Utah and Indiana became the latest U.S. states to see their bans on same-sex marriage struck down following separate rulings in federal court on Wednesday.
"It is wholly illogical to believe that state recognition of love and commitment of same-sex couples will alter the most intimate and personal decisions of opposite-sex couples," a three-judge panel in the Utah case said while upholding a lower court ruling, NPR reported.
Back in December, Utah briefly became the 18th state where gay couples received the right to marry, after a federal district judge ruled that the state's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional. The decision was then put on hold pending appeals, though more than 1,300 gay and lesbian couples managed to get married before that. more >>
The Utah Supreme Court on Friday night ordered a temporary halt to orders by several district courts that require the state's health department to issue birth certificates in same-sex parent adoptions.
The stay was granted in response to a petition filed by the Utah Attorney General's Office seeking certainty and clarity over whether the Utah Department of Health can issue the birth certificates if directed by court order, according to The Associated Press.
"The stay prevents further confusion as the district court order required the department to list same-sex parents as the legal parents of an adoptive child," the attorney general's office said in a statement. "The department sought clarification because the court orders appear to conflict with Utah law currently in effect, which prohibits the state and any state entities from recognizing same-sex marriages." more >>
Organizers of the largest annual parade that takes place in Utah have rejected an LGBT Mormon group's proposed float, stating that it will be too controversial.
The Days of '47 Parade, which is expected to have approximately 100 floats and a quarter of a million onlookers, rejected a float request from Mormons Building Bridges.
Mike Deaver, who sits on the Days of '47 Committee, told The Christian Post that the Mormons Building Bridges float "was denied due to several factors." more >>
Mormons will share the stage with atheists Wednesday as part of a joint panel held in Salt Lake City, Utah, to discuss and dispel the myths and stereotypes that are believed about the two groups.
In a statement released last week, American Atheists President David Silverman explained that the panel will "challenge how atheists and religious people think of each other."
He continued: "It's true that many atheist Utahans are ex-Mormons, but many atheists around the country have very little direct experience with Mormons. And many Mormons have very little real-world experience with or knowledge of atheists. We want to fix that because a better understanding of where we're all coming from is needed to share political and social space." more >>
A 39-year-old Utah woman who police believe gave birth to six children then allegedly murdered them all was arrested Saturday after the bodies of seven infants were discovered packed in separate cardboard boxes in a home she formerly occupied.
Megan Huntsman of Pleasant Grove, Utah, was taken into police custody after she was identified as the former resident of the home where the babies were found, according to an ABC report.
A family member who now occupies the home alerted police after finding one of the babies, which "appeared to be full term," according to a police statement. more >>
Some 75 atheists showed up in Salt Lake City, Utah, this past weekend to march near the city's Temple Square during the bi-annual Mormon General Conference, with some marchers filing their resignation from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the event.
The "Mormon exodus" event was led by Atheists of Utah and the national American Atheists organization on Sunday. Marchers sought to encourage atheists in the LDS Church who may be afraid to "come out."
"The pressure from the Mormon church to stay silent about doubt is fundamentally immoral – it is bad for the members and for society at large, benefiting only the church and its hierarchy. That is why we're organizing this mass resignation," American Atheists President David Silverman said. "We are saying to closeted atheists, 'Utah is home to over a million atheists who live their lives without worrying about shunning or other types of discrimination. If you know you're not a Mormon, be truthful and say so, resign, and come to our convention the weekend of the 17th. Freedom of thought and expression is a great reason to celebrate.'" more >>