Couples look back 5 years after same-sex marriage ban lifted

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Many Utah couples are celebrating their fifth anniversary this month and looking back on their rush to wed after a federal judge had become the first in the country to strike down a state ban on gay marriage.

The Salt Lake Tribune reports U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby ruled that Utah’s laws against same-sex marriage were unconstitutional on Dec. 20, 2013, leading to more than 1,200 couples dashing to county clerks’ offices to become legally married during the 17-day window after the ruling.

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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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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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Nevada detective fired after sex abuse charge in Utah

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MESQUITE, Nev. (AP)| A veteran Nevada police detective was fired Wednesday following his arrest last week on charges accusing him of sexually abusing a southern Utah teen he met on a social networking app geared toward gay and bisexual men.

Gary Erickson, who was arrested Sept. 12 in Las Vegas, is awaiting extradition to St. George, Utah, on one count of sexual abuse of a minor, one count of dealing in material harmful to a minor and three counts of sexual exploitation.

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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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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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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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Salt Lake City councilman edges closer to win in Democratic primary in Utah

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Salt Lake City councilman Derek Kitchen, whose lawsuit overturned Utah’s prohibition on same-sex marriage, edged closer to victory Friday in his Democratic primary race in one of the state Senate’s few liberal districts.

Updated vote results showed Kitchen’s lead had widened over physician Jennifer Plumb and could be insurmountable, Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen said.

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Bill to create way to change gender designation clears Utah panel

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A panel of Utah lawmakers approved a Republican senator’s plan Monday to create a process for transgender people to legally change their gender designation through the courts, though not without some disagreement.

The LGBT rights group Equality Utah said they’re concerned about some revisions in the bill, including a section that requires a person to live in state to make the change.

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Two transgender Utah residents want sex designation on IDs changed

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two transgender Utah residents, who have been denied a change in their sex designation on their driver’s licenses by a state judge, are asking the Utah Supreme Court to overturn the decision.

Angie Rice and Sean Childers-Gray both have driver’s licenses and insurance cards that have their new names, but still bear the sex designations that were assigned to them at birth.

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Hundreds of Utah’s LGBTQ youth to gather at statewide summit

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – Hundreds of Utah LGBTQ students are scheduled to meet up for a statewide summit in Orem next month to find solidarity and discuss issues like bullying and educational and career advancement.

The event, called Ignite, aims to bring together LGBTQ teens from Utah’s rural and urban areas and those involved in gay-straight alliance organizations.

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