Father of kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart comes out as gay

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Edward Smart, photo via Smart’s Facebook page.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | The father of Utah kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart has come out as gay in a heartfelt letter that reveals he has struggled throughout his life with pain and guilt.

“The decision to be honest and truthful about my orientation comes with its own set of challenges, but at the same time it is a huge relief,” Ed Smart wrote in a letter posted on his Facebook page Friday.

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Mormon county commissioner in Utah comes out as gay

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Republican lawmaker Nathan Ivie says it took him more than 20 years to come to terms with his identity.

But on May 22 the 40-year-old Utah County commissioner sat in front of his computer and publicly shared the secret that has caused him pain and confusion since he was nine years old: He is gay.

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Mormons making wedding rule change to be more inclusive

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints changed wedding rules May 6 in hopes of preventing family members who aren’t church members from feeling excluded.

Couples who get married in civil ceremonies will no longer have to wait one year to do a temple wedding ceremony that only members in good standing can attend, the faith said in a news release.

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LGBT History Project: LDS ancestry database to add same-sex families

By : Cynthia Laird, SPECIAL TO WATERMARK FROM THE LGBT HISTORY PROJECT
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ABOVE: The homepage of FamilySearch.org. Photo: Jason Villemez

During Pride Month in June, LGBT people interested in family history received interesting news: beginning next year, the world’s largest genealogy organization, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will release a redesigned website that will include same-sex families.

FamilySearch.org, sponsored by the Mormons, first said in 2015 that it would add a feature for same-sex relationships, the Deseret News reported. Now, the major overhaul to the website’s system should be ready by 2019.

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LGBT group struggles for recognition at Mormon-run BYU

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | An LGBTQ group at the Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University has tried unsuccessfully for three years to get recognition from the school.

Members of the Understanding Same Gender Attraction group told the Salt Lake Tribune for a story published this week that they feel like they have been strung along as school administrators repeatedly delay approving their application.

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Mormons severing all ties with Boy Scouts, ending long bond

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Mormon church said Tuesday it will sever all ties with the Boy Scouts of America at the end of next year and place its remaining 425,000 boys into a gospel-focused youth program it is developing. The move ends a nearly century-old relationship that was based on their shared values.

The announcement by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Boy Scouts didn’t come as a complete surprise after the religion last year removed 185,000 boys between the ages of 14 and 18, signaling that an end to the long-time alliance was near.

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LGBT students at BYU speak out about lack of inclusion

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PROVO, Utah (AP) — At a rare, school-sanctioned event, four LGBT students at Mormon-owned Brigham Young University spoke to about 600 students about what it’s like to reconcile their religious beliefs with sexual identities that don’t fit within the religion’s belief system.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Addison Jenkins, who spoke at the first LGBT campus forum last year, said the school took a step forward Thursday by hosting the panel.

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Imagine Dragons singer stars in documentary about LGBT mormons

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Dan Reynolds, frontman of the rock band Imagine Dragons, will star in the documentary “Believer,” which follows his journey as an advocate for LGBT Mormons.

“Believer” chronicles Reynolds, who is Mormon, and out Neon Trees lead singer Tyler Glenn, a former Mormon, as they plan the LoveLoud Festival, a charity concert last summer in Utah that raised money for at-risk LGBT youth.

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Wyoming gay couple files lawsuit against town leaders

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ABOVE: Marc and Rusty Andrus. Photo from Facebook.

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — A same-sex couple who own a restaurant in western Wyoming have filed a federal lawsuit, contending that town officials discriminated against them in applying local rules and codes.

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Leaked video shows Mormon leaders discussing gay rights, Iraq war

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY — In leaked videos, Mormon leaders discuss concerns about the growth of the gay rights movement and hear from a former U.S. senator and church member who tells them the Iraq war could open the door for new converts, according to footage that pulls back the curtain on a religion that is closely guarded about its inner workings.

The 15 videos were posted online Oct. 2 during the final day of the religion’s twice-yearly conference. They show top leaders hearing presentations and discussing topics at meetings from 2007 to 2012.

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Utah anti-discrimination law liberates some LGBT residents in first year

By : Wire Report
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Salt Lake City (AP) – Utah public school teacher Art Rice used to put on four shirts every day before work last year so no one would notice that he was becoming a woman.

“I cried near every morning, putting my man clothes on, because that was the last real piece of my life where I was hiding who I was and I hated it,” said Rice, who now lives as Angie Rice.

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Churches urge high court to act on gay marriage

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The Mormon church and four religious organizations are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene and settle once and for all the question of whether states can outlaw gay marriage.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in a statement Sept. 5, said it joined a friend-of-the-court brief asking the high court to hear Utah’s marriage case.

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