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  • ~ 1 month ago


    As Utah Goes... Information-grey

    The state's particular religious composition means its new LGBT nondiscrimination law, including religious carve-outs, may not be applicable elsewhere

    Holy Joseph Smith! Utah?

    That pretty much sums up initial acclaim for the housing and employment LGBT nondiscrimination law signed by the Beehive State's Republican Governor Gary Herbert on March 12. The product of negotiations involving the ACLU, LGBT groups including Equality Utah, Democratic and Republican legislators, and the Mormon Church, the "Utah Compromise" was hailed by even the liberal Boston Globe as a "model for other red states."

    But wows became yowls as details emerged. The new law exempts not only all religious entities, along with their "affiliates," but even the Boy Scouts. A companion law lets county clerks opt out of solemnizing same-sex marriages if they provide stand-ins and perform no marriages at all.

    Eric Ethington of Web site LGBTQNation complained of "a Trojan horse for the religious right's agenda." Queer Nation and others...

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  • ~ 1 month ago


    Utah Judge Withdraws in Lesbians’ Foster Case Information-grey

    By Jack Healy

    Nov. 16, 2015
    DENVER — A judge in Utah who drew national scrutiny for ordering a lesbian couple to give up their infant foster child withdrew from the case on Monday.

    Judge Scott N. Johansen, a juvenile court judge in Price, Utah, announced in a brief order that he had disqualified himself and that a presiding judge would handle the case.

    Judge Johansen came under widespread criticism last week after he ordered the baby to be taken from the lesbian couple and given to a heterosexual couple, saying it was “not in the best interest of children to be raised by same-sex couples.” Gay-rights groups condemned the ruling, and Gov. Gary R. Herbert, a Republican, said he was “puzzled” by it and urged the judge to adhere to the law.

    On Friday, Judge Johansen reversed himself in an amended order that nevertheless questioned whether children should be placed with same-sex parents. He had set a hearing for Dec. 4 to determine the best interest of the 9-month-old girl, who had been placed in the home of April Hoagland and Beckie Peirce in August. ...

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  • ~ 1 month ago


    UPDATE: Bill banning transgender athletes from girls sports passes Utah House Information-grey

    UPDATE: (Wed. Feb. 17, 3 p.m.) House Bill 302, titled "Preserving Sports for Female Students" passed the house with a 50 to 23 vote.

    Discussion of the bill was spirited. If passed the bill would ban transgender girls from participating in sports for girls in elementary and secondary schools.

    It is opposed by the ACLU of Utah and Equality Utah. It will now move to the Utah Senate for debate. Utah House Democrats said in a statement that the bill "needlessly targets youth who are already marginalized and vulnerable to mental anguish and suicide."

    The statement also said:

    If this bill is enacted, Utah may lose out on collegiate championships, the NBA All-Star game,...

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