Mormon church opposes Utah LGBTQ ‘conversion therapy’ ban

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Russell M. Nelson speaks in Orlando June 9. Photo via Nelson’s Facebook page.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A proposed ban on so-called conversion therapy in Utah is in danger of being derailed after the influential Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints came out Tuesday night in opposition, just months after it said it wouldn’t stand in the way of a similar measure under consideration.

The church said in a statement that the regulatory rule prohibiting Utah psychologists from engaging in the discredited practice with LGBTQ minors would fail to safeguard religious beliefs and doesn’t account for “important realities of gender identity in the development of children.”

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Mormon leader reaffirms church’s opposition to gay marriage

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ABOVE: Russell M. Nelson speaks in Orlando June 9. Photo via Nelson’s Facebook page.

PROVO, Utah (AP) | The leader of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints reaffirmed the religion’s opposition to gay marriage Sept. 17, while explaining that leaders lifted a short-lived ban on baptisms for children of gay parents because they felt the “heartache” it caused.

Church president Russell M. Nelson’s remarks in a speech to students at the church-owned Brigham Young University were the most detailed explanation to date of the faith’s surprising move in April to repeal 2015 policies that banned the baptisms and labeled people in same-sex marriages as sinners eligible for expulsion.

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Father of kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart comes out as gay

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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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LGBTQ Christians preach their gospel

By : Michael Wanzie
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LGBTQ Christian.

For many that’s a combination of terms which illustrates the ultimate oxymoron. Those non-LGBTQ Christians, as well as non-Christian members of the LGBTQ community, who believe the two states are incompatible—if not incomprehensible— usually point to scripture to validate their arguments.

“Much of the arguments against homosexuality come from a complete misunderstanding of the cultural milieu in which these texts were written,” says Rev. Jakob Hero-Shaw, senior pastor of Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) of Tampa in Seminole Heights. “When we attempt to apply biblical ideas to our lives today, we are wholly unable to do so without taking into account the cultural context of the text and our own current social location.”

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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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Mormon president surprises with transformative first year

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | At 94, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has proved a far more vigorous and transformative figure than scholars expected when he took office a year ago, pushing through a flurry of surprising changes on such matters as LGBTQ members and the name of the faith.

Russell M. Nelson made his biggest move yet on April 4 when he rescinded rules banning baptisms for children of gay parents and branding same-sex couples apostates subject to excommunication. Those 2015 policies had generated widespread backlash.

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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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Mormons to stay outdoors after split with Boy Scouts

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | The Mormon church’s new youth program, which will roll out in 2020 when it cuts all ties with Boy Scouts of America, will still include outdoor and adventure activities even as the initiative becomes more gospel-focused, the faith confirmed September 21.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints provided a few more details about the initiative in a news release that said a full and detailed description will come later because different aspects of the program are still being tested.

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Provo couple opens their home, hearts to LGBTQ people

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PROVO, Utah (AP) | A Provo family has made their home a sort of sanctuary for members of the LGBTQ community, especially those who need something to eat and a place where they can escape from suicidal thoughts.

Jerilyn Hassell Pool and Jeff Pool run their nonprofit QueerMeals out of their home, the Daily Herald reported .

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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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Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds waves rainbow flag at Brazil festival

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds showed his support for the LGBTQ community by waving a rainbow flag at the Lollapalooza Brazil Festival in Sao Paulo.

Reynolds, 30, documented the moment with a special Twitter post.

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