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Gay Ex-Mormon Tyler Glenn Reports 5 More LGBT Youth Suicides; Church Responds

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In Powerful Video, Neon Trees Lead Singer Says Blood on Church’s Hands

In a powerful video posted on his Facebook page Tuesday, Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn, an openly gay former Mormon, blasts the church for allegedly causing young LGBT members to commit suicide. 

As we reported Wednesday, Utah’s youth suicide rate nearly tripled from 2007 to 2014, and Glenn claims five young LGBT Mormons have taken their lives in the last week alone. In the video, which is addressed to Mormon church leaders and has been viewed 342,000 times, Glenn displays shows photos of two of the victims (below), “Stockton” and “Wyatt,” as well as an image (above) from one of their funerals. (An online obituary for Stockton “Bubba” Powers confirms that he died June 27 at 17 and was a member of the LGBT community.)

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“I want you to say their names and remember their photos,” Glenn says, fighting back tears. “[Church President] Russell Nelson and the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there is blood of your members of your hands. Please don’t let this be a summer of more gay suicides. Please make a space for your gay members. Please tell them they are OK and they’re made in the image of God and they’re not flawed. Please stop telling them that they are abnormal. Please, please, please, how many more? How many more?”

Glenn references the church’s horrific new anti-gay policy announced in November, which Nelson later said was a revelation from God. The policy declares same-sex couples apostates and barring their children from being baptized. Glenn says in the eight months since the policy 

“Dear Russell Nelson, you spearheaded this policy in November, and you and your colleagues claim to speak directly to and for God. As his mouthpieces on this Earth today, you have yet to respond to the confusion, chaos and disruption that you have caused so many current and former members of your church, both queer and straight alike,” Glenn says.

“You’ve had months and a public conference satellite-broadcast to the world in April, and you’ve yet to give light to the actual darkness that so many of your members are living in currently,” he says, adding that he served a mission for the church, which he says is “flawed” and has “no space for me.” 

“There is either no God, or God isn’t speaking to you,” Glenn says. “Maybe it’s both, but you have a responsibility to speak to us.” 

Coincidentally, the church did finally respond Wednesday to reports about Utah’s skyrocketing youth suicide rate, which is now more than double the national average. 

“Suicide is tragic, no matter the explanation or circumstance,” the church said in a statement, according to Salt Lake City’s KUTV.com. “Our hearts ache for those who face such tragedy among those they love. The Church is actively pursuing ways to help, including online resources and local leader training, and we encourage communities to continue to partner on prevention and intervention. Every soul is precious.”

As we’ve mentioned, the Utah Department of Health didn’t initially mention the church’s anti-LGBT teachings as a possible factor fueling the youth suicide epidemic.

Instead, the health department’s Andrea Hood cited things like lower oxygen levels due to high altitudes, loose gun restrictions and “a western, rugged mentality of self-reliance.” Now, Hood says the health department has considered the possible LGBT connection, but apparently dismissed it. 

“We have been closely watching our rates since various events that happened in Utah relating to the LDS church,” Hood said. “We have not seen an increase tied to those announcements.”

The main problem with this statement, of course, is that many Mormon families don’t report their loved ones’ suicides as LGBT-related because they want to avoid the associated shame from, well, the church and its members. Again, LGBT youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, with those who are rejected by their families over eight times more likely to do so. 

 

 

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Trump Has Now ‘Crossed the Line Into Criminal Threats’: Top Legal Scholar

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As Donald Trump’s rhetoric grows increasingly menacing and threatening, experts are again sounding the alarm.

It’s been weeks since Special Counsel Jack Smith asked U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan to impose a narrow limitation on the ex-president in the case charging him with attempting to overturn the 2020 election. It likely will be weeks until that Judge Chutkan announces a decision.

In the mean time, Trump continues to make disparaging remarks and what some have suggested are thinly-veiled threats or calls to action to his supporters against those he perceives as his enemies.

Trump recently suggested that his former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, “in times gone by” would have been executed for treason.

READ MORE: Gaetz Needs Just Five Republicans to Oust McCarthy – He Already Has Three

Milley’s perceived “treasonous” crime, according to Trump? Making a White House approved call to China to let them know Trump wasn’t planning to attack China, as the AP reported.

Last month, Trump wrote on Truth Social that General Milley “was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States. This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH! A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act.”

Special Counsel Jack Smith included that post in his communication with Judge Chutkan on Friday.

Monday morning, inside a Manhattan courthouse before the start of New York Attorney General Letitia James’ $250 million civil fraud case, Trump unleashed an angry rant in front of news cameras, saying, “You ought to go after this attorney general.” He also called New York Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron a “rogue judge.”

He added, “now I have to go before a rogue judge, as a continuation of Russia, Russia, Russia, as a continuation of the greatest witch hunt of all time. And I don’t think the people of this country are going to stand for it.”

These were just Trump’s remarks at the start of the day. He faced the cameras two other times, during the lunch break and after the day’s proceedings had ended.

READ MORE: ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’: ND Republican Unleashes Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Rant Calling for ‘Christ Is King’ Laws

Describing Trump’s remarks, Vanity Fair’s Bess Levin wrote: “Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, Trump called the case a ‘witch hunt’ and ‘a disgrace,’ saying, ‘You ought to go after this attorney general,’ because if there’s one thing the man loves, it’s a not-so-veiled threat against his enemies.”

Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, a legal scholar and expert on the U.S. Constitution, on Monday warned Trump’s remarks “crossed the line into criminal threats.”

“Trump’s 1st Amendment freedom of speech includes the right to express his racist views about anyone, including Attorney General Letitia James,” Tribe wrote. “But he has no right to foment violence against her. He crossed the line into criminal threats when he said ‘you ought to go after this attorney general.'”

Former Chicago Tribune editor Mark Jacob, responding to the video, writes: “When Trump says “you ought to go after this attorney general,” we know what he means. Some call it stochastic terrorism, but I call it puppetmaster terrorism. He’s telling his crazed followers who the targets are.”

See the post and video above or at this link.

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Gaetz Needs Just Five Republicans to Oust McCarthy – He Already Has Three

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After weeks of “chaos” within the House Republican conference that led to a down-to-the-wire near-shutdown of the federal government, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) has spent the past two days vowing to oust Speaker Kevin McCarthy for reaching across the aisle to pass legislation keeping the government running.

Gaetz’s own future is in question with some of his Republican colleagues vowing to expel him should an unfavorable report be released by the House Ethics Committee on his possible sexual misconduct and illicit behaviors including possible drug use and possible public corruption.

“Several Republicans,” CNN’s Manu Raju reports, are “expected to back motion to eject McCarthy,” who “will very likely” need Democrats to keep his Speakership.

READ MORE: ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’: ND Republican Unleashes Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Rant Calling for ‘Christ Is King’ Laws

“House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries has not said if his caucus would join right-wing Republicans to help topple McCarthy or if Democrats might support him in exchange for political or legislative favors,” Reuters reported late Monday afternoon. “Democrats, in theory, could demand that McCarthy honor his spending deal with Biden, drop the impeachment inquiry, or hold votes on gun and immigration legislation.”

But Gaetz already has three publicly declared votes to oust Speaker McCarthy. In addition to himself, far right Republican Rep. Eli Crane of Arizona responded “Let’s roll” Sunday afternoon to Gaetz’s announcement he would file a “motion to vacate” against McCarthy.

And U.S. Rep. Bob Good of Virginia has also declared he would “never” vote to let McCarthy keep the Speaker’s gavel.

Other far right Republicans, including U.S. Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene, Byron Donalds, and Chip Roy, have indicated they would not support ousting McCarthy, at least not right now.

But Gaetz may have time on his side.

READ MORE: ‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

While he on Monday acknowledged he probably doesn’t have the votes yet, the math could line up differently by the end of the week.

The Senate will not be in session after Wednesday, with many Senators expected to travel to California for the funeral of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein.

“This could create some level of havoc on House side — dozens of [House] members will also want to fly out to SF,” noted Washington Post congressional reporter Paul Kane. “Maybe even McCarthy, but mostly House Dems. If the motion to vacate vote is Wednesday or Thursday, attendance could be haphazard.”

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

‘Sodom and Gomorrah’: ND Republican Unleashes Anti-LGBTQ Christian Nationalist Rant Calling for ‘Christ Is King’ Laws

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North Dakota state Representative Brandon Prichard, a Republican who co-sponsored legislation that was passed in to law that bans all gender confirming surgeries and medication for minors in his state, went on an anti-LGBTQ Christian nationalist tirade including a call for state ordinances to declare “Jesus Christ is King.”

“Every conservative state should put into code that Jesus Christ is King and dedicate their state to Him. Force RINOs to say no to Jesus and then brutalize them in elections. We need a government of Christians, not fakers,” wrote Rep. Pritchard Sunday evening.

Pushback came swiftly, from politicos including former Republican and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, who responded saying, “Not in this country. Never. Our Constitution won’t allow it. And that’s a damn good thing. Shame on you.”

Rep. Pritchard’s remarks in recent days have taken on a similarly strong Christian nationalist theme.

READ MORE: ‘Part of the Authoritarian Playbook’: Trump’s Courthouse Rant Slammed by Fascism Scholars

“Here is a simple test to determine if you are conservative: Should the church of Satan or satanic temple be allowed the freedom to worship in the same way as Christians? If you answer yes, you need to rethink your claimed political identity because you are not conservative,” he wrote Friday.

Later that same day he added, “Real conservatives will never put the constitution above natural law. The constitution is only useful insofar as it forces our government to limit power and pursue objective truth. It is a powerful means to an end, nothing more, nothing less.”

Over the weekend Pritchard issued a call to ban pornography, saying it “serves no positive benefit in society, destroys men, and treats women as objects.”

A social media account that appears to be for the adult site Just for Fans mocked him, writing on social media, “If you want to cancel an account, please contact our customer service department.”

READ MORE: McCarthy ‘Could Be a Former Speaker by the End of This Week’: Report

Also over the weekend Pritchard called for any Republican who thinks children should be allowed to attend drag shows be “censured or expelled from the party.”

He then wrote he was “extremely disappointed” with North Dakota State University “over their decision to have two homecoming kings and NO homecoming queen. People will be mad when I introduce a bill next session to say that state-funded schools cannot pick homecoming royalty of the same sex, but I didn’t start the fight.”

Pritchard also declared, “All schools should have LGBTQ history taught and lesson one should be Sodom and Gomorrah.”

Monday morning the lawmaker claimed, “All I want is to buy some land, raise a family, and mind my own business. Everything changes when you realize the left is militantly against this existence and will do everything to destroy our families and religion. We must take power or risk being controlled, it’s simple.”

The North Dakota state constitution requires lawmakers to take an oath that reads: “‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm as the case may be) that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of North Dakota; and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of the office of _________ according to the best of my ability, so help me God’ (if an oath), (under pains and penalties of perjury) if an affirmation, and any other oath, declaration, or test may not be required as a qualification for any office or public trust.”

 

 

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