Regulations to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy in Utah get early nod

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ABOVE: Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, photo public domain.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Utah psychologists would be prohibited from practicing so-called conversion therapy on LGBTQ kids under proposed new state regulations.

The plan got an early nod of approval from a state licensing board July 18.

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Gay conversion therapy ban won’t pass in Utah this year

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Supporters say the fight to ban gay conversion therapy for minors in conservative Utah is over for the year after lawmakers gutted the proposal.

A prominent activist on March 6 blasted Gov. Gary Herbert’s support for the changes that would have allowed therapists to talk about changing sexual orientation as long as they didn’t promise to reverse it.

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Mormon church won’t oppose gay conversion therapy ban

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | The Mormon church won’t stand in the way of a proposal to ban gay conversion therapy for minors in its home base of Utah, leaders said Feb. 20, a position that advocates heralded as a milestone in the conservative state.

“The announcement is key in part because LGBT members have historically reported that church leaders encouraged them to attend therapy aimed at changing their sexual orientation,” said Troy Williams with the group Equality Utah.

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Mormon church says it’s not opposed to hate-crime bill

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | The Mormon church said Jan. 24 it doesn’t oppose hate-crimes legislation in Utah that includes protections for LGBT people, an announcement that could break a longtime legislative logjam on the issue.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ sought to clarify that it has not actively been blocking hate crimes legislation and will not stand in the way if lawmakers take up the issue this year, said Marty Stephens, the faith’s director of government and community relations and a lobbyist for the church.

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Utah group seeks ban on gay conversion therapy for minors

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ABOVE: Equality Utah’s executive director Troy Williams (L) discusses suicide prevention with lawmakers, faith leaders and members of the Governor’s Youth Suicide Task Force looking on. Photo courtesy Equality Utah’s Facebook page

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Utah’s most powerful LGBTQ support organization wants legislation that would ban gay conversion therapy for minors.

Equality Utah has drafted a measure aiming for Utah to join more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia in outlawing efforts to change a minor’s sexual orientation to heterosexual, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

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Utah LGBTQ advocates seeks ban on conversion therapy

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Utah LGBTQ advocates say they will join a nationwide effort to get the state to ban a practice known as “conversion therapy.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams said advocates are ready to push for legislation that would make it illegal for the practice to be administered in the state.

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Bill to create way to change gender designation clears Utah panel

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A panel of Utah lawmakers approved a Republican senator’s plan Monday to create a process for transgender people to legally change their gender designation through the courts, though not without some disagreement.

The LGBT rights group Equality Utah said they’re concerned about some revisions in the bill, including a section that requires a person to live in state to make the change.

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Firefighter union, gay rights group join suit against DEA

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A Utah firefighters union and a gay-rights group can face off against the Drug Enforcement Administration in a court fight over warrantless searches of a prescription drug database similar to those kept by most U.S. states, a federal judge decided Oct. 13.

The databases containing all controlled-substance prescriptions for every patient are designed to help doctors and police curb abuse, but unfettered police access to them has raised concerns.

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GOP senator, son of Jon Huntsman join LGBTQ rights group

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A state Republican lawmaker and a son of Utah billionaire Jon Huntsman Sr. were named Aug. 29 as some of the newest board members of LGBTQ-rights group Equality Utah.

Sen. Steve Urquhart and James Huntsman were named to Equality Utah’s Board of Directors.

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

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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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Mormon Church wary of heightened anti-discrimination laws

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Salt Lake City (AP) – The Mormon church says Utah lawmakers considering hate crimes legislation this year should not upset a balance they struck last year with an anti-discrimination law protecting both religious rights and LGBT rights.

The statement from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was in response to a proposal to beef up Utah’s hate crimes law and add new protections for gay and transgender people.

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Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor sworn in

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Salt Lake City (AP) – Jackie Biskupski was sworn in Dec. 4 as Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor, a landmark the former state lawmaker acknowledged shortly after taking the oath of office.

Biskupski, 49, said the historic moment should not be taken lightly, and noted great strides have been made for LGBT people in the state.

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