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

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LDS Church Leaders Call Trend ‘Heartbreaking,’ Say They ‘Mourn with Families’

Thirty-two young LGBT Mormons reportedly have taken their own lives since early November — when the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced a new devastatingly anti-gay policy labeling people in same-sex marriages “apostates” and barring their children from being baptized. 

All of the victims were between the ages of 14 and 20, with an average age of 17. Twenty-seven were male, three were female and two were transgender, and all but six of the suicides occurred in Utah. 

Those figures are based on a report from Mama Dragons, a support group for the Mormon parents of LGBT children that we first told you about last May. Wendy Montgomery, co-founder of Mama Dragons, announced recently during a conference of Affirmation, another Mormon LGBT support group, that the families of the 32 victims had contacted her directly about the death of a child or sibling. 

The Deseret News, a Salt Lake City-based daily newspaper owned by the Mormon church, reported the shocking figure Wednesday after obtaining the following statement from senior LDS leaders.

“Every soul is precious to God and to the church and the loss of life to suicide is heartbreaking,” an LDS church spokesman, Dale Jones, said. “Those who are attracted to others of the same sex face particular challenges and pressures in this regard, both inside and outside the church. We mourn with their families and friends when they feel life no longer offers hope. Each congregation should welcome everyone. Leaders and members are taught to follow the example of Jesus Christ and to reach out in an active, caring way to all, especially to youth who feel estranged or isolated. The church has repeatedly stated that those who feel same-sex attraction and yet choose to live the commandments of God can live fulfilling lives as worthy members of the church. We want all to enjoy the blessings and safety offered by embracing the teachings of Jesus Christ and living the principles of His gospel.”

RELATED: 1830 Mormons In Salt Lake City Quit LDS Church Over New Anti-Gay Policies

The 15 million-member LDS church teaches that acting on feelings of “same-sex attraction” is a sin, and excommunicates gay and lesbian members who decline to remain celibate. The church fought vigorously against the legalization of same-sex marriage, bankrolling the campaign in support of California’s Proposition 8 in 2008.

In the ensuing years, however, the church appeared to soften its anti-gay tone and left decisions about the issue in the hands of local leaders. As a result, some “wards,” or congregations, in progressive areas became welcoming of LGBT people. Last year, the church even supported a bill banning anti-LGBT discrimination in Utah, although the measure contained significant religious exemptions. 

RELATED: Amid Mass Resignations, Mormon Leaders Try, Fail To Soften New Rule On Children Of Same-Sex Parents

But in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of nationwide marriage equality, the church took a major step backward. In the policy released Nov. 5, the church relegated same-sex couples to the same status as those in polygamous marriages, labeling them “apostates,” a term for those who’ve renounced their faith. The policy also bars the children of same-sex parents from becoming full members of the church until they turn 18, disavow their parents’ relationship, and leave the household. 

The new policy prompted thousands to leave the church in protest. Then, earlier this month, the president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Russell M. Nelson, declared that the policy was a revelation from God to LDS President Thomas S. Monson, which elevated it to the status of church doctrine. Nelson is next in line to become church president, and his wife later said that LGBT people could “repent” and have their “sexual feelings be in harmony” with God’s law. 

Even before the new policy was announced, Utah had the fourth-highest rate of suicide in the nation, and suicide was the No. 1 cause of death for children ages 10-17. Sadly, the families of LGBT Mormons who commit suicide typically don’t publicize it because they want to avoid the associated shame from fellow church members. 

Nationally, LGB youth are four times more likely than their straight peers to attempt suicide, according to the Trevor Project. LGB youth who come from highly rejecting families are 8.4 times as likely to attempt suicide as those who report no or low levels of family rejection. And one quarter of young transgender people “report having made a suicide attempt.”

 

Image by Brian Palmer via Facebook

 

 

 

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AMERICAN IDIOT

‘A Monumental Fraud and Failure’: Trump Had a Plan to ‘Blow Up’ the G7 and Give the ‘Middle Finger’ to Our Allies: Report

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President Donald Trump’s plan was to bully our G7 allies on a range of issues by touting the strong U.S. economy. As The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent wrote Friday morning, “Trump will proclaim his ‘America First’ agenda a smashing success, and throw that in the faces of our European allies.”

That plan will have to be changed now that his trade war with China just exploded.

China imposed tariffs of $75 billion of U.S. goods on Friday. Trump launched a tweetstorm causing the DOW to drop more than 600 points (at several times during the day more than 700 points.)

The president apparently found wiping out the value of millions of Americans’ 401(k)s amusing:

And just an hour after the markets closed, Trump once again took to Twitter, announcing he is increasing tariffs against China on $250 billion of goods.

“Trump’s appearance [at the G7] will in reality demonstrate that the very nationalist agenda he will be touting is, thus far, a record of deep fraudulence and failure, covered up with lies,” Sargent added. “Trump’s ‘America First’ agenda, particularly the trade war with China, is a key reason the U.S. economy is now at greater risk of tipping into recession.”

“It’s important to appreciate just how heavily Trump’s political mystique relies on the constant middle finger he gives to allies and international leaders. It’s central to the story he told in 2016 and the one he’ll tell in 2020.”

Last year President Trump promised winning trade wars is “easy.”

Read the entire piece at The Washington Post.

 

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BIGOTRY

Trump Administration Urges US Supreme Court to Declare Firing a Worker for Being Gay Is Legal

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The Trump administration has just urged the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that firing an employee simply because they are gay is perfectly legal. The request comes in the form of a 34-page amicus brief, which was not required, but voluntary.

The brief, signed by Trump Solicitor General Noel Francisco, tells the Court it is the opinion of the administration’s Dept. of Justice that a “plain text” reading of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 do9es not protect gay people in the workplace from discrimination, including firing for being gay, as The Washington Blade, which was first to report, notes.

“The question here is not whether Title VII should forbid employment discrimination because of sexual orientation, but whether it already does,” the brief says. “The statute’s plain text makes clear that it does not; discrimination because of ‘sex’ forbids treating members of one sex worse than similarly situated members of the other — and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, standing alone, does not result in such treatment.”

President Trump has also stated he will not sign the Equality Act, which would specify that the Civil Rights of Act of 1964 does protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.

The Supreme Court will hear three cases related to anti-LGBTQ discrimination on October 8.

The move is consistent with the entirety of the Trump administration’s policies and actions.

Just ten days ago the Dept. of Justice tried to strong-arm the Equal Employment opportunity Commission to set aside up to eight years of findings and rulings and support the DOJ’s position firing LGBTQ workers is legal.

One week ago the DOJ in similar fashion urged the Supreme Court to rule that firing transgender workers is legal.

And on August 14 the Trump Dept. of Labor moved to prioritize the rights of so-called “religion-exercising organizations” over those of LGBTQ workers. The DOL offered a new proposal that appears to be a roadmap which faith-based organizations claiming to have religious beliefs or moral convictions can use to protect themselves from charges of discrimination.

As NCRM has reported previously, the Trump administration is the most anti-LGBT administration in modern U.S. history.

 

Image by Ted Eytan via Flickr and a CC license

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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News

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Has Completed More Cancer Treatment

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Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg underwent outpatient pancreatic cancer radiation therapy and has been declared cancer-free, according MSNBC’s Pete Williams and a statement from the Supreme Court.

“The tumor was treated definitively and there is no evidence of disease elsewhere in the body,” the SCOTUS statement says. “No further treatment is needed at this time.”

The three-week treatment was completed at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Ginsburg, who is 86 and keeps an active schedule, has maintained she will continue to serve as long as she feel capable.

Here’s MSNBC’s report:

 

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