Thursday, February 4, 2010

Gay and Lesbian Mormon Suicides

The Mormon Church actively worked to outlaw same gender marriage in California.  Much of the activism surrounding the church deals with its staunch anti-gay activism and rhetoric however gay Mormons are often invisible in the conversation.  They struggle each day to find a way to reconcile their faith with their sexuality and for many this leads to death.  Confronting the Mormon Church should not solely be based in their resistance to same gender marriage because it ignores the fact that for many, the Church’s homophobia leads to death.  This is about more than marriage, this is literally a life and death struggle.

It is important that these stories be told so that people understand the cost of their hatred.  Below you will find a list of gay Mormons that have committed suicide. This list was compiled in order to deliver a reconciliation petition to the LDS.

Martel Anderson (1970-1991)
William Badger (1925-1988)
Daniel Britsch (1973-1993)
Duane Catten (1965-2001)
Mark Coon (1957-1982)
Michael J. Green (1961-1986)
Farrell Hurst (1952-1986)
Jon Inman (1969-1995)
Scot Jensen (1975-2005)
Brad Lauritzen (1947-1971)
Carlyle Marsden (1921-1976)
Clifford Martell (1951-2000)
Stuart Matis (1967-2000)
Marshall Myers (1983-2008)
Jacob Orosco (1980-1997)
Boyd Paul (1963-1989)
Jay Peterson (1966-1998)

Jared Pomroy (1968-1998)
Emery Prickett (1948-1985)
Christopher Ricksecker (1982-2003)
Bryan Smith (1983-2004)
Steve
Douglas Stewart (1973-2006)
Lynn Stewart (1957-2005)
DJ Thompson (1967-2000)
Joseph Timpson (1965-2007)
Randall Watkins (1962-2005)
Steven Wheeler (1949-2000)
Clay Whitmer (1965-2000)
Kathy Worthington (1950-2007)

Scott Allred ( -1989?)
David ( -1982)
Suicides of 1965
Suicides of 1976
Suicide of 1984

Each one of these names has a story.  Each person left this world because of homophobia.   The Mormon Church must be forced to acknowledge the cost of the hatred that it supports.  Even if the Mormon Church were to end its anti-gay activities tomorrow, its failure to accept those within their community who are members of GLBT community has dire consequences and therefore they must be forced to see what they have brought about in the name of God. 

"Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour. . . . You are precious and honoured in my sight, and I love you. (Isaiah 43:1-4)

If all are indeed precious in the eyes of God, then the hatred of gays and lesbians is counter to Christian beliefs.  The idea that you can hate the sin and love the sinner is ridiculous.  Just as heterosexuality is part of the identity of a straight person, so to is homosexuality part of the identity of a gay or lesbian person.  Each is a part of the whole and all are precious in Hir sight.