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MORMON DEATH

Is The Mormon Church Responsible For Bryan Michael Egnew’s Suicide?

Bryan Michael Egnew did his Mormon mission at age 19, got married in a Mormon temple, had five kids and served for years in his local Mormon congregation.

But last month when he came out at age 40, his wife drove off to Tennessee with his kids , most of his family stopped talking to him and the church excommunicated him because he wouldn’t renounce his homosexuality. On September 10, he killed himself.

Now Pride in Utah is asking, “How long will the Mormon Church continue to let their members die before they decide that LGBT people are worth being treated as equals?”

Sadly, after Egnew died, his family scrubbed any mention of his being gay off his Facebook page, blocked any friends who might tell Egnew’s story and made sure his obituary didn’t mention his sexuality.

We already know that the Mormon Church regularly sends its gay members to ex-gay therapy. But the church would rather its gay members stay closeted—or take their own lives—than help them to live good lives as openly gay men and women.

Until it does, the Mormon church is partially to blame for the suicides of its LGBT members.

Image via pandrcutts

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Sep 26, 2011
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 47 Comments
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries

      “[15th president James] Buchanan was on the wrong side of history in every way that counts, up to and including his failure to wipe the scourge of Mormonism from the fucking globe when he had the means and justification to do so.” – Matt Cale, ruthlessreviews, 7-14-09
      http://www.ruthlessreviews.com/647/assholes-of-the-american-presidency/

      Sep 26, 2011 at 5:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      As terrible as all the religious shit must have been to endure, it can be endured.

      Losing your kids is unendurable.

      Poor bastard.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 5:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ron
      ron

      10% gay? Dream on. The latest and most accurate studies in Western countries show a rate of homosexuality of less than 2%…around 1.9% to be exact. Bisexuals may add another 1.5 – 2&. The transgendered and other sexual minorities are much tinier. Bottom line – less than 5% of the population are not heterosexual…no where near 10%.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 6:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Allen D.
      Allen D.

      The church doesn’t care. If a member kills themselves, that saves them the public scrutiny of ex-communicating them. Yep, they’re that fucking heartless.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 6:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      Every single time the Mormon church has had a chance to be on the right side of history when it came to bigotry they have failed.

      The church STILL to this day trumpets in meetings their large part in helping to defeat the ERA.

      They would not allow blacks real membership in their church until nearly 1980, and still today they still try to direct members to Wards (Meetings) for their particular race.

      They are losing membership often when they excommunicate gays because sometimes family members will also leave the church.

      And do not let any trolls from the church try to lie and say that the church is not anti-gay. Often times the parents are told that they need to throw their child out and cut off all contact or they will infect other members of the family, and that they are not the same child anymore, evil has completely taken them over etc…

      It’s too bad that once again the Mormons are following their long history of always supporting bigotry over civil rights.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @ron: said…

      “10% gay? Dream on. The latest and most accurate studies in Western countries show a rate of homosexuality of less than 2%…around 1.9% to be exact. Bisexuals may add another 1.5 – 2&. The transgendered and other sexual minorities are much tinier. Bottom line – less than 5% of the population are not heterosexual…no where near 10%.”
      ___________________________________

      The anti-gay bigots always state numbers like that, but you will notice that they will NEVER provide links to back up their numbers either because…

      1. They have no link

      2. The only place they’ve heard those numbers were from phony, non reviewed study that didn’t use any scholarly or accepted research techniques and has been dismissed by experts.

      3. And lastly, lets just pretend that Ron is right (He isn’t) but lets pretend. OK Ron, well Asians make up less than 5% of the U.S. Are you saying that because of their low numbers THEY shouldn’t have any civil rights?

      Sep 26, 2011 at 6:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Michael
      Michael

      Quite frankly to hell with his family to hell with his wife and to hell with the Mormon church.

      They were the main ones who initiated Prop 8 back in 2008 and they were also the main ones responsible for making Prop 8 pass.Yeah with underhanded sneaky corrupt despicable and vile ways of doing it that is.

      The Mormons are some of the biggest hypocrites out there especially overpopulating the earth with tons and tons of children.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 6:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      @ron: Please state where you received this information; documented and able to be fact checked.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 7:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AxelDC
      AxelDC

      This is the 3rd LDS friend I have lost to suicide, all of them gay related. Once is a tragedy, twice is a coincidence, but thrice is a crime against humanity.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xander
      xander

      “Ron” probably got his numbers from the LDS church or discredited FRC/FOtF studies.

      The sad part of this story is that Mr Egnew was likely too brain-washed to reach out to groups that help ex-Mormon LGBs. (I’m not aware if those groups include the T in the mix.) None of us can say with certainty if that would have stopped him from suicide, but it may have tipped the balance.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 8:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Syl
      Syl

      Can we neutron bomb the entirety of Utah? How about just Salt Lake City? Just a suggestion.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 9:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid

      It’s really sad he took his life. I believe he could have legally forced his wife to return w the kids. But losing all friends and church, overwhelm obviously got the better of him. It would take some serious planning for backlash to come out in such an environment and survive emotionally. In knowing the odds, I would probably have (hopefully) had a good support group set up prior to coming out, that is unless he got caught and was taken by surprise. Very hard and evil situation those Mormons present.

      Religion, the root of all evil.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 9:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • iDavid
      iDavid [Different person #1 using similar name]

      It’s really sad he took his life. I believe he could have legally forced his wife to return w the kids. But losing all friends and church, overwhelm obviously got the better of him. It would take some serious planning for backlash to come out in such an environment and survive emotionally. In knowing the odds, I would probably have (hopefully) had a good support group set up prior to coming out, that is unless he got caught and was taken by surprise. Very hard and evil situation those Mormons present.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Leviticus
      Leviticus

      I’ve never posted a comment on QUEERTY, but today I have to: I’m a gay ex-member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon). I was excommunicated at the age of 16, and then extorted by my bishop to tell my parents, or else he would. I’m now 28, fully adjusted, careered, partnered, and happy.

      I find this article written in bad taste, as it turns this man’s personal plight into the fault of the LDS church. There is no reference to the CULTURE that is actually the problem in acceptance of homosexuality by the Mormon church. As a resident of Utah, he was especially exposed to the issue of loosing the people he loved by coming out.

      I lost people when I came out, but I was a teenager, in Georgia, with a support structure in place of non-Mormon friends that were there for me. The fact that this man’s life fell apart when he came out is not the explicit fault of the Mormon church. I know this because I was able to walk out of the doors of the church after my excommunication and never look back.

      QUEERTY should be ashamed of this article. It’s short, tacit, and completely non-journalistic in form. I’m not defending the Mormon church – I left for a reason. I am however, advising QUEERTY to try harder.

      Sep 26, 2011 at 10:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hyhybt
      Hyhybt

      @ron: That’s really not the point. The numbers don’t matter: 5% or even .5%, it’s still wrong to treat people badly.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 12:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @Leviticus: Interesting. Thanks for that.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 12:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 6 · Cam wrote, ‘@ron: said… “10% gay? Dream on. The latest and most accurate studies in Western countries show a rate of homosexuality of less than 2%…around 1.9% to be exact. Bisexuals may add another 1.5 – 2&. The transgendered and other sexual minorities are much tinier. Bottom line – less than 5% of the population are not heterosexual…no where near 10%.” ___________________________________
      The anti-gay bigots always state numbers like that, but you will notice that they will NEVER provide links to back up their numbers either because…’

      Try http://gaylife.about.com/od/comingout/a/population.htm for starters. Also try http://www.slate.com/id/2174454/ (which suggests that Kinsey’s 1 in 10 number is an overestimate). Unfortunately, there is no well-defined and universally accepted criteria for being gay versus being bisexual. If you want a small number, define “gay” as meaning “never had sex with a woman, even once as a confused teenager, but has had sex with another man.” If you want a large number, define “gay” as “a man who had sex with a man, even if it was only once while drunk and consisted of being at the receiving end of a blow job while half passed out.”

      Sep 27, 2011 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little Kiwi
      Little Kiwi

      The LDS has blood on its hands. Big time.

      I highly suggest you check this out, it’s a letter from a gay (ex)Mormon to a family member.

      http://littlekiwilovesbauhaus.blogspot.com/2009/10/born-gay-into-world-of-latter-day.html

      The LDS male suicide rate in Utah is their dirty little secret.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 12:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • CBRad
      CBRad

      @Little Kiwi: From YOU ?! I thought you were all for encouraging guys to commit suicide.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 12:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little Kiwi
    • matt
      matt

      I can’t think of an organization with a richer history of brutally oppressing LGBT people than the LDS church, read it all if you want to be thoroughly disgusted!

      http://connellodonovan.com/lgbtmormons.html

      Sep 27, 2011 at 3:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Leviticus: said..

      “I find this article written in bad taste, as it turns this man’s personal plight into the fault of the LDS church. There is no reference to the CULTURE that is actually the problem in acceptance of homosexuality by the Mormon church. As a resident of Utah, he was especially exposed to the issue of loosing the people he loved by coming out. ”
      _________________________________________

      I can tell you were raised Mormon, you have fallen into the trap that they set. They don’t want to use ANY individual examples, claiming that that would be in bad taste. However, they know that individual stories and examples are powerful examples. They have effectively eliminated anybody talking about anything because…oh my goodness, we don’t want to use names. This man is dead and you still want to keep him in the closet.

      As for the “CULTURE” that is the problem and not the church. That is actually a lie. The church is run by a council, the average age of which is somewhere around 75. They make the decisions and the rules. Trying to blame the culture, when the second in command of the Mormon chuch as written anti-gay tretises etc… is deflection at it’s worst.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @Justin: said..

      “Its not the Mormon church’s fault. If I was gay, I want to kill myself too. It would be the more dignified approach. Succumbing to a Sodomite is much more horrifying than death.”
      _____________________________________________

      1. You are gay. Don’t pretend you aren’t when you are here on a gay blog and just HAPPENED to be hanging around.

      2. Funny, I would think you would want to kill yourself for having so little dignity as to live your life under the countrol of a council of old men who’s whims and slightest wants control your life. Remember, 1978? Blacks were evil sons of cain one minute, and after some bad P.R. SUDDENLY at the Whim of the council, suddenly they weren’t.

      Pretending that the positions of your church are divine and not the latest decision by a group of old men is just sad an embarassing. But on the bright side, you’ve said something nasty on a gay blog, that should help you convince yourself for at least another week that your interest in men doesn’t really exist.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @Leviticus: “I find this article written in bad taste, as it turns this man’s personal plight into the fault of the LDS church. There is no reference to the CULTURE that is actually the problem in acceptance of homosexuality by the Mormon church. As a resident of Utah, he was especially exposed to the issue of loosing [sic] the people he loved by coming out.

      Does. Not. Compute.

      Mormons are entirely responsible the culture in their own church, and to a great extent, the culture of the state of Utah. Therefore, this poor man’s personal plight, including the loss of his family, is indeed the fault of the Mormon church and its homophobic policies and practices.

      Your argument seems to be “I survived coming out as a teenage Mormon because I had non-Mormon friends; therefore, Egnew’s suicide cannot be blamed on the church.”

      I suspect that when you came out, your wife didn’t move across the country with your five kids, (presumably accompanied by a hateful promise you’d never see them again.)

      Correct me if I’m wrong.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 11:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Little Kiwi
      Little Kiwi

      AMEN, Crusty.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 11:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tookietookie
      tookietookie

      I was also raised in the Mormon church, but unlike Leviticus who was in Georgia (far enough away from the Rocky Mountain mothership to likely have one foot in the real world), I grew up in the west and did not have a non-Mormon support network. I left the church, am happily partnered, and have a successful career.

      But my experience is that while nowadays people may not turn their back on you openly or directly, there is a ‘freezing out’ that occurs within the insular world of the Mormon goldfish bowl, and you stop receiving calls, you stop receiving emails, you do receive a cold silent treatment, and are treated less than human. Your own family attends political rallies and votes in ways to deny you healthcare, to deny you marriage, to deny you equality, and to deny your existence. It is disorienting, disheartening, depressing, and confusing; I’m grateful every day I have an amazing partner and friends to support and love me, and that I have the psychological resources to keep my own mind and fight back in the face of all that abuse.

      I’ve freed my mind beyond the confines of the funhouse mirrors of Mormon “reality”, and the man behind the curtain is a big corporation run by bigots plain and simple. For poor people like in this article, the church undercuts and tries to take everything from you. Not everyone can get over the loss of their identity that is tied to their personal history.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ned Flaherty
      Ned Flaherty

      Here’s a side-by-side comparison of what all 13 presidential candidates — including the 2 Mormons — plan for America’s 31 million LGBT people: http://www.marriageequality.org/Election2012

      Sep 27, 2011 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      @Leviticus: Having a cousin and uncle who are Mormons, I can categorically say you are wrong.

      The whole point of Mormonism is to develop a social network entirely dependent upon other Mormons. The church encourages all members to associate with other mormons, work with them, help them out and spend time with each other. That is its strength and its weakness.

      For some people, all their family is mormons and all their friends are too. Additionally, they may work in a place that is mainly mormons. To be excommunicated is devastating because you can lose your job, your family and your entire support network. The church likes it that way because it keeps people toeing the line — you don’t want to anger the church or else your entire life will collapse.

      Now, not all mormons are like that. Some have a life outside church members, and leaving the church isn’t difficult at all. But for some, it’s nearly impossible. For that, I certainly fault the church.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 4:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      @randy:

      Sounds like Scientology.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve
      Steve

      The numbers and percentages don’t matter. Each individual who commits suicide is an individual. Each one was loved by someone. Each one had a family. Each one had a mother.

      The question of whether or not we should blame the church for the suicide, is beside the point. The individual gay men, some of whom have committed suicide, are victims of bullying. The main reason why bullying is illegal in many jurisdictions is, because it does grave harm to the individuals, even to the point of causing some of them to commit suicide.

      The church is not directly responsible for the suicide. The church absolutely is responsible for the bullying that, in turn, led to the suicide.

      We need a Federal law against bullying, so that it can be enforced when States refuse.
      And, religion should not be an excuse. No one should be exempt from that law, even clerics.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Patrick
      Patrick

      The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not send any members off to therapy. LDS Family Services do recommend several private programs for individuals who voluntarily would like to seek counciling about there struggles to overcome same sex attraction but no program is run or organized by the Church, nor does the church require any members to attend these programs. They are 100% voluntary and only recommended when the members request counciling.

      Yes, the Church will excommunicate you for adultery and/or homosexual act, also it is perfectly legal for a wife that finds out her husband has been having an affair behind her back to take the children and leave.

      If this man’s wife is so terrible they so is Mr. Schwarzenegger when she left after finding out about the Governors decade long affair.

      Of course to look at the subject rationally would require a fair and balanced approach to the issue. This man decided to have an extra martial relationship, regardless of if it was with a man or a woman he was going to be excommunicated and his wife would leave him.

      The Church does NOT excommunicate people for same sex attraction, one can be a member in good standing an openly serve in the Church as long as they are living the Law of Chasity as is required of every member of the Church.

      He had an extramarital relationship, lost his standing in the Church and lost his family and sadly choose to end his life. It is tragic, but these were all choices he made, the Church had nothing to do with this man’s suicide, he choose to have an affair and he choose to end his life.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tookietookie
      tookietookie

      @Patrick: http://www.affirmation.org/news/2011_043.shtml

      Sep 27, 2011 at 8:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • grinunbarrett
      grinunbarrett

      @Cam: It would appear to me that it is justified for people to condemn The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints even though they appear to be ignorant of what they are speaking. I have been a member of the church for almost fifty years and have never in one of the meetings I have attended from one coast to the other and from Michigan wisconsin all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. If a man chooses to take his own life it amazes me that anyone can in all honesty blame anyone but the person who does it.

      Some of the posts here make absolutely no sense at all. One who takes a position on what is right and wrong and then condemns anyone who disagrees with them it would seem to me. With the language used though it is obvious that those or most of them who have responded do not agree with the latter-day saints.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 10:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tookietookie
      tookietookie

      @grinunbarrett: You reveal your heartlessness and willful ignorance.

      By their fruits ye shall know them.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 11:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mud
      Mud

      Not the Church’s fault. The Church teaches us to love everyone, and excommunicates those who break major commandments, and won’t repent, regardless of sexual orientation, race, etc.

      Sep 27, 2011 at 11:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tookitookie
      tookitookie

      @Mud: Just another “good Mormon” surfing Queerty? Really?

      Sep 28, 2011 at 12:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LindaSDF
      LindaSDF

      No one is excommunicated JUST because they come out as homosexual. They are excommunicated for breaking sacred covenants, which he made when he went to the temple. There he would covenant with God and his wife to remain faithful to her, not to have sex with anyone else, male or female. If he was excommunicated, it’s because he broke those covenants and was unfaithful to his wife. Or else, he was apostate. But, I think it was the former.
      If he committed suicide, he was probably depressed, as the church would NEVER want ANYONE to kill themselves.
      There are many in our church who have homosexual feelings, yet, they believe that following the Gospel as we understand it is much more fulfilling and much more important than having sexual intercourse.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 7:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      All of the Mormons coming on here claiming that we are all wrong and that the church never excommunicates people for being gay have found themselves in a sad situation.

      NORMALLY Mormons think that nobody else knows about their church so they can lie about it all they want. This is usually true in a normal group of non-Mormons.

      However, what these trolls don’t realize is that the gay community is full of ex Mormons who have been kicked out of the church. So they are coming on to a gay website, trying to claim that the church doesn’t do something that multiple people here know that they do.

      Additionally, the non-Mormons on here are either friends with, have dated, or ARE dating the former Mormons who have been excommunicated, had the church tell their families to kick them out, had the church tell their friends to stop associating with them etc..

      So again, to the Mormons coming on here, we know your church loves to rewrite history, lie, and do whatever you can to always hide your church’s sins. But you are wasting your time. We know all about you….and just as you did with blacks until pad PR forced you to alter your chruch, your church has once again chosen bigotry. And by fallowing it’s dictates, so have you.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 9:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @Patrick: “…Yes, the Church will excommunicate you for adultery and/or homosexual act, also it is perfectly legal for a wife that finds out her husband has been having an affair behind her back to take the children and leave….This man decided to have an extra martial [sic + LOL] relationship…He had an extramarital relationship…he choose to have an affair…”

      Perhaps I’m mistaken — but you seem to believe Mr. Egnew had a gay affair. Do you have some EVIDENCE of this — beyond your bare assertion, “The Church does NOT excommunicate people for same sex attraction”?

      In the articles I’ve read, Mr. Egnew merely “came out.”

      If you DON’T have evidence to support your allegation, you’re just another filthy Mormon liar, sufficiently degenerate you’d happily shit on the grave of a man you helped destroy.

      Bring the evidence or concede that you are a scumbag liar, Patrick.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 10:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ned Flaherty
      Ned Flaherty

      @ron: The statistics on LGBT people roughly DOUBLE as soon as you include: (1) people who have same-sex relations but don’t say so; (2) people who previously had same-sex relations but don’t currently; (3) people who so far have only same-sex attractions, but not yet relations.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 10:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      @LindaSDF:

      Same thing I said to Patrick applies to you, since you’re repeating the same Mormon bullshit.

      PROTIP: “He was punished as if he had cheated; therefore, he must have cheated, so the punishment is just” isn’t evidence he cheated, any more than is it evidence you can construct a logical argument.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 10:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ned Flaherty
      Ned Flaherty

      Mormons who claim their faith doesn’t cause horrible human suffering — and suicide — have not examined the evidence.

      Utah, the Mormon capitol, has the nation’s highest rate of suicide for male teens.

      The Mormon church uses ostracism more aggressively than any other faith to hurt LGBT people and all who support them.

      Every competent mental health professional organization has discredited the “pray-the-gay-away” quack treatments that the Mormons so heartily endorse.

      The Mormon church is so obsessed with oppressing and exterminating LGBT humans that Utahans poured millions of dollars — secretly and illegally — into California to add discrimination to California’s constitution.

      Most Christian religions have some clergy and some congregations which bless same-sex couples and perform same-sex weddings.

      In their race for president, Mitt Romney and John Huntsman plan terrible things for America’s 31 million LGBT citizens (www.marriageequality.org/Election2012). But most Mormons are far worse, and will continue spending whatever they think is needed to marginalize other people who aren’t even part of their perverse, inhumane “faith.”

      Sep 28, 2011 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Matthew
      Matthew

      Gotta love religion! making people feel worthy and showing that everyone has God’s grace inside them. makes me feel warm inside. ?
      oh and this reminds me of Marie Osmond’s son (also Mormon) committed suicide too for the same reason. went to FIDM and jumped out his apartment window. F*in bigots.

      Sep 28, 2011 at 10:03 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      Nothing like a demand of reason or proof to make the Mormon cultists scurry away like cockroaches.

      Sep 29, 2011 at 2:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • xander
      xander

      Bravo to all who dealt so ably with the Mormon propoganda horde.

      Nicely done.

      Thanks.

      Sep 29, 2011 at 4:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      @ron: The surveys that have been conducted fail to take into account one or more of the following criteria: GEOGRAPHY – many LGBT tend to leave smaller more conservative communities and congregate in urban areas where they are more likely to be accepted. Those that remain are generally very closeted or in full denial out of fear of bullying or strong religious beliefs.

      SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT: Younger adults still existing in a structured peer group such as high school or college may be less likely to be openly counted or may in fact still be in denial based on social and religious pressures.

      PERCENTAGE of POPULATION: Some surveys fail to mention that only adults in certain age groups are polled in “representative” communities but figures are given as a percentage of the entire population which would include children and teens.

      UNCATEGORIZED: There are many people, mostly among the younger generation, that prefer not to be labeled as “gay” or “bi” believing instead, that sexual preference should be a non-issue.

      DOMA expressly forbids the U.S. Census Bureau from gathering any data about homosexuality as a percentage of population. Instead the 2 – 3% figures only pertain to those who wished to be counted as same sex partnerships in a single household. No census data was collected on bisexual or trans-gendered individuals.

      Oct 9, 2011 at 7:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D. Melissa Averett
      D. Melissa Averett

      Mr. Egnew stated in the sworn pleadings that he filed in the court case against his wife that he had committed adultery. He confessed same to his church leaders and was excommunicated in accordance with his own beliefs. He also admitted in those same court pleadings that his wife had known he was gay for many years, and that only she left him a number of weeks after he confessed to cheating on her. He was suicidal before she left, and as he became increasingly suicidal and unstable, she removed the children from the home. Despite the assumptions in the comments above, he was in therapy at the time of his suicide. He was having visitation with his children and talking to them every other day. I know this because I wrote the consent order specifying the custodial arrangements. His parents and sibling did not reject him for being gay and were very supportive.

      All of the articles are based on one interview with a friend of Mr. Egnew’s from college, Jahn Curran. Based on that same interview, Mr. Curran’s ex wife left him and took his children when he came out of the closet and he claims to have warned Bryan Egnew that Mrs. Egnew would do the same. Mr. Curran was evidently unaware that Mrs. Egnew had known about her husband’s sexual orientation for over a decade and stayed with him, and continued to raise and have children with him. But why screw up a good story with the facts?

      Mr. Egnew was not excommunticated for being gay. His family did not abandon him for being gay, and in fact did not abandon him at all.

      The number of people, including gay people, who commit suicide after being the subject of hate speech, rejection and loss is tragic, shocking and worthy of our concern. But the hate speech in this case only came after the suicide, in blogs and comments to those blogs. Mr. Egnew has 5 children who are mourning his death, who could easily read these posts. To accuse his wife, children, and family of causing or contributing to his demise is irresponsible. Blaming the church without all of the information is equally short-sighted. Could the Mormon church as an institution be more supportive of gays? Sure, add the Mormon Church to the long list of institutions that fall into that category. But to say that Bryan Egnew told the church he was gay, was excommunitcated because of being gay, was abandonned by his family because he was gay and consequently committed suicide due to the church and his family turning their back on him, is grossly inaccurate.

      D. Melissa Averett
      Attorney at Law

      Oct 13, 2011 at 12:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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