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 â€” 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.Â
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.Â
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.Â 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.Â
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.”
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.Â
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.Â
The new policy prompted thousands to leave the church in protest. Then,Â 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.Â
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.Â 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.Â
Nationally, LGB youth are four times more likely than theirÂ 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.”
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‘Huge Big WTF’: Experts Scorch CDC for Deleting New Guidance Revealing Coronavirus Is Airborne
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday quietly updated its official coronavirus guidance to reveal the pathogen is airborne, and can stay in the air at distances greater than six feet.
Few noticed the change but CNN reported it over the weekend.
“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes),” the update read.
That updated guidance has now been deleted, as Harvard professor and former DHS official Juliette Kayyam noted.
Pro-tip. Just got word from internal source that CDC took down the aerosol guidance. I don’t see it anymore. WTF.
— Juliette Kayyem (@juliettekayyem) September 21, 2020
She later noted CDC added a note to the page, claiming the update (which is critical information for everyone around the world) was a draft version.
“A draft version of proposed changes to these recommendations was posted in error to the agency’s official website. CDC is currently updating its recommendations regarding airborne transmission of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19). Once this process has been completed, the update language will be posted.”
Here’s how some experts are responding:
Award-winning medical science writer covering the pandemic for the New York Times:
— Apoorva Mandavilli (@apoorva_nyc) September 21, 2020
Epidemiologist, Visiting Scientist at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health:
🚨HOLY HELL—CDC has now taken down the “coronavirus is aerosol & airborne” guidance from yesterday!!!! It’s like gone!! Instead it puts up some ‘a draft version was put up in error’ bullshit language. Ummm, HHS censorship??? #COVID19 pic.twitter.com/jps57DZ43R
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) September 21, 2020
4) I thought Mike Caputo is on medical leave… clearly Trump HHS muzzling of the CDC from many inside levers. CDC, the once venerable agency respected around the world… now decimated to be a walking zombie 🧟♂️ of it’s former self. So utterly terrible and terrifying.
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) September 21, 2020
Molecular Biologist, and President of the Federation of American Scientists:
WHO: CDC guidance on aerosol transmission was draft advice and was taken down. We need to see what the final advice is.
WHO still holds that close range respiratory droplets are the main mode of transmission. But distance, duration of exposure, ventilation are all factors. pic.twitter.com/obv2HfQcny
— Dr. Ali Nouri (@AliNouriPhD) September 21, 2020
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.
‘People Need to Go to Prison’: CNN Analyst Blasts Trump Admin Hiding Coronavirus Is Airborne at Far More Than 6 Feet
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday quietly changed its coronavirus official guidance to note that coronavirus droplets, or “aerosols,” can stay in the air far longer than previously thought and across far more than just six feet.
“There is growing evidence that droplets and airborne particles can remain suspended in the air and be breathed in by others, and travel distances beyond 6 feet (for example, during choir practice, in restaurants, or in fitness classes).”
This would be a revelation to many, who have relied on CDC guidance urging people to social distance, which it has consistently defined as staying six feet apart.
Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital physician Abraar Karan, who is working on Massachusetts’ COVID-19 respoinse, calls the CDC update “a significant shift.”
But the CDC also effectively loosened its guidance, suggestion to stay “at least 6 feet away from others, whenever possible.”
Under the “Protect yourself and others” section, the previous version, up until sometime on Friday, read: “Maintain good social distance (about 6 feet). This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.”
Now it states:
Stay at least 6 feet away from others, whenever possible. This is very important in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Joe Lockhart, a CNN political analyst and former Clinton White House press secretary, took to Twitter to blast the administration.
“Actually seven months after @realDonaldTrump told Bob Woodward,” about just how deadly coronavirus is, and that it spread through the air, he wrote. “This is criminal and people need to go to prison for this.”
To be clear, President Trump knew.
“This is deadly stuff,” he told the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward, on tape. “You just breathe the air, and that’s how it’s passed.”
Trump Openly Admits He’s Fast-Tracking SCOTUS Nominee to Rule on ‘Fake Ballots’ During Contested Election
President Donald Trump is openly admitting he’s wasting no time, fast-tracking the replacement for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to help him during a contested election.
Speaking on “Fox & Friends,” Trump on Monday said because of “fake ballots,” he does not want a 4-4 Supreme Court ruling on the election, should there be one. There is zero evidence of fake ballots.
Trump suggests though he wants a confirmation vote before the elections, citing election disputes and his baseless claim of “fake ballots” being filled out. We don’t want a 4-4 tie at the court, he said
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) September 21, 2020
Trump says his SCOTUS appointment is important because of the “fake ballots” that will be sent out in the election. Again, total nonsense.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) September 21, 2020
He also admitted he is choosing a nominee based on how he thinks they can help him win votes in the election.
Asked to explain why Judge Barbara Lagoa is one of the top candidates on his list, Trump said, “she’s excellent, she’s Hispanic, she’s a terrific woman from everything I know. I don’t know her. Florida, we love Florida. So she’s got a lot of things. Very smart.”
Trump needs help with Hispanic voters, women, and Florida, so she checks all the boxes for him.
Trump explains that Barbara Lagoa is under consideration for SCOTUS because “she’s excellent, she’s Hispanic, she’s a terrific woman from everything I know. I don’t know her. Florida, we love Florida. So she’s got a lot of things.” pic.twitter.com/p2MkTEja6x
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) September 21, 2020
Trump, asked “is politics going to be part of” his decision on a nominee, says, “I try not to say so,” but admits, “I think probably automatically it is.”
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