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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