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POSTED October 8, 2013 9:36 p.m.

 

MORMONS PUSHING CHURCH STANCE ON HOMOSEXUALITY: SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Wendy and Tom Montgomery went door-to-door in their California neighborhood in 2008 campaigning for the passage of an anti-gay marriage proposition. They were among thousands of faithful Mormons following the direction of a church that spent millions on the cause.

Then they learned last year that their 15-year-old son is gay — a revelation that rocked their belief system.

Now, Wendy Montgomery is leading a growing movement among Mormons to push The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to teach that homosexuality isn't a sin.

They are hopeful. The Utah-based church's stance on homosexuality has softened considerably since it was one of the leading forces behind California's Proposition 8. A new website launched this year encourages more compassion toward gays, implores them to stay in the faith and clarifies that church leaders no longer "necessarily advise" gays to marry people of the opposite sex in what used to be a widely practiced Mormon workaround for homosexuality. In May, church leaders backed the Boy Scouts' policy allowing gays in the ranks. Some gay Mormons who left or were forced out of the church say they are now being welcomed back — even though they remain in same-sex relationships.

It may seem like negligible progress to outsiders, but Mormon scholars say 2013 has been a landmark year for the religion on gay and lesbian issues.

SUPERMAN LICENSE PLATES AVAILABLE FOR OHIO DRIVERS: CLEVELAND (AP) — Ohio fans of the Man of Steel now officially can have the Superman logo on their wheels.

A license plate with the iconic "S'' insignia and the phrase "Truth, Justice and the American Way" went on sale Monday. Relatives of Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster were on hand for the plate's unveiling outside the Cleveland-area home where Siegel lived, The Plain Dealer reported.

The plates cost $20, plus the standard registration fee of $34.50 or the typical $16.25 in fees to replace existing plates. Part of the fee goes to the Siegel and Shuster Society, which commemorates the men's work.

COUPLE TOGETHER FOR 63 YEARS DIES TOGETHER: SPANISH FORK, Utah (AP) — A Utah couple who lived 63 years together died within hours of each other last week.

The Deseret News reports that Jerry and Edith Dunn of Spanish Fork were born in 1931 and since high school rarely spent any time apart.

Jerry Dunn died in his sleep early Thursday. Edith Dunn took her last breath hours later.

They were buried in a simple graveside ceremony Friday. Jerry Dunn, a member of the American Legion, was given full military honors. The retired U.S. Postal Service mail carrier was a Korea and Vietnam war veteran.

NJ GOV. CHRISTIE: 2016 WHITE HOUSE BID POSSIBLE: TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie refused to rule out a 2016 presidential run Tuesday night during the first debate in his gubernatorial re-election campaign.

The Republican governor said he could "walk and chew gum at the same time," balancing the demands of a second term and his political future.

"I am not going to declare tonight ... that I am or I'm not running for president," Christie said and later added, "I won't make those decisions until I have to."

The comments underscored the broader stakes for the outspoken governor during an event that could be a tuneup for a prospective presidential campaign. Should he run, Christie would begin campaigning in the midst of his second term as governor.

In the first three years of his first term, Christie's national profile has grown substantially — he was the straight-talking face of the state's response to Superstorm Sandy and has sought high-profile roles including keynote speaker at last year's Republican National Convention.

ELECTRICAL ISSUES STALL NSA DATA WAREHOUSE OPENING: SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Electrical problems have stalled the planned opening this fall of the nation's new $1.7 billion epicenter for fighting global cyber threats — a Utah data center filled with super-powered computers designed to store massive amounts of classified information.

The Army Corps of Engineers discovered the problems during tests ahead of the scheduled Oct. 1 opening of the center south of Salt Lake City, on a National Guard base, Corps spokeswoman Diedra Cordell said in an emailed statement.

The facility will be the National Security Agency's largest data storage center in the U.S., constantly using 65 megawatts of electricity — enough to power 33,000 houses. But what exactly will be happening there remains shrouded in mystery. There is no visible marker bearing the facility's name and operator, and the NSA has been tight-lipped about what they'll be doing there.

NY COURT WEIGHS 'TOO INTOXICATED' MURDER DEFENSE: ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Three people convicted of murder in deadly crashes urged New York's highest court Tuesday to throw out their convictions, arguing they were too intoxicated to know the threat they posed to others.

The murder convictions of Martin Heidgen, Taliyah Taylor and Franklin McPherson all hinge on the prosecution's contention they acted with "depraved indifference to human life" in fatal crashes that share a number of common threads: driving too fast in the wrong lane while under the influence.

Defense attorneys argued prosecutors failed to prove their clients acted with depraved indifference and, in fact, their clients were too impaired to know what they were doing.

Heidgen's attorney, Jillian Harrington, said her client had gotten lost when he drove his pickup the wrong way on Long Island's Meadowbrook State Parkway in 2005 and hit a limousine, killing the driver, Stanley Rabinowitz, and 7-year-old passenger Katie Flynn and injuring five others.

Heidgen had a blood alcohol content of 0.28 percent, police said. Now 32, he's serving 19 years to life in prison.

 

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