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Gay Mormon, excommunicated from his church, commits suicide

Thursday, September 22, 2011

PITTSBORO, N.C. — Bryan Michael Egnew, 40, spent the last decades of his life building up the courage to come out to his family and Mormon church. Once he did his life, family and religion were stripped away from him, and he committed suicide within a matter of weeks.

Growing up in the Mormon (aka LDS) Church as a gay man isn’t easy. The pain and guilt pile-on as for years you are hammered with lessons telling you that unless you live a perfect heterosexual life, marry in a Mormon Temple, and follow the Church’s laws perfectly, you run the risk of never seeing your family again after death.

It’s a deep hole that many never escape from.

Unfortunately, we have lost another beautiful person to the man-made hell of depression, created when he tried to be honest about himself.

Egnew went on a Mormon Mission when he was 19, was married in a Mormon Temple to his wife Amy and had five children. He served within his local Mormon congregation for years, and outwardly was everything a Mormon man was expected to be. But inside, Egnew fought a constant struggle over whether to continue pretending, or to be honest about himself.

One of Egnew’s friends, Jahn Curran, tells us that he has known Bryan since they attended college together at BYU, and like Egnew, Curran was also hiding the fact that he was gay. Years later, Curran would find the courage to come out of the closet, but Egnew was too afraid of what the consequences would be.

Bryan Egnew and family.

But last month, Egnew found that courage and
came out to his family and his church. The results were tragic.

According to Curran, Egnew’s wife Amy
immediately packed up their children and drove them out of state to Tennessee, refusing to let
Egnew see them. His parents and family withdrew, and his Church immediately excommunicated him because he refused to denounce his sexual orientation.

PRIDEinUtah readers may remember our interview with Mitch Mayne, an openly gay man who currently serves in the bishopric of his local Mormon ward (as long as he remains celibate). His local church leaders are actually supportive of him speaking openly about the fact that he’s gay, and encourage his story to be told. Contrast that with the unfeeling heartlessness of Bryan’s leaders … it’s a stark difference.

You see, despite the thousands of reported suicides among LGBT Mormons, the Mormon high-leadership still refuse to put into place any official guidelines or provide training to local leaders on what to do when a person chooses to be honest about themselves.

The result is the long trail of suicides of individuals who were left to face the wrath of local prejudices.

Egnew’s case is made worse by the fact that his family has tried to suppress and hide what happened and who Egnew was since his suicide on Sept. 10, 2011.

His obituary made no reference to the fact that he was gay or the horror that his Church put him through in the last weeks of his life. His Facebook page was scrubbed of any mention of the truth and family members blocked anyone who might tell Egnew’s story.

How long will the Mormon Church continue to let their members die before they decide that LGBT people are worth being treated as equals?

Calls to the Mormon Church for comment have not been returned.

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97 more reader comments:

  1. Ugh . . . I’m sick of hearing about Suicides :/ This World is so hateful to drive someone to kill themself.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:43pm
  2. No place in heaven for bigots. They belong in hell.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:43pm
  3. Where is the message of love and compassion in the church today?

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:44pm
  4. This is horrible.:(

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:44pm
  5. So much for “It Gets Better”…

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:44pm
  6. I agree with Jacob.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:45pm
  7. The only reason gay rights have never progressed more is because of radical religious people and organizations. Its absolutely disgusting.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:45pm
  8. As these hit the newscasts, some will wake up…..

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:47pm
  9. poor man…:

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:48pm
  10. why isn’t this on the evening news?Gays already know the Mormons are hateful, but to turn on their own is a total SIN

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:50pm
  11. I’m with Vincent and Caribbean LGBT…

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:52pm
  12. THIS SHIT IS BEYOND GETTING OUT OF HAND …REALLY DONT LIKE BRINGING RELIGION INTO BUT…..GOD IS LOVE NOT HATE PLEASE STOP THIS MADNESS NOW

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:52pm
  13. Is there anything good to say in the LGBTQ community.
    And people need to keep their beliefs to themselves.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:54pm
  14. It’s so sad to read about the hatred religion perpetrates. Amazing how people twist so many things geared for all of us to live in harmony and love one another and make this a better world and instead turn everything into the complete opposite. Such hypocrisy!!

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:54pm
  15. As a Mormon, it saddens me to see the short comings of the church. Hopefully, it will change and embrace a gospel of love, and not one of hostility, towards the gay populace in the future.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:54pm
  16. Are they sure it’s suicide?

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:54pm
  17. Professional Christians must realize their sole duty is to LOVE, NOT JUDGE OR CONDEMN.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:55pm
  18. Just one more reason why I’m an Atheist.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 8:58pm
  19. I’m an ex-Mormon. I still have some of their values (I refuse to drink or do drugs), but I am more open and accepting of different people and their lives. Hearing this story completely breaks my heart that he took his own life after everything had been taken from him. I hope that my ex-religion can be more accepting in the future. :’(

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:02pm
  20. We should all stop hating a discriminating and we could have a really amazing strong firm country. Really though accept each other and unite we could really create a beautiful, strong, caring, and dynamic force for good Unity for America! :)

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:04pm
  21. This is depressing. At least he won’t suffer anymore.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:04pm
  22. Atheist here as well.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:06pm
  23. If only we all helped and supported each other like we should he would have never felt so alone and so confused. Do. Not. Haaate! Help And Particiiipate! ;)

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:08pm
  24. So sad :(

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:09pm
  25. Shame on the church and his wife, I wish his parents/family could have supported him. R.I.P Bryan, my heart goes out to you and your kids.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:17pm
  26. Typical of the mormon church (cult). They were also heavily involved with prop 8 in california, in which they denied it of course.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:19pm
  27. Sometimes I’m horrified by the thought that I was raised in the Mormon church and believe in it fully until recently. This is sickening.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:19pm
  28. Bad religion.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:26pm
  29. i hate hearing about suicide…..and i hate that they think that is the only option they got…..nothing lasts 4ever…..gotta work at keeping the happiness……people got to stop letting others decide what is best for them……cause to deny ones self is maddness….regaurdless what it is…..we r all unique but the same

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:31pm
  30. I hope that one day, everyone who is gay will live their life open right from the get go, not enter into a forced fake one, that they will love dearly and want to keep, but coming out in their ‘strange religious world’ would rip it from them, so they stay and fester and nobody in that world has a full filled life, then a crack happens and suicide seems the only answer… Really people your negative love does lead to this! One day I hope that children born today raise ‘their’ own family their way and their real family loves them for it totally… Will it happen soon? Let’s hope so…

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:32pm
  31. So heartbreaking.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:40pm
  32. Actually there is policy about it, just that some local leaders choose not to read it and lean on their own understanding and biases. The Church’s Handbook of Instructions says that the feelings of homosexuality is not a sin but acting on it is a sin. This is the same as if a single straight person engaged in sex before marriage, they would be excommunicated. And, yes, I know the arguments about gay marriage and this is why it should be allowed so don’t bother.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:40pm
  33. LGBT love from the heart not from the loins.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 9:51pm
  34. The law has its place until it fails to prosper a person. Thats when grace much the more kicks in. To hold on to a law in the face of realy hurting a person is serious fail.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 10:04pm
  35. The law has its place until it fails to prosper a person. Thats when grace much the more kicks in. To hold on to a law in the face of realy hurting a person is serious fail.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 10:06pm
  36. That is horrible. I will keep Bryan in my thoughts. His church and family totally abandoned him in his time of need.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 10:16pm
  37. It gets bitter.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 10:54pm
  38. Kriss: It is absolutely NOT the same and you do gay Mormons an injustice by suggesting it is. A single straight member will not be excommunicated for simply having a romantic relationship, kissing, cuddling – but a gay member could be. A single straight member also retains that possibility to hope that one day they will have a romantic/sexual relationship. The Mormon Church does not allow its gay members that kind of hope. And without hope, are you really surprised so many choose to end their lives? Would you want to live without hope of love/romance your entire life, only for the promise of an eternity spent in a relationship that is repugnant to you?

    The marriage laws are of no consequence in this matter. A gay Mormon would still be excommunicated for having a same-sex relationship, even if the relationship was with their legal spouse.

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 11:09pm
  39. <3 to Bryan...

    Posted on Thursday, September 22, 2011 at 11:57pm
  40. I don’t like ppl committing suicide nor do I like organized religion but….I think it’s kinda rediculous that ppl kill themselves and blame others take responsibility get out of the situation and move on

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 12:55am
  41. Oh my goodness see this is why I myself would LOVE to help the LGBT community. Wish i had hotline phones for everyone=(:: So sad

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 3:18am
  42. Such a lovely article doing such a great job telling one side of the story. It is a tragic side, to be sure, as no one should feel like suicide is their only way out.

    I’d love to hear why Bryan _really_ got excommunicated, as I know of plenty of homosexual LDS who have not. What did Bryan tell his family that made them leave. “I’m gay”? “I’m having extramarital homosexual relations?” Mr. Ethington doesn’t know, despite what his article implies.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 5:57am
  43. Don’t lie about the Mormons. He was only excommunicated if he broke the law of chastity. Homosexual acts are against the law of chastity as Mormons understand it. True tolerance would allow Mormons to disagree with you.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 6:00am
  44. Oh, look. Another reason to add to the already 1,230,584 reasons I hate Mormons.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 6:36am
  45. What a bunch of garbage. I’m sorry but this article is based on a lie. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does not excommunicate members for being gay. This poor person’s problems were obviously much deeper than that. And frankly, unless you talked to this deceased person, you have no idea why he chose to end his life prematurely. An interesting political book from the 1930s also suggests that in order to gain main stream acceptance, this political group’s activities should be made to appear as if they were constantly being persecuted. That book was entitled “Mein Kampf”. It is clear that someone in your organization has read this book.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 7:04am
  46. Mormons are NOT HATEFUL. We are taught to love, forgive and not to judge. We are NOT A CULT either. I think this man’s reason for commiting suicide goes way beyond what was reported. He should’ve known that “coming out of the closet” would present some issues for people to accept. He would have been wise to go get counseling b4 he announced this.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 9:07am
  47. This article is a joke. Why would a family leave their father just because he is a homosexual. I have known LDS families where the father comes out. In most cases the father leaves the family, not the other way around. This article just doesn’t make sense. What probably happenned was the father was having a relationship with someone else. This is no different than an extramarital affair.
    Also, the Church doesn’t excommunicate some one for just being gay. The Church wants to retain the members, not kick them out.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 9:25am
  48. I know for a fact that the LDS church does not excommunicate for sexual orientation, but it will for adultery, this is nothing new.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 9:42am
  49. Eric asks: “How long will the Mormon Church continue to let their members die before they decide that LGBT people are worth being treated as equals?”

    That depends on public opinion. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon) can change its doctrines, and has changed its doctrines — but the stakes have to reach a certain threshold before they do so. That threshold is driven by public perception, and particularly by image problems that threaten the church’s missionary program. When public opinion reaches the point where LGBT people are accepted by society, and discrimination against them is generally loathed, then the Mormon Church will have a “revelation” and LGBT people will be accepted. But not before then.

    This is how the LDS Church operates — they must be dragged kicking and screaming all the way to the alter of equal rights. Whether it’s women who want professional carriers, Blacks and Civil Rights, or marriage for Gays, the LDS just can’t seem to find itself on the leading edge. Instead, they have to be taught by a “Gentile nation” how to behave civilly toward their fellow human beings. And for the Mormon Church that is a hard lesson that they really resist learning.

    Duwayne Anderson
    Author of “Farewell to Eden: Coming to terms with Mormonism and science”

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 10:13am
  50. This is such a load of bull. The LDS church DOES NOT excommunicate people because they are gay. What’s more likely is that he refused to refrain from homosexual relations. And while that’s sad, is it really any different from any group? If you can’t abide by the rules and regulations, you can’t be a part of the group. That’s not something unique to the LDS church. People just love to point the finger though.

    As for why his family left him and why he committed suicide, I believe that none of us can judge. We don’t know their situation. To assume only makes an ass out of you and me. There seem to be plenty of asses in these replies too.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 10:15am
  51. As Ben mentioned, the LDS church does not excommunicate members who are gay, only those who are involved in homosexual relationships. Suicide is tragic, whatever the cause. But before we pin it all on a church, there is a lot to this story that we don’t know – was he involved with another man, and did his wife leave him for that reason (which would be a good reason IMHO)?

    Did the church excommunicate him because he was actively involved in a homosexual relationship, which would be against the covenants he made at marriage, and against the church’s law of chastity? If he was involved in an extra-marital relationship, as an active member of the church he would’ve known the consequences before he came out in the open.

    Again, don’t think this can be pinned on a bunch of people who “don’t understand” until we understand more of the story ourselves.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 10:29am
  52. I’m LDS, OUT!, GAY! and in a relationship WITH A MAN! SO excommunicate all you want, it won’t effect me, nor my family or friends.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 11:08am
  53. IDIOTS! BIGOTS! CREEPS!SHADOW-MONGERS!

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 11:09am
  54. This article is incorrect in many ways. As a leader in the LDS faith, I have been trained many times about homosexuality and our membership. The church has recently revised their handbooks and guidelines in respect to this very thing and required all their leadership to attend meetings to train them on it and other changes. I had 2 YW who were gay, they were allowed to participate in every activity we had as long as they promised to live the standards of the church while participating. We required the same conditions of every girl, not just the homosexual youth. they also maintained their membership in the church as long as they CHOSE to, but it has been mentioned by others, there are things that a person can do to cause them to be excommunicated…being gay isn’t one of them. I don’t doubt that there are local leaders within the church who misunderstand this and don’t listen to the council given and therefore treat the situation in a wrong way. But this article is clearly written from emotion and not fact. It’s tragic that this man saw no hope and ended his life, but don’t blame it on the church because I know the church as a whole is taught a very different message then hate and intolerance regarding people, regardless of their “struggles” or differences. Many people in the church misunderstand principles of the gospel and act accordingly, but it’s not the church’s fault.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 11:24am
  55. If you read all of the editorial another gay mormon is mentioned serving in responsible post within the bishopric of a ward of The same Church ‘as long as he remains celebate’. The person who said that you do not get excommunicated simply for being gay is correct and it would seem that ‘practicing’ gay’s are at risk of excommunication or if there is some other contributory factor. What is really significant here, in poor brother Egnew’s case is the way his Church (subsequently former Church)made him feel about himself which lead to the state of mind that brought about his suicide and insomuch as his family may be members of the Church then the same seems to apply to them. His blood is on their hands and there is usually a price to pay by he people who bring such things about. I’m not able to find any teaching by Jesus that would allow brother Egnew to be caste out or made to feel so badly about himself when he has hurt no one and merely been honest. The golden rule taught by Jesus was to treat one another as one would be treated and to treat your neighbor as yourself. Any less than that is not in the name of Christ but in the name of Satan. Such is the indication from whence this particular Church obtains its power. I wish I were able to obtain statistics on the number of poor Gay Mormons who have chosen brother Agnew’s route starting with those who were subjected to the ECT treatments at BYU in the seventy’s. I am not gay myself but have discovered, before my retirement from the same church, many lies since I was seduced into it, and which lead to my retiring from it.
    I just wish people would speak to those who know before joining. Justice Seeker.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 11:54am
  56. It’s interesting to me that a whole slew of comments started with basically condemning the Mormon Church, and then, in quick succession, a bunch condemning those posts, with nearly identical language. Obviously the ‘troops’ have been called in to counter-balance the criticism.

    However, no matter what anyone says about the church or the victim, there was a huge failure of respect, compassion and support, as evidenced by the suicide.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 12:31pm
  57. I am the attorney representing Amy Egnew, the wife of Bryan Egnew. The pleadings in this case are public record. She did not prohibit contact with his children because he was gay, and he was not excommunicated because he was gay. He was having visitation with his children. This is a tragic story. This article appears anytime his name is googled. He has 5 children mourning his death. Please respect them and keep in mind they can read the comments, and the misinformation, that you post.

    Melissa Averett
    Attorney at Law
    NC Board Certified Family Law Specialist

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 12:44pm
  58. I know some Mormon people who go to church and they are gay. Some are in relationships. Different areas seem to treat gay persons differently, I have noticed. Hopefully with the stuff going on in San Francisco with the church, more exact policies will be written and circulated. In San Francisco area it is that gay Mormons are fully welcomed and encouraged to come to church in whatever state they are at. Whether that is married, partnered, single, etc. and in more liberal areas this seems to be the same. It can be confusing.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 12:56pm
  59. damn, its only been one year since the september children… whhy does more blood have to be spilled because of bigotry?

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 1:01pm
  60. Trab, use common sense. It took the article being up on various news sites before the conservatives saw it. The reason the first comments were so pro-gay/anti-Mormon is because they didn’t see it right when it was rolled out. You won’t find the rank and file LDS checking for “interesting” articles on this site on a regular basis.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 1:23pm
  61. Melodie: all religions are a cult. Why is it for a while, Doctrine A is absolute, then after certain events “Oh, we can change it and all is good, even if it contradicts Doctrine A.”

    Its this kind of crap that is hampering growth. Once it starts affecting society (Prop 8) and becomes hateful, it deserves to be eradicated.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 2:07pm
  62. Was this guy cheating on his wife? Did say I am gay but I am going to be loyal to you? If you find out your spouse is cheating on you then you have a right to leave. If someone gets the courage to tell their family that they are cheating on their spouce and there isn’t anything wrong with it then why would we feel sorry for them? His choice to throw his family away is the shame of this not the fact that a church says that this is wrong. Gay people are biggots toward any religion that says what they are doing is wrong. Show some tolerance.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 2:11pm
  63. You can go to this sad soul’s online guest book and leave a message. Please be respectful.
    http://www.legacy.com/guestbook/azcentral/guestbook.aspx?n=bryan-egnew&pid=153639080
    This was mine
    “The loss of Bryan is tragic. The abandonment he must have felt after finally having the courage to truthfully express himself is heartbreaking. I’m certain the angels have taken him in and are even now dismayed by some peoples twisting of Jesus’ true and unconditional love.”

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 2:46pm
  64. Just a note from another trained Mormon leader. No Gay or Lesbian is ever excommunicated for being GAY. There are specific training and handbook instructions on the subject.

    What this looks like is he cheated on his wife, wether it was a man or woman he cheated with is immaterial. We arent getting the whole story.

    A wife isnt going to leave her husband and father of her children because a man says he is gay, he had to act on it, and that is probably drove him to the suicide. He felt terrible about the lies.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 2:57pm
  65. agree!! especially his wife. i hope she rots!

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 3:37pm
  66. esto si que es una tontería y perdida de tiempo es como: pobresito ese violador solo porque sufrió cuando era niño o porque el también fue violado. Yo todos los gay que he conocido son unos depravados e inmorales e incitan a los demás a ser igual que ellos y que ay que aceptarlos ,porque no se asen un estado independiente en el cual hacer sus atrocidades. yo no quiero que mis hijos sean contagiados con tal penosa iniquidad . son tal como dios los describía en la antigüedad.

    Posted on Friday, September 23, 2011 at 5:09pm
  67. Please see my post above. You are not getting the whole story. His wife did not cause or contribute to Bryan’s decision to take his life.

    Melissa Averett
    Attorney at Law

    Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 10:02am
  68. So sad, i lost my sister when i came out as bi cos her mormon religion is so against it :(

    Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 3:58pm
  69. “Shame on the church and his wife”???? His wife did what a whole hell of lot of women would have done once they found out their husband had lied and essentially led a double life drawing them into a marriage under false pretenses. She LEFT him! She didn’t tell him to go kill himself. There is a difference, y’know? Lying because you have a mistress on the side and you’re raising your love child together OR lying because you’re gay —still boils down to lying. You don’t get any integrity points because your lie happened to cover up being gay.

    It is unfortunate that this man CHOSE to commit suicide, but don’t put it on the wife. I have known women who become emotional wrecks because of their husband coming out as gay…NOT because he’s gay, but because he LIED and everything about their relationship and their family is based on a LIE. This is not about prejudice against the LBGT community, it’s not that simplistic: at the heart of it all is one person’s selfish decision to do what they feel is in their best interest and to hell with anyone else…his decision to kill himself is just a continuation of this. I don’t feel sorry for him and I don’t blame ANYONE else but him…he had kids for God’s sake! When you have kids you get a backbone and toughen up, plain and simple. Life is certainly not easy for any of us, but it is do-able.

    Posted on Saturday, September 24, 2011 at 5:16pm
  70. You should get counseling before you are honest about who you really are??? Really?????

    Posted on Sunday, September 25, 2011 at 2:38pm
  71. So sad to hear about this story. The same thing happened to me as I was excommunicated from my Orthodox synagogue after someone outed me. However, I used the opportunity to educate others in my congregation about growing up in a religious community. An heated online discussion ensued on my wesbite. While some compared my marriage to bestiality, others compared me to Rosa Parks as a pioneer in standing up for the right thing. That online discussion board can be found on my website http://www.mitchell-namdar.com.

    I also wrote a book about my experiences. It is called “In This Day and Age?! A Community at the Crossroads of Religion and Homosexuality”. It is a must-read for all people struggling with their religion and their sexual orientation. I believe that if Bryan had read my book, he would be inspired by all the good that is in people’s hearts despite the decrees of our religious leaders, and perhaps he would not take his life.

    Posted on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 6:01am
  72. I am happy I came out and was excommunicated at the age of 19 which gave me the insight and life experiences to deal with things and to know suicide was not the best option. Wish more people were there to help people after being shunned by the life they had grown accustom to.

    Posted on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 10:13am
  73. The mere fact that all of these articles are reducing Bryan to nothing more than a “Gay Mormon” is absolutely infuriating. Yes, thank you to Jahn Curran everyone is now clearly aware that he was gay. Has anyone stopped to think that if he wanted this to be his legacy he would have written his own editorial while he was alive? If the people writing this article knew the first thing about Bryan you would know that he was never short of an opinion and he never lacked the words to voice an opinion HE WANTED to voice. If Bryan wanted the world to know his personal struggles he would have written this article.

    Please respect the fact that those of us who actually loved Bryan are grieving.

    Jahn Curran, if you truly want to fight for a cause MAN UP and give people a reason to respect your cause.

    Posted on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 7:02pm
  74. I have personally known people who have been in the same position, and who have likewise felt that the pain and rejection they felt from their family and community was unbearable. I deeply regret the loss and wish many days that I had been able to convince them of a different course, but I would never deem to judge someone’s pain based on my own assessment of what is bearable and what isn’t.

    To anyone who does feel the need to judge … Bryan or anyone else… I would refer to Matthew 7:4-5. Maybe you’re even right, but that doesnt mean that you’re without fault yourself… nor does it mean really ANYTHING in this case, as the poor soul is dead. Leave his family and friends to grieve and mourn, and keep your scorn or criticism or critique to yourself. For pity’s sake. The world would be a lot better place if people focused less on making a point or thinking they are right and more on being human and showing some compassion for a friend; father; and loved one. Good grief, people. How would you feel if this was your son and the world focused on one moment of weakness or one aspect of a personality that was certainly much more complex?

    Posted on Monday, September 26, 2011 at 7:35pm
  75. Thank you Jon. I have no biases against the Mormon church… although this article was bent towards the prejudice of the church. I do not know all the facts about the ‘excommunication’, but I can tell you that Bryan was a kind, loving and gentle man that was faithful to his family in every respect… he was not an adulterer by any definition. Do not assume you know… the loss of his family was far greater than the ‘loss’ of his church.

    Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 2:10pm
  76. Gosh. So much misinformation and thoughts on what ‘the Church’ does or doesn’t do. TO the Lawyer: only having “VISITATION” of your children because of you left your marriage isn’t having your children. I know because I share custody of my daughter. If I only had “Visitation” I would be horribly depressed.

    To those who say that you can’t be excommunicated because you’re gay: WRONG!! I was excommunicated because I am a lesbian (raised Mormon) I’m not sure what handbooks YOU’RE reading…but they aren’t the ones they used to give me the tribunal.

    Not all GLBT people have a grudge against religion. I go to an awesome church that loves and accepts me for who I am and where I’m at in life.

    My family…well, more precisely my parents..DID disown me. My ward shunned me and then I was excommunicated. I was blessed to have my brother who loved and supported me through the transition from being a Mormon to being me.

    After many years of working and forgiveness, our family is close and loving again…so it CAN get better..But I can understand the deep feelings of loss at the time can make you feel as if it never will.

    Stop being so quick to blame the one who saw no hope and look within yourselves.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 12:56pm
  77. Gosh. So much misinformation and thoughts on what ‘the Church’ does or doesn’t do. TO the Lawyer: only having “VISITATION” of your children because of you left your marriage isn’t having your children. I know because I share custody of my daughter. If I only had “Visitation” I would be horribly depressed.

    To those who say that you can’t be excommunicated because you’re gay: WRONG!! I was excommunicated because I am a lesbian (raised Mormon) I’m not sure what handbooks YOU’RE reading…but they aren’t the ones they used to give me the tribunal.

    Not all GLBT people have a grudge against religion. I go to an awesome church that loves and accepts me for who I am and where I’m at in life.

    My family…well, more precisely my parents..DID disown me. My ward shunned me and then I was excommunicated. I was blessed to have my brother who loved and supported me through the transition from being a Mormon to being me.

    After many years of working and forgiveness, our family is close and loving again…so it CAN get better..But I can understand the deep feelings of loss at the time can make you feel as if it never will.

    Stop being so quick to blame the one who saw no hope and look withing yourselves.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 12:57pm
  78. Without knowing all the specifics of this man’s situation, he likely was so steeped in his religion that he didn’t know he could reach out beyond the boundaries he was familiar with. When the only people close to him not only ran away but cut him off completely, he found himself utterly alone.

    Until and unless you can identify with that … you have no right to say what he should or shouldn’t have done. His family and church must live with the consequences of their hate. It is Bryan who is now free from their control.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 1:19pm
  79. Sorry but I’m tired of all this suicide nonsense. Life is hard, it’s a struggle for everyone. You deal with shit and move on.
    We have all come out of the closet and had issues to deal with. We don’t all kill ourselves. No pitty here.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 1:51pm
  80. No, sweetie, you will not hush up this story. This is not 1950 when communities could silence the fact that a suicidal person was a persecuted LGBT man or woman in order to not ruffle the local feathers. We’re onto you and this story is going viral in the LGBT media, so that little town in NC and the whole Mormon confab there can expect the full glare of the public eye.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 4:09pm
  81. I get that the Mormon Church is involved in defining marriage in the public arena etc, but to say that the LDS Church pushed this man to commit suicide!?! I DISagree.
    Yes, this is unfortunate. I was as active in the Church as he was (minus the wife and kids) but I have the love and support of my Mormon family. I would’ve never thought I could bring my partner home and he’d be in our Christmas photo. Maybe it’s because my Mormon mother taught me to love myself, or my Mormon father taught me that it was okay to be different. You can’t blame any of this non sense on the Mormons as a whole…I feel more love and acceptance from my Mormon family and friends than from the sometimes critical, judgmental, bitchy gays in my own community because I don’t look or act a certain way. It’s easier for me to write off what a group thinks about me that doesn’t get me (like the religious groups) than to forget the ways the gays in my own community discriminate against me for being me. Just my little rant for today.

    Posted on Wednesday, September 28, 2011 at 4:39pm
  82. Religion = hate.
    They would rather you die or kill yourself than to be a real person with REAL FEELINGS.
    Churches want nothing more than your money and political support…they are as bad as corporations.
    They dont give a rats-ass about you or your spiritual life.
    WAKE UP AMERICA!

    Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 4:42am
  83. so tragic, rest in peace, bryan.

    Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 9:46am
  84. I agree wholeheartedly.

    Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 12:08pm
  85. The problem is that many people still rely in religion to make sense of their life.
    NEWSFLASH!! No one is going to “see their family in heaven”!
    Why do some human beings have such a hard time accepting that all we have is this one life and that when it’s done, it’s done. As such, all we can do is enjoy each day as if it is our last.
    IF there is such a thing as a soul, I sincerely doubt that it or any other spiritual entity cares what it did while inhabited in our primate body.
    Get over it and get happy!

    Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 1:18pm
  86. To me, this whole line of “we’re okay with you being gay, but don’t act on it” almost seems like putting a glass of water in front of a severely dehydrated person and saying “there’s the glass, but don’t drink the water!”.

    It seems to be a slap in the face to anyone who is a gay member of the church. It’s a half-hearted attempt at acceptance, but still maintaining control over a person’s life…

    Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 1:39pm
  87. Why must we have labels for religion? Why do we bother with hand books and rules an doctrines? I say read the bible act and do as it leads you to and don’t let Mormon or Catholic or even Methodist (my chosen denomination) tell you what do just prayer and the bible then there would not be a process of excommunication to go thru Which is *deny your self or deny our rules* bringing me to why go trough the trouble of being true to your self if you are just going to take your self out? He knew his church would not support him yet he did it anyway *GO HIM* but what a waste it you kill yourself

    Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 2:35pm
  88. Good comparison, I am a gay Methodist and I refuse to be treated as a second class citizen. My personal sex life is between me, the person I am with and God!

    Posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011 at 6:20pm
  89. He did hurt his family in two ways.
    (1) He lied to his wife, whom he married in the temple, took covenants to honor that marriage, forever, and then had children before he decided to tell the truth that he really didn’t love her or was attracted to her because he was gay.
    (2) He took his life depriving the opportunity of his children to understand and love their father. That is a BIG hurt for his children.

    Everyone here wants to blame someone or something else for his choice to not be truthful from the onset of this marriage. He chose to take his life…he chose to get married in the temple…he chose to lie to his wife…he chose to have children…he chose not to man up and deal with his pain and ended his life.

    Now before everyone gets their undies and a quandary, it is sad that this has happened. I feel for the family and for Mr. Egnew and the dilemma he faced. Just to let all here know that he was not excommunicated for being gay, he was excommunicated for sexual activity outside of his marriage. This sin will result in excommunication for any temple marriage covenant breaker whether heterosexual or homosexual, the consequence is the same. Mr. Egnew knew the consequence would be excommunication if he broke his covenant at the time he made it. Temple covenants are taken very serious in the Mormon faith. The article written makes the claim “his Church immediately excommunicated him because he refused to denounce his sexual orientation.” This is a complete fabrication of the truth. He was not, and no one ever is excommunicated for this. You can and will be excommunicated for breaking your temple vows and covenants.

    Posted on Friday, September 30, 2011 at 1:32am
  90. I’m not Mormon, nor any part of religion. I support gays, but it seems to me someone has to blame it on something or someone. Trust me I KNOW. I mean its sad that he took his own life,but it sounded like he struggle with his own idenity for a long TIME. I would be mad to if my husband of fifteen years LIES to me and didn’t love me in a way I wanted him to. Thinking he prefer someone else. I mean come on, as a wife or partner that would break my heart. Yes, the first thing I would be angry. It would take me a long time to forgive. I would feel
    betrayed, so it looks like also betrayed himself. It seems like he felt the guilt.for keeping this secret from the people he loved so dearly, and create with this one lie. Yes, its frighten for oneself to come out to say your gay, but everyone faces consquences for their actions. He just took something he thought he could ignore and continue till he couldnt take it anymore, but didn’t realized how much it will hurt from the people he betrayed. Anyways, my heart goes to him and his children. Because they will suffer to for feeling the guilt as well, not forgiving before he died. What a horrible situation.

    Posted on Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 5:51am
  91. I have a small personal connection to Bryan, and especially with his wife. She is my cousin. Let me tell you something, he was having sex with random men, and coming home to have sex with his wife. To my knowledge, he NEVER tried to come out. He also had a pill and alcohol addiction. You do not know the ins and outs of his life or relationship, nor their family life. But what I do know, he had free agency to make a choice. Hey, if you are gay.. be gay.. not a problem. But don’t lead a life that is a lie. That lie got to him. He made a choice, and it was not the LDS church’s fault. It was Bryan’s fault. Put fault where fault is found, with Bryan. He made a choice.. and that choice left 5 of HIS children behind. Do not put him into the light of being a martyr nor a saint, because nobody is. He made his choice, unfortunately that choice is permanant, and will forever have a ripple effect on his legacy.

    Posted on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 8:08pm
  92. This is a terrible situation, but two things need to be kept in mind.

    First, his family behaved not only inappropriately, but contrary to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For the wife to abandon her husband and keep her children from him goes contrary to everything that we teach.

    Second, I believe the reporting of this article is inaccurate concerning the Church’s response to the situation: “His Church immediately excommunicated him because he refused to denounce his sexual orientation.”

    The position of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day Saints is not to excommunicate those who do not denounce one’s sexual orientation.

    http://newsroom.lds.org/official-statement/same-gender-attraction

    Posted on Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 1:55pm
  93. It’s too bad that more of the Mormon Church Leaders (General Authorities), including Mormon President Thomas Monson don’t have some gay (offspring), children, grandchildren, great-granchildren as part of their families. Perhaps then the church would be more accepting of gay individuals. I am sure there are a few, but this would be kept super hush, hush. My heart goes out to Bryan and all gay Mormons. While I am not gay I am a practicing but non-believing Mormon and it is very painful to live this way. I have been told by one of my married daughters that I need to keep my mouth shut about my non-beliefs if I want to see her kids (my grandkids). So I unhappily do as I am told. I have often considered ending my suffering. To a degree I know of Bryan’s trials and pain. HP 10-25-11

    Posted on Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 9:25pm
  94. The assumptions continue. He was seeing his children. He was talking to his children regularly with the consent of his wife. Bryan was actively suidical for weeks if not months prior to the separation, which resulted in him being on short-term disability from work. When he attempted suicide at home, with the wife and children there, his wife took the children for their safety and moved to be close to her family. That was weeks after he told her he had cheated on her. He was too depressed, too unstable at the time of his death to be spending time with his young children unsupervised. His family did not abandon him. He was in treatment to address his depression and guilt over cheating on his wife; a fact he stated in the pleadings he filed with the court. He called his church, admitted to the adultery, knowing the automatic result would be excommunication. However, he declined to have a hearing on his excommunication because he wanted to immediately begin the process of penance and forgiveness for his adultery. He was not abandonned by the Church and denouncing his sexuality or not was simply not the issue. This is not a story about rejection, being gay, or the Mormon Church. The only hate speech in Bryan’s life occurred in the posts to the incorrect articles about his death. Claiming that his family acted inappropriately, or he was denied access to his children because he was gay is simply, and completely, wrong.

    D. Melissa Averett
    Attorney at Law

    Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 8:45pm
  95. This is sickening. As a queer anarchist. I obviously disagree with the church, weather it be mormon, catholic, anything, etc… I’ve never understood how people of the queer community can be religous(i know some religons/spirtualites are tolerant/accepting of being queer but the majority are not and thats what i’m referring to). It seems to me that by coming out we are trying to liberate ourselves and eachother to truly accept who we are.While religous institutions continue to oppress us.- THis is just a thought, i dont mean any disrespect and im sorry to Bryan Egnew, I’m sure i will never fully know his situation.

    Posted on Saturday, November 5, 2011 at 12:21am
  96. seeming to know more of the story than most and because you posted Attorney under your name you may be his or his family’s Attorney to that I say if the story posted is so slandering then why are you letting it stay posted instead of fighting it in court if you are not his family’s attorney than maybe you should offer to be and then fight to have this all removed.

    Posted on Monday, November 14, 2011 at 2:38pm
  97. The hateful bigotry of the mormon church and right wing evangelicals against homosexuality is cruelty at its worst. They should remember the old saying, “What goes around comes around.” And when its their time to go, they’ll be having lunch with hitler and stalin.

    Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 at 12:11am