Utah transgender nonprofit opens office in Orem

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ABOVE: Genderbands’ pride pins, photo via Genderbands’ Facebook page.

PROVO, Utah (AP) | A project that started as a way for one transgender person to pay for gender-confirmation surgery has grown into a Utah-based nonprofit helping others who can’t afford the procedure.

The Daily Herald reports that Ian Giles founded the organization Genderbands, which provides free chest binders and awards grants to help with surgery.

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Utah soccer star overcomes challenges as openly gay athlete

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ABOVE: Carly Nelson. Photo by Steve C. Wilson via University of Utah Women’s Soccer’s Facebook page.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Carly Nelson loves everything about her goalkeeper’s job description for the Utah women’s soccer team, including the pressure of keeping opponents from scoring, having a unique view of the field and directing the defenders in front of her. “And, of course,” she said, “wearing the different colors.”

Nelson has worn distinctive goalie uniforms of gray, pink, blue and yellow at various times in her Ute career. Those color choices are her personal expressions, just as her parents once believed about her sexual orientation.

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Mormon church opposes Utah LGBTQ ‘conversion therapy’ ban

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ABOVE: Russell M. Nelson speaks in Orlando June 9. Photo via Nelson’s Facebook page.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | A proposed ban on so-called conversion therapy in Utah is in danger of being derailed after the influential Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints came out Tuesday night in opposition, just months after it said it wouldn’t stand in the way of a similar measure under consideration.

The church said in a statement that the regulatory rule prohibiting Utah psychologists from engaging in the discredited practice with LGBTQ minors would fail to safeguard religious beliefs and doesn’t account for “important realities of gender identity in the development of children.”

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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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Weber State welcomes first openly gay student body president

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ABOVE, L-R: Weber State’s 2019-2020 cabinet. Rilee Jones, Kate Hughes, Gabe Taylor, Bret Alexander, Bailie Kidd and Erin Dominguez. Photo via Weber State.

OGDEN, Utah (AP) | Bret Alexander is the picture of success: He recently began his first year as a graduate student at Weber State University studying higher education leadership and leads the school as student body president.

He’s also the school’s first openly gay student elected to the position. But the ambitious, buoyant student traveled a difficult path to where he stands now, the Standard-Examiner reports.

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Regulations to ban LGBTQ conversion therapy in Utah get early nod

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ABOVE: Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert, photo public domain.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Utah psychologists would be prohibited from practicing so-called conversion therapy on LGBTQ kids under proposed new state regulations.

The plan got an early nod of approval from a state licensing board July 18.

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Utah governor takes action to regulate conversion therapy

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has taken action that could lead to the regulation of “ex-gay” conversion therapy in a state with a history of widespread use of the discredited practice.

In a letter dated June 17 and made public Thursday, Herbert ordered the Utah’s Division of Occupational & Professional Licensing to establish rules to regulate psychological interventions with LGBT youth and prevent unethical practices.

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Utah high school football players suspended for burning Pride flag

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Two high school football players from Kearns, Utah have been suspended from the team for posting and sharing a video showing a Pride flag burning and using homophobic language.

The player, from Kearns High School, posted a video on Snapchat of someone lighting a Pride flag on fire. In the video, someone can be heard saying “All gays die.”

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Suspect in Utah killing of LGBTQ rights advocate found in Idaho after 2-day manhunt

By : Wire Report
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) | Idaho police captured a man May 24 suspected of shooting and killing a motorist in northern Utah earlier this week after a two-day manhunt.

Officers arrested 45-year-old Jonathan Llana about 3:15 p.m. in an area of southern Idaho outside of Pocatello about 10 miles from where the suspect crashed his car into a canal after a police pursuit May 22, according to news releases from Idaho State Police and the Utah Highway Patrol. LLana had broken into a house in the area and stolen an all-terrain vehicle, they said. No officers or residents were injured.

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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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