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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Gay Mormon who made headlines for marrying a woman announces divorce

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Josh Weed, a Mormon who made headlines for his blog post explaining that he was in a happy marriage with his wife Lolly despite being a gay man, is now getting divorced.

Josh and Lolly, who started as childhood friends, have been married for ten years and have four daughters together. In 2012, Josh claimed in a blog post their marriage worked even though he wasn’t straight.

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Mormon leader reaffirms faith’s opposition to same-sex marriage

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A top Mormon leader reaffirmed the religion’s opposition to same-sex marriage on Saturday during a church conference — and reminded followers watching around the world that children should be raised in families led by a married man and woman no matter what becomes the norm in a “declining world.”

The speech by Dallin H. Oaks, a member of a top governing body called the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, followed a push in recent years by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to uphold theological opposition to gay marriage amid widespread social acceptance while trying to foster an empathetic stance toward LGBT people.

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12-year-old girl comes out as a lesbian to Mormon church

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Savannah Ward boldly came out as a lesbian to her Mormon church in Utah before she was asked to leave the stage in a moment captured on video.

“I believe I am a child of heavenly parents. I don’t know if they talk to us, but I feel in my heart that they made me and that they love me. I believe I was made the way I am, all parts of me, by my heavenly parents,” Ward begins her testimony.

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Leaked video shows Mormon leaders discussing gay rights, Iraq war

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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 hate crimes law too broad to charge anti-LGBT assaults harshly

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A Utah prosecutor said he can’t file anything tougher than misdemeanor assault charges this week against two Wyoming men accused of attacking two gay Salt Lake City men because the state’s hate crimes law is too broadly written and needs to be strengthened to include LGBT protections.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said July 21 that he didn’t file misdemeanor assault charges until July 20 in the 2014 attack because his office spent a lot of time trying to see if federal prosecutors could build a case against the men, or if his office could charge the duo under Utah’s hate crimes law, which he calls vague.

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One year after easing ban on gay adults, Boy Scouts doing well

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New York (AP) – There were dire warnings for the Boy Scouts of America a year ago when the group’s leaders, under intense pressure, voted to end a long-standing blanket ban on participation by openly gay adults. Several of the biggest sponsors of Scout units, including the Roman Catholic, Mormon and Southern Baptist churches, were openly dismayed, raising the prospect of mass defections.

Nearly 12 months after the BSA National Executive Board’s decision, the Boy Scouts seem more robust than they have in many years. Youth membership is on the verge of stabilizing after a prolonged decline, corporations which halted donations because of the ban have resumed their support, and the vast majority of units affiliated with conservative religious denominations have remained in the fold – still free to exclude gay adults if that’s in accordance with their religious doctrine.

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Trevor Southey, artist and gay icon, dies at 75

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Trevor Southey, a Utah artist who went from BYU teacher to gay icon, died Oct. 20 in a Salt Lake City hospice. He was 75.

Southey specialized in the human form, something that was considered old-fashioned the late 20th century, according to Utah Museum of Fine Arts Executive Director Gretchen Dietrich.

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Mormon leader criticizes Kim Davis on her handling of license issue

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – The Mormon Church staked a deeper claim to middle ground in American society, advocating for compromises between protecting religious liberties and prohibiting discrimination, and criticizing Kentucky clerk Kim Davis for refusing to license gay marriages.

“We may have cultural differences, but we should not have ‘culture wars,'” Mormon leader Dallin H. Oaks declared.

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Mama Dragons lead the fight for their gay Mormon kids

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — For these Mormon moms, their “coming-out” — as activists — often follows the same storyline.

They are fairly traditional Latter-day Saints. Their sons or daughters announce they are gay. They search high and low for LDS advice about how best to love their children. They find their church’s mormonsandgays.org website and plenty of counsel for rearing straight kids, but hear little from their religious leaders about how to help their gay loved ones navigate the path to adulthood. Their offspring mostly stop attending church. In desperation, the Mormon mothers turn again to the Internet.

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Utah bill allows officials to refuse to marry couples

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Utah’s Republican governor has signed a bill allowing government officials to refuse to marry couples, including same-sex couples, for religious reasons.

The measure signed by Gov. Gary Herbert on March 20 requires a county clerk’s office to designate someone to marry all couples if the clerk opts out.

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Mormon university removes same-sex marriage cards at bookstore

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SALT LAKE CITY — Greeting cards celebrating same-sex marriages turned up at the Brigham Young University bookstore Aug. 19.

Placed by Hallmark, the cards reading “Mr. and Mr.” and “Mrs. and Mrs.” were quickly removed when bookstore staff discovered them after photos surfaced online. The outside vendor stocked the shelves without realizing the school wouldn’t want to sell the cards marketed to buyers celebrating unions between two brides and two grooms, BYU spokeswoman Carri Jenkins said.

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