Another child dies needlessly. Every so-called Christian who denigrates gay people has more blood on their hands. When will they connect homophobia to bullying and the suffering of gay kids? It is not only a disgrace but entirely unnecessary.

It would stop tomorrow if these people held true to the real teachings of their religion.

On Monday, April 23, an 18-year-old Ogden resident on a community panel spoke about the dangers of bullying. Alex Smith told the packed room about the bullying his boyfriend, Jack, experienced at school.

What no one in the room yet knew, including Alex, was that Jack had already taken his own life.

The death of Jack Reese is the latest known suicide of a gay teen in Northern Utah.

One official told Ogden OUTreach director Marian Edmonds, off the record: “It happens here about once a week, but officially, you know, it doesn’t happen here.”

OUTreach is hosting a community panel and discussion, A Community Stands up – Northern Utah Addresses LGBT Bullying and Suicide on May 1, 6:30 p.m., at the Ogden Amphitheater, 343 E. 25th St., Ogden. The purpose of the event is for the community to stand in solidarity with queer youth, to speak out and express grief and outrage at yet another loss of life in Northern Utah, and to witness for the need for immediate change in schools, churches and society.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.