State, National and World News


As public support for same-sex marriage gained momentum, some polygamists saw a chance to decriminalize their relationships. TV personality Kody Brown and his four wives sued Utah County, saying bigamy laws violate their right to privacy and religious freedom. They won that case in U.S. District court, but the 10th Circuit overturned the decision last week. Tuesday, we’re asking whether the recognition of gay marriage opened any doors for polygamy and what the legal future of plural marriage may be.

According to a recent poll, if the Republicans nominated Donald Trump as president, the unthinkable could happen. Utah could vote for a Democratic president for the first time in decades. So what is it about the business tycoon that rubs reliably-Republican Utahns the wrong way? Why does Bernie Sanders enjoy such popularity here? And has Mitt Romney actually stemmed Trump's tide? Monday, a panel of guests joins us to examine the state of the local electorate in the lead up to a pivotal election.

Friday, we’re live at the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics for a look at Utah’s 2016 legislative session. We’ll start with House Speaker Republican Greg Hughes and Democratic Senator Jim Dabakis for an insider’s view of the 45 days. We’ll also talk to KUER’s Brian Grimmett and the Salt Lake Tribune’s Robert Gehrke and Jennifer Dobner about what passed, what didn’t, and what made two opposing lawmakers dress in 18th century costume and attempt to bust a rhyme in floor debate.

Tuesday, we’re asking the question at the heart of a resolution proposed by Utah Senator Todd Weiler: is pornography a public health crisis? Anti-porn groups point out that we’re not talking about a Playboy centerfold. They say a simple internet search will lead you to free content that’s degrading, violent, and hijacking our sense of healthy sexuality. But others say porn is a symptom, not the cause of anxiety, depression, and shame. Doug is joined by Weiler and others to explore the arguments.

  Utah Senator Steve Urquhart says the LDS Church “effectively snuffed out” his bill to strengthen the state’s hate crime laws. Last week, the Church criticized any legislation that would upset the “careful balance” Utah achieved between LGBT rights and religious liberty with last year’s anti-discrimination law. Wednesday, Urquhart and others will join us to talk about the timing of his bill, what balance should look like it, and why proponents argue the state’s current hate crime law falls short.

  Monday, our guest is political commentator E.J. Dionne, whose new book charts the course of conservatism from the Goldwater era of the 1960s to what he calls the “Trumpification of Republican politics” today. Dionne says it’s a story of disappointment as politicians have failed to fulfill their promises and rhetoric. He joins Doug to explain how this led to a steady march rightward and why reforming the conservative movement means revisiting the choices Republicans made 50 years ago.

Medical marijuana is legal in 23 U.S. states, and Utah is now considering whether it should be an option for patients here. Two bills are working their way through the legislature. The more controversial is sponsored by Republican Senator Mark Madsen. It proposes making the whole plant - including the psychoactive chemical THC - available. Wednesday, we’re talking about the bill and the politics around it. We’ll also break down the science to analyze the benefits and risks of medical marijuana.

Last week, an advocacy group made headlines when they said there’s been a startling increase in suicides among LGBT Mormon youth. They blamed LDS Church policy which labels members in same-sex marriages as apostates. It’s hard to get a line on those statistics though, and while the anecdotal numbers are problematic, they still raise serious concerns. Tuesday, we’re asking what we know about depression and suicide in gay Mormons and whether the Church’s vocal stance contributes to that risk.

Monday, we continue our Sundance coverage with AUDRIE & DAISY. The two teen girls were raped and this documentary examines the fallout of shaming and bullying on social media that followed. Audrie was overwhelmed by what she saw as irreparable damage to her reputation and committed suicide. Daisy's story made national headlines, and her family became the target of an enraged community. Filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk join Doug to explore what they call a modern-day "Scarlet Letter."

Bundy-style Mormonism

Jan 14, 2016
Gage Skidmore, cc via Wikipedia

Thursday we’re asking if the occupation of a federal office in Oregon is a Mormon enterprise, and if so, what kind of Mormonism? The Bundy brothers leading the group are LDS, and they use Mormon theology to talk about motives and dealing with “tyranny.” The Church has condemned the tactics, and while the Bundys’ views aren’t mainstream, historian Patrick Mason says they didn’t come out of thin air. He and others join us to talk about the groups’ politics and faith in relation to Mormon orthodoxy.