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27000 letters urge LDS leader to back rights of gay Utahns

President Thomas S. Monson: You have mail - boxes of it.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) delivered 27,000 letters to LDS Church headquarters Monday - all of them asking the Mormon leader to support legal protections for gay and transgender Utahns.

The national gay-rights group has endorsed Equality Utah's Common Ground Initiative, a collection of bills that would, among other things, provide rights to fair housing and employment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Utahns and domestic-partner benefits for same-sex couples.

The movement was born in response to statements the LDS Church made in the wake of California's Proposition 8 - which eliminated gay marriage in the Golden State - that the church "does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights or probate rights."

Monson and other LDS leaders helped to get the gay-marriage ban enacted, urging members to donate their time and money to the campaign and, later, igniting opponents' protests at LDS temples and calls for boycotts of Utah.

"The reason there's such an uproar is every LGBT person in the United States was affected by it," since Proposition 8 stripped away rights that had been granted to gay couples, said Jerry Rapier, a Salt Lake City resident and member of the HRC's board of governors.

 See 27000 letters urge LDS leader to back rights of gay Utahns
Salt Lake Tribune, United States -

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