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July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
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Study: Highest Suicide Rates Among Religious Homosexuals


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A new study published this week and presented at the European Symposium of Suicide and Suicidal Behavior in Tel Aviv, examines for the first time the suicide rates among different segments of Israeli youth, Kipa reports. According to the study, which examined the scope of non-documented suicide attempts among Israeli youth in several communities, it appears that 3.5% of the young people interviewed attempted suicide.

The study indicates that most of the victims did not receive emergency room treatment, and therefore were not included in the Ministry of Health’s records on suicide. The study, which determined that the number of suicide attempts among Israeli youth is 20 times higher than reported in official statistics, examined a total of 1,134 teens.

The most significant statistic was recorded in the segment focusing on suicide rates among the LGBT community. A staggering 20% of the homosexuals and lesbians surveyed reported suicide attempts – 112 times the rate among the general population.

But the rate is even higher among religious LGBTs. According to Dr. Chana Bar Yosef, the study’s director, “this is a sector that does not get enough notice, and it is a hotbed for suicides that you later hear about after the fact. The suicide rate among the religious homosexuals is the highest because they experience more distress when confronting their families.”

HOD, The organization for Religious Homosexuals has been working for several years now to decrease the suicide attempts of religious homosexuals “by increasing awareness of the issue in the educational and rabbinic institutions.”

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27 Responses to “Study: Highest Suicide Rates Among Religious Homosexuals”

  1. Azadeh Hadim says:

    They should be free.

  2. Azadeh Hadim says:

    These youths should be free and happy whatever age they are. They should be accepted within our communities, not held down because of who they are and refused medical treatment because of their identities. We should uplift the human spirit and allow it to glide, not hold it back down against it's will. A bird was meant to fly.

  3. Azadeh Hadim says:

    For The LGBG A POEM “Made Free”
    These are young people who come into this world
    They are then swirled.
    Into a restricted, congested biosphere,
    Where there seems to be no oxygen in the atmosphere,
    They are then burdened with the solitary confinement of this no escape world,
    which they find themselves in,
    There seems to be no win.
    Some are choking, their broken, they’re trying to find the way out,
    Their skins and crawling with fire,
    It is hard to breath,
    And their anxieties are bursting
    But the way they handle themselves at times is so kersting.
    We need to grasp on together and make it work.
    For you sure don’t want to be a JERK.

  4. In the clash between homosexuality and Torah fidelity a paramount question is.
    what are the ethical options for families facing these situations?

    Orthodox Rabbis have different opinions.

    Modern Orthodox Rabbis like the Rabbinical Council of America, and Rabbis like Rabbi Riskin in Israel, emphasize Kiruv and do not support conversion therapies that believe that sexual attractions can be changed.

    They also acknowledge that Halacha categorically prohibits homosexual sexual acts.

    Hod also takes a similar view.

    The organization tries to reconcile the sexual orientation of its members with their religious beliefs. It does so by emphasizing the difference between homosexual orientation and homosexual acts.

    This approach is very similar to Christian "ex-gay" groups in the US that have changed their views about conversion therapy, they now reject it as ineffective and counter-productive to celibate goals.

    Another reason conversion therapy is rejected by them and by all major mental health groups is that participants react to this quackery by getting very depressed and there have been many suicides associated with it.

    When parents spend their money for this type of therapy their expectation is that their child will be cured of homosexuality and become straight. That's the hook for Organizations like JONAH that advertise on these pages every day.

    Unfortunately, the views of many Orthodox Rabbis that are not Modern deny there is such a thing as a sexual orientation to the same sex.

    Their Torah Declaration support change therapy and they believe that completely.

    gay people can become completely straight. Even though failure ratios for this therapy are higher than 99% these rabbis insist it is the only correct way.

    Even more important is how family members talk to their children. The Torah has a lot to say about how you approach someone you want to influence. Parents must take a very deep breath and remember how much they love their children.

  5. Lori Fajnsod Maslow says:

    The rabbinic institutions couldn't care less. By writing the word education, (and implying a secular education), and rabbinic institutions in the same sentence you are creating an oxymoron. My own 2 sons were told in a yeshivah in within the 5 boros that 9/11 was caused by homosexuals and that all the homosexuals in New York City should be gathered together and dropped off one by one from the Empire State Building-yeah by a rabbii n a yeshiva. Yep by a yeshiva that receives federal tax dollars to survive and is supposed to teach tolerance. My oldest son prevented me from bringing.
    the entire police force on them the next morning.

  6. It may be an interesting question in the gradation of sin what's worse; suicide or homosexual sexual expression. But in the debate it would be a shonder to lose a life over this. Though this appears to be original reporting by the Jewish Press how come there's no specific authors, just "staff"? This story needs more analysis, more interviews and more named sources.

  7. Roc Diaz says:

    its sad that people don't know how to deal with this issue and have no one to turn to. homosexuality is an out of control addiction. the answers are in the torah. there is a cure for everything.

  8. In the possibility that this could have been a lone instructor who strayed from an approved lesson plan I would hope that you would or could have brought it up with the Rosh Yeshiva, Agudas Yisrael, or the ADL

  9. Roc Diaz says:

    azadeh hadim, you are a certified a$$wipe

  10. Oh my…if there were proof that Satan is BOTH your drug pusher AND your prosecuting attorney, this would be it. Why…WHY do they feel like God can't forgive them? The truth is, God CAN and DOES forgive homosexuals who truly repent, place their faith and trust in Jesus (obviously, you can tell I'm not a Jew — someone else posted this on Facebook and I shared it), and let God change them from the inside out. It may take time, but He WILL change them.

  11. Lori Anne Connett-Schwenkel says:

    AMEN!

  12. Grace Acosta says:

    I'm Orthodox, and I think that what that "rabbi" said was completely horrific and unacceptable. I hope he got called on the carpet for that! He'll definitely have to answer for those remarks in the World to Come.

  13. Yori Yanover says:

    According to Jewish law the classical homosexual act is punishable by death. Suicide is not.

  14. Yori Yanover says:

    I'm curious, what are the answers?

  15. Lori- thank you for your post.

    This attitude is very prevalent and of course, contributes to the problem of suicides.

    Gay children are victims of an open season of bullying by these Rabbis and the students who are taught that all gays should be killed.(all Arabs also in many places)

    These blanket statements apply to anyone with same sex attractions not just to those who violate commandments.

    Teen-age children are hurting from these attacks, and so are pre-teenage children as young as 6 year-olds.

    Many Ultra-Orthodox Rabbis believe that this type of child abuse is a good way to discourage homosexuality.

    As with issues of reporting sexual child abuse public policy of what is good for children conflicts with some Halachic viewpoint.

    Laws to protect children from this kind of abuse are beginning to be written. In California a new law was written that forbids children from
    quack conversion therapy. Anti-Bullying legislation has changed the behavior of many public school districts.

    But insular religious communities are often exempt from these laws and can only be challenged by private law suits.

    If conversation can ever be invited everyone can benefit, but again many insular Yeshivas have the philosophy that they are like Noah's Ark, the doors should be locked.

  16. Brandon Arkell says:

    That is absolute rubbish. Gay people have no reason to repent, because having gay relationships is not sinful in the first place.

  17. Brandon Arkell says:

    That is because religious law is barbaric and illogical. Not because it is fair or makes sense.

  18. Brandon Arkell says:

    Nope, Roc. Homosexuality is not an out-of-control addiction. They are in perfect control of themselves, and they have not formed some life-damaging attachment to some drug. Just as heterosexual people have not. It is a perfectly legitimate and healthy form of sexual love. *Sigh* Don't throw pearls before swine, they say.

  19. Brandon, what if you're wrong? Have you read Leviticus 18:22? That, BTW, is from the Old Testament…Romans 1:26-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:9, in the New Testament, also say essentially the same thing.

  20. This is a major area of concern not only of suicide and the potential forsuicide but other areas as well. this is something I have been creating awareness about in Australia…without the data though it is only anectodal and a theory. So pleased to see research being done into this. http://lgbttraining.blogspot.com.au/p/lgbt-people-of-faith.html

  21. James Henderson-Gibb says:

    What if you're wrong? Then you've been judgemental about gays all your life for no reason. I'd rather be nice than right anyday.

  22. Ricardo Costa says:

    Repent? Change? It's people like you that make then feel helpless like that. You're toying with people's lives trying to push those lousy and meaningless concepts of sin and righteousness as mandatory law. Wish abrahamic faith had became only tales and folklores as did every other pagan religion of those ages, it's a shame seeing it still having so much influence and destroying so many peoples lives.

  23. Fred, its thought like yours that pushes them to suicide in the first place, I'm sure reading this you will have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about though. Oh well, you're used to living in a bubble anyways…

  24. James, what if you're wrong? God's word to humanity, the Bible, specifically speaks out against homosexuality in Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1:26-32, and 1 Corinthians 6:9. But like I said, it's not by any means the unpardonable sin — there are, in fact, some 2 million people or so who used to be gay but whose lives were radically changed for the better by Jesus Christ, with their former lifestyles forgiven, washed away, under the blood, and buried in God's sea of forgetfulness and He's promised them that He will never bring up their past sins anymore (Hebrews 8:12).

    James, Ricardo, and Josh, the only reason y'all say something like what y'all have said is because Satan has blinded y'all to the truth (2 Corinthians 4:4). Guys, Jesus is my Lord and my Savior, and He's a friend y'all can trust COMPLETELY.

    All of us, myself included, have fallen short of God's glory (Isaiah 53:6 and Romans 3:23). Worse yet, God requires absolute perfection to get into heaven — yet none of us is worthy to go there on our own merits.

    But glory be to God, He sent Jesus Christ, into this world, the perfect, unblemished Son of God to heal and forgive. In fact, Jesus was so obedient that He even went as far as to willingly die the very death that you and I deserved on the cross of Calvary (Matthew chapter 27, Mark chapter 15, Luke chapter 23, and John chapter 19).

    But it doesn't end there — Jesus also rose again from the grave on the third day to 1) prove that He is the Son of God (Romans 1:4), 2) give assurance that we can be forgiven of our sins (Acts 2:38, 22:16, and 1 Corinthians 15:17), 3) prove that God's kingdom is ruled by a living sovereign (Revelation 1:17-18), 4) prove that physical death is not the end of existence (1 Timothy 6:13), and 5) give a preview of the ultimate victory of Christianity over all other religions (Revelation 5:5-6 and 12:11).

    Now, why did Jesus do all that for us? Simple. He came to give us life and give us life more abundantly (John 10:10). Now, how does one obtain that abundant life? Here's how:

    1) By confessing your sins to God — that is, owning up to your sins and agreeing with God that you deserve His wrath. It doesn't matter if you've lived a respectable life or if you've done some of the most heinous crimes known to man, for all of us have sinned and deserve His wrath.

    2) Placing your faith in Christ's sacrificial death to forgive you. Jesus paid a debt on Calvary that He didn't owe for all of humanity, because we owed a debt we could not pay.

    3) Repentance — that is, yielding yourselves completely to God and letting Him change you from the inside out. When you've done all of this, your sins will be forgiven and remembered no more, and the Holy Spirit will plant within you a DESIRE to live a life that honors and pleases the Lord.

    There are no specific words you say when praying to receive Christ — instead, it's the attitude of your heart that counts. Jesus and Jesus alone is the only way to God the Father, and He specifically said so Himself, in John 14:6. Therefore, it's not me that made the rules. If you have a problem with this, tell God about it, not me — I'm just one of His servants.

  25. Fred you're nuts. but whatever works for you I guess.

  26. James Henderson-Gibb says:

    5/10, since you actually got me to reply. Nice trollin'

  27. I believe the statement that suicide rates are higher among the religious homosexuals is because they get less acceptance from their families is incorrect. Are there some instances where the suicide victim feels he is doing wrong and is ashamed of himself? I'm sure there are. Are there some instances where the family, because they are religious are even more loving than a non-religious family? Sure. Just because a family is religious, do not jump to the conclusion that the family will handle the situation in a unsympathetic way.

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