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

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

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

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Proposed ban on LGBT conversion therapy getting pushback

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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 Conversion therapy has a history in Utah, including the use of now-outdated physical techniques like electroshock therapy, and is associated with higher rates of depression and suicide attempts, supporters said.

Continue Reading >>

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

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Mormon church says it’s not opposed to hate-crime bill

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

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

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Utah group seeks ban on gay conversion therapy for minors

By : Wire Report
Comments: 0
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.

Continue Reading >>

Mormons to stay outdoors after split with Boy Scouts

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Nevada detective fired after sex abuse charge in Utah

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Judge declares Utah women, 1 dead, to be legally married

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

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

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Provo couple opens their home, hearts to LGBTQ people

By : wire report
Comments: 0

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 .

Continue Reading >>