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Russell M. Nelson made his biggest move yet on April 4 when he rescinded rules banning baptisms for children of gay parents and branding same-sex couples apostates subject to excommunication.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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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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Utah LGBTQ advocates seeks ban on conversion therapy

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Utah LGBTQ advocates say they will join a nationwide effort to get the state to ban a practice known as “conversion therapy.”

The Salt Lake Tribune reports Equality Utah Executive Director Troy Williams said advocates are ready to push for legislation that would make it illegal for the practice to be administered in the state.

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Mormon support for gay marriage gradually grows

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A new survey shows Mormons are gradually becoming more accepting of same-sex marriage, fueled by the views of younger church members.

But the survey released this week by the Public Religion Research Institute reveals that Mormons in the United States still lag behind national support for same-sex marriage and behind Catholics, Muslims and Jews.

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