SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A group of LGBT-affirming mothers in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are alarmed because they say youth suicides in the church are up since leaders condemned LDS gay couples in November, KUTV reports.
The group is called Mama Dragons and member Wendy Williams Montgomery began tallying the numbers after messages and calls from Mormon parents whose children had committed suicide. The numbers were posted online by another member, KUTV reports.
Montgomery reports that since the LDS church policy was announced, calling gay LDS couples apostates and banning their children from baptism until they are adults and denounce gay marriage, 34 LDS/LGBT youth between the ages of 14 and 20, have committed suicide. She said 28 of those suicides happened in Utah.
Dale Jones, an LDS public affairs officer, said in response that, “We mourn with their families and friends when they feel life no longer offers hope.”
“I think it’s important that we realize the shame and hurt we are putting on the gay community as members of the church,” Jill Hazard Rowe, a Mama Dragon, who lives in Utah, told KUTV. She is Mormon and has a gay son.