As it prepares to vote on its ban of openly gay members in May, the Boy Scouts of America youth organization recently rejected an application for troop sponsorship by the Utah Pride Center, an LGBT advocacy group based in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Boy Scouts of America said in statement to multiple media outlets that it is currently focusing on an "internal discussion about its membership standards," and did not believe the Utah Pride Center's chartering of a troop would be beneficial to the organization.
"The BSA is engaged in an internal discussion about its membership standards policy and is working to stay focused on Scouting's mission," Deron Smith, public relations director for the century-old youth organization, said in an emailed statement to The Salt Lake Tribune. more >>
Razor blades in donuts were part of a scheme cooked up by Carole Lee Leazer-Hardman and Michael Condor, who wanted to bring a lawsuit against a local Utah grocery store and receive a big payout. Police arrested the couple and charged them with aggravated assault and filing a false police report.
"During the course of the investigation, we were able to determine that they intentionally inserted these broken razor blades into donuts that they had purchased at Smith's and then swallowed the razor blades with the donuts," Draper police said in a statement.
They became suspicious of the couple's injuries given that the donuts they purchased were in tamper-proof packaging. But Hardman and Condor decided to go ahead with the scheme in order to collect a payout from Smith's Food and Drug store in a local Utah mall. more >>
"Limbless evangelist" Nick Vujicic will kick off his national anti-bullying and suicide prevention campaign this week with junior high, middle school and high school students in Utah. Vujicic, who recently welcomed his first child, will also share a faith-oriented message during three special events facilitated by Standing Together and a coalition of 66 local evangelical churches.
"I was delighted when you and Pastor Greg Johnson (founder and president of Standing Together) met with me to discuss the tragedies of teen suicide and bullying," Gov. Gary R. Herbert said to the evangelist in a letter shared with The Christian Post. "Nick, we believe in you and your desire to inspire America's youth to recognize their inherent value and worth. You speak uniquely and candidly to the issue of bullying with incredible conviction through your own personal experiences."
Vujicic, a motivational speaker who has taken his message of faith and hope to audiences around the world, was born without arms or legs and knows firsthand the kinds of horrors children face as victims of bullying. more >>
Jon Huntsman, former governor of Utah who unsuccessfully ran as a moderate Republican for the GOP presidential nomination in 2012, has recently spoken out in favor of same-sex marriage, arguing that conservatives must support same-sex marriage because it is "the right thing to do," and also because it will help them stay relevant in the political arena.
"The marketplace of ideas will render us irrelevant, and soon, if we are not honest about our time and place in history," Huntsman, a mormon, wrote in an op-ed in The American Conservative on Thursday.
"Conservatives should start to lead again and push their states to join the nine others that allow all their citizens to marry," Huntsman continued. "There is nothing conservative about denying other Americans the ability to forge that same relationship with the person they love." more >>
The Great Salt Lake Council, which is one of the largest Boy Scout councils in the U.S., overseeing several troops in four Utah counties, has recently stated that it feels the national organization should continue with its open ban on gay members and leaders for the time being, until more thought and discussion can be put into lifting the ban.
"We're the largest council in the United States and we were uninformed and totally caught off guard that national was pursuing this course," Kay Godfrey, a spokesman for the Great Salt Lake Council of Boy Scouts, told FOX 13.
"The stance of the Great Salt Lake Council as of this morning is that we oppose any change to the current membership policy without completely allowing an open forum discussion with councils across the country," Godfrey added. more >>
As the election cycle draws to an end on Tuesday, Nov. 6, the Mormon Church has said it is happy that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has not been dragged into politics too much, and that it is moving into "mainstream acceptance."
"For people like us it's been incredibly intense because of all the media interest," said Michael Otterson, the head of worldwide public affairs for the Mormon Church in an interview a day before Election Day. He added that they are "relatively pleased" that the church went through the campaign without "being dragged into the middle of politics."
In an in-depth interview with The Washington Post, Otterson said that Mormons are used to living their lives without much national attention. Romney's campaign generally avoided bringing up the candidate's Mormon faith, and although he talked about his values and personal convictions, the former Massachusetts governor rarely connected it directly to the LDS Church, where he served as a missionary. more >>