Ed Smart calls coming out as gay the 2nd miracle of his life

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ABOVE: Edward Smart. (Photo from Smart’s Facebook page)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Ed Smart says the first miracle on his life happened when his teenage daughter returned home after being kidnapped from the family’s house in Salt Lake City in June 2002.

He says the second miracle was being warmly accepted by his neighbors, friends and family after he came out as a gay man earlier this year at age 64.

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Salt Lake City’s 1st lesbian mayor gives endorsement in race to replace her

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ABOVE: Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake City’s first openly lesbian mayor, assumed office in 2016. (Photo from Facebook)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski is endorsing Utah Sen. Luz Escamilla to replace her as leader of the capital city.

The Deseret News reports that Biskupski cited Escamilla’s record working on behalf of minority groups as a state lawmaker.

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Utah considers ban on ‘conversion therapy’ for minors

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | LGBTQ people who say they suffered shame and suicidal thoughts after undergoing “conversion therapy” urged Utah state officials to approve a proposed rule that would prohibit Utah psychologists from the practice that is already banned in 18 states.

Opponents who spoke during a public hearing Sept. 26 in Salt Lake City countered that the rule should be tabled because they contend it will prevent parents from getting their children help with “unwanted” homosexual feelings.

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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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BYU graduate who came out as gay describes fear on campus

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Above: (Photo courtesy Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.) Gay BYU graduate Matthew Easton is interviewed by Ellen DeGeneres on her nationally syndicated talk show.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A student who came out as gay during a valedictorian speech at Mormon-owned Brigham Young University says he lived in fear of being reported for a violation the school’s strict code of conduct forbids dating among members of the same sex.

Matt Easton made the comments during an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that aired on May 6 in which she gave him a check for $10,000.

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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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Bid to fortify Utah hate-crimes law passes first Senate vote

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A bid to strengthen the state’s hate-crimes law passed its first vote on March 4 following an occasionally emotional debate over the long-stalled idea that’s been gaining steam since the beating of a Latino man in Salt Lake City.

The state has reached a tipping point on the issue, said Republican sponsor Sen. Daniel Thatcher.

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Proposed ban on LGBT conversion therapy getting pushback

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A proposal to ban gay conversion therapy for minors encountered pushback in conservative Utah on March 1 as state lawmakers questioned whether it’s too restrictive for therapists talking about sexual orientation with young clients.

Supporters of the measure said it allows discussion about sexuality, as long as there’s no attempt to change orientation or gender identity. Conversion therapy has a history in Utah, including the use of now-outdated physical techniques like electroshock therapy, and is associated with higher rates of depression and suicide attempts, supporters said.

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Utah hate-crimes law to get hearing after years of gridlock

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A proposal to strengthen Utah’s hate-crimes law will get a hearing, marking a potential turning point for the idea long stuck in legislative gridlock, lawmakers said Feb. 19.

Republican sponsor Sen. Daniel Thatcher said the bill will be publicly discussed on Feb. 21, and he’s confident that a panel of lawmakers will approve it.

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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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Lesbians treated differently in health care

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. | According to a new study that used data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2015, lesbians were less likely to report receiving a birth control prescription or birth control counseling compared with straight women.

However, they were more likely to report having received sexually transmitted infection (STI) counseling, testing or treatment, after adjusting for sexual partners in the past 12 months. In a clinical setting, lesbians were less likely to report receiving birth control counseling at a pregnancy test and lesbian women without recent male sex partners were less likely to report receiving counseling about condom use at an STI-related visit compared with heterosexual women.

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