Shocking surge in Mormon LGBT youth suicide: A cruel new policy that stigmatizes and demeans gays, lesbians, and their children is thought to be responsible for an alarming spike in Mormon LGBT youth suicide.
Last November the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enacted a cruel new policy declaring that people in same-sex marriages are “apostates,” who can be excommunicated, and their children may not be baptized or blessed until they’re of “legal age,” don’t live with a parent in a same-sex relationship, and have committed to the teachings of the church and disavowed “the practice of same-gender cohabitation and marriage.”
At least 32 gay Mormon youths have killed themselves since the announcement of the new policy, and there’s been an alarming increase of suicidal teens and twenty-somethings in the church.
Wendy Montgomery, a co-founder of the Mama Dragons, a group of Mormon mothers with gay children, recently reported that she knows of 32 young LGBT Mormons who have died by suicide since early November; 27 of the deaths were young men, three were young women, and two were trans youth (it’s not clear how they identified).
The Salt Lake Tribune confirms that there’s been an alarming increase of suicidal teens and twenty-somethings in the church:
Therapists have seen an uptick in clients who reported suicidal thoughts. Activists have been bombarded with grief-stricken family members seeking comfort and counsel.
In addition to the alarming increase in suicidal LGBT youth, the controversial new policy has motivated thousands to leave the Mormon Church in a historic mass resignation.
Late last month the LDS Church responded to the alarming reports of death by suicide among Mormon LGBT people. Senior church leaders said through a spokesman:
We mourn with their families and friends when they feel life no longer offers hope.
Such a statement is of little comfort to the family of loved ones driven to suicide by the inhumane, anti-gay policy that calls for those in gay unions to be treated as apostates while banning baptisms and other ceremonies for the children of gays and lesbians until they are 18 years old.
In addition, the new policy states that if the children of couples in same-sex marriages want to become full-fledged members of the faith, they have to disavow their parents’ relationship and move out of the home.
The new policy is truly monstrous, designed to shame gays and lesbians, and the families of gays and lesbians, ultimately driving a wedge between family members, destroying relationships and ruining lives.
Particularly odious is the demand that children of gays and lesbians must disavow their parents relationship before being allowed into the church. Such a demand is truly despicable.
Yet the bigotry of the Mormon church should not come as a surprise. Indeed, it is hard to expect a moral or loving response from a church hierarchy that up until 1978 taught that black people were spiritually and morally inferior beings, and barred men of African descent from the clergy.
Bottom line: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enacted an inhumane anti-gay policy that is driving their LGBT youth to suicide and depression, and in so doing offers yet another powerful argument for the claim: Religion poisons everything.