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

By : wire report
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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 Conversion therapy has a history in Utah, including the use of now-outdated physical techniques like electroshock therapy, and is associated with higher rates of depression and suicide attempts, supporters said.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

By : Wire Report
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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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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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Judge declares Utah women, 1 dead, to be legally married

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A 74-year-old woman cried tears of joy when a Utah state judge took the rare step of declaring her and her longtime lesbian partner legally married just months after her wife died.

Judge Patrick Corum last week declared Bonnie Foerster legally married to Beverly Grossaint, who died in May in Salt Lake City at age 82, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

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Lawsuit 20 years ago became powerful win for LGBT rights in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP)| Two women who faced intense backlash when they sued to form the state’s first gay-straight alliance club 20 years ago are looking back at the landmark decision.

The Salt Lake City School District went as far as banning all 46 extracurricular clubs so that it wouldn’t lose $100 million in federal funding for discrimination under the Equal Access Act of 1984 when it didn’t approve the alliance club’s application in 1995, the Salt Lake Tribune reported last week.

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Scott Smith joins Cirque du Soleil for ‘Crystal,’ its first ever show on ice

By : Kathy Ruiz
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Cirque du Soleil has been performing extreme circus acts blended with elegant dance, music and costuming since the mid-1980s. But there is one stage it has not taken on among the variety of shows Cirque du Soleil has performed in its more than 30 years—until now.

Cirque du Soleil’s newest show, “Crystal,” features gymnasts and world-class ice skaters performing acrobatics in the air and on the ice, simultaneously.

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Kitchen wins Democratic primary in Utah, final tally shows

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ABOVE: Salt Lake City’s Derek Kitchen won a seat in the Utah Senate. Photo courtesy of Kitchen’s Facebook page. 

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Salt Lake City councilman Derek Kitchen has been declared the winner of his Democratic primary race for a Utah Senate seat representing one of the state’s rare left-leaning districts.

The Salt Lake County Clerk released final results Tuesday showing 29-year-old Kitchen won the race by 5 percentage points over physician Jennifer Plumb.

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