links with more information about this story, and I had noticed a few others online as I've been discussing the story with Facebook friends. I want to share them with you:

Mitch Mayne, "New Mormon LGBT Policy: Putting Already Vulnerable Yount at Even Greater Suicide Risk?," Huffington Post

John Wright, "32 LGBT Mormons Aged 14-20 Have Committed Suicide in Wake of New Anti-Gay Policy, Group Says"

Reconciling Ministries Network, Facebook commentary on harm the United Methodist Church's policy regarding homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching" does to UMC youth.

Lisa Torcasso Downing, "Numbers Tell the Story," Life Outside the Book of Mormon Belt

Jana Riess, "LDS Church Responds to Alleged Spike in LGBT Youth Suicides," Religion News Service

And, finally, there's Peter Montgomery's weekly wrap-up of LGBT religious news from around the globe, which has a section this week entitled "Mormon Church: Teen Suicides Reportedly Jump in Wake of New Anti-Gay 'Revelation, '" which I'll post here, since it has more helpful links embedded in it:

Mama Dragons, a group of Mormon mothers with gay children, said it had been informed of 32 young LGBT Mormons who had committed suicide in the U.S. since early November, when the Church instituted a new policy declaring Mormons in same-sex marriages apostate and refusing to baptize children living in those families. Earlier this month, the LDS Church declared that its new policy was officially a revelation from God to the prophet, LDS President Thomas Monson, a move that gay Mormon activist Mitch Mayne said leaves LGBT Mormon youth with "a bleak Sophie’s Choice: either resign yourself of life of celibacy, or be ejected from your church and family – for all time and eternity." Most of the reported deaths were in Utah, which ranks in the top five of U.S. states in teen suicide, though the numbers have not been verified. In response to the Mama Dragons report, church officials mourned the deaths and called on churches and family members to make LGBT youth feel welcome.

Chris provided the link to the YouTube video from the Mama Dragons group at the head of the posting.

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