Utah won’t release reaction to on ‘conversion therapy’ rule


FILE – This Oct. 4, 2019, file photo, shows the Salt Lake Temple at Temple Square in Salt Lake City. The Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints is opposing a proposed ban on conversion therapy in Utah, just months after it said it wouldn’t stand in the way of a similar rule under consideration. The church said in a statement posted Tuesday night, Oct. 15, 2019, that the regulatory rule prohibiting Utah psychologists from engaging in LBGTQ conversion therapy with minors would fail to safeguard “religious beliefs” and doesn’t account for “important realities of gender identity in the development of children.” (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A week after The Church of Jesus of Christ of Latter-day Saints came out against a ban on so-called conversion therapy in Utah, the state regulatory agency considering the proposal is refusing to release a final tally of how many of the nearly 2,500 public comments supported the rule.

Staffers have previously said that about 85% of the comments supported the rule, but would not provide updated totals on Monday. Spokeswoman Jennifer Bolton didn’t say why the agency won’t provide the breakdown in an email.

Taryn Atkin-Hiatt of the director of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Utah chapter supports the ban, and said staffers have told her support grew to 94% in the final tally.

Bolton also said the agency could make a decision as early as Tuesday or take up to about four months.

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