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Mormon women, seeking wider role, denied entrance to all-male priesthood meeting

By Jennifer Dobner SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - A group of about 200 Mormon women who want ecclesiastical equality sought but were denied admittance to a male-only session of their faith's spring conference on Saturday, in their bid to promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood.

Mormon women, seeking wider role, denied entrance to all-male priesthood meeting

By Jennifer Dobner SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - Hundreds of Mormon women who want ecclesiastical equality were denied admittance to a male-only session of their faith's spring conference on Saturday, in their bid to promote the ordination of women into the lay priesthood.

Jailed polygamist leader Jeffs taken to Texas prison hospital

By Jom Forsyth SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - Warren Jeffs, the polygamist leader serving a life prison term for sexually assaulting two young girls at his sect's ranch in Texas, has been taken to a prison hospital, prison officials said on Monday. A spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Jeffs was transferred to the hospital in Galveston on March 11 and was in stable condition. The spokesman, Robert Hurst, said Jeffs was admitted with "a non life-threatening medical condition."

Arizona couple living near polygamous sect sues for discrimination

By Jennifer Dobner SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - An Arizona jury heard opening arguments on Wednesday that a married couple was denied municipal water services because they were not members of a polygamous church that dominates their community on the Utah-Arizona border. Ron and Jinjer Cooke filed a federal lawsuit against the twin towns of Colorado City, Arizona, and Hildale, Utah, in 2010, claiming a violation of their civil rights in a lawsuit that also named the local water district and power company.

Mormon church issues sweeping defence of Utah liquor laws ahead of legislative session

SALT LAKE CITY - The Mormon church has issued a sweeping defence of Utah's famously strict liquor laws, drawing a line against tourism, restaurant and bar industry advocates who have helped ease alcohol regulations in recent years. Ahead of the upcoming legislative session, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints posted to its website a hefty multimedia policy statement urging lawmakers to uphold rules that church leaders say are "closely tied to the moral culture of the state."

Mormon feminists don pants to promote Church equality

By Jennifer Dobner SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - Mormon feminists wore pants to church services on Sunday, rather than their usual dresses or skirts, as a symbol of gender equality and inclusiveness in the traditionalist faith. The effort was aimed at building on momentum from the inaugural "Wear Pants to Church" day a year ago and marked a break with deeply ingrained customs for women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a religion known for its patriarchal structure.

Mormon church explains defunct ban on blacks in priesthood

By Jennifer Dobner SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - Thirty-five years after lifting a ban on blacks entering the priesthood, the Mormon church has offered an explanation for a practice that was in place for more than 100 years, saying it was rooted in the racism of the times. A church-produced essay, "Race and the Priesthood," ties the ban to an 1852 speech by Brigham Young, the faith's second president, who led the church to Utah, and distances the modern Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the policy.

Mormon church set to become Florida's largest private landowner

By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - The Mormon church is poised to become the largest private landowner in Florida as a result of a deal to buy nearly 400,000 acres in the state's Panhandle region. The property is mostly timberland, and the church "intends to maintain timber and agricultural uses of the lands," according to a statement released by St. Joe Company, a Florida real estate firm.

Women seek access to traditionally male-only Mormon gathering

The group, called Ordain Women, said it expected several hundred women from around the country to gather outside the LDS Conference Center in hopes that the Mormon church will offer them any unclaimed tickets to the priesthood session.

Canadian polygamist found guilty of tax cheating

Polygamy, human trafficking and child abuse accusations never stuck, but the leader of a polygamous community in westernmost Canada has been found guilty of tax wrongdoings. In a ruling released Thursday, a Canadian tax court said Winston Blackmore, leader of a community in Bountiful, British Columbia that practices a fundamentalist form of Mormonism, underreported his income by more than Can$1.68 million ($1.6 million). In addition to back taxes, he was ordered to pay a Can$148,983 fine for gross negligence in preparing his tax returns.
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