- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Latest on Utah reaction to the Obama administration’s recent directive that transgender students be allowed to use facilities that match their gender identity (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

The Mormon church isn’t coming out directly in support or against the Obama administration’s recent directive that transgender students be allowed to use facilities that match their gender identity.

Spokesman Eric Hawkins said Tuesday in a statement that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is instead calling on public officials to create rules and laws that balance safety, privacy and dignity for all.

Hawkins says church leaders believe reasonable solutions can be reached when “people of goodwill” work to find answers.

He says that that religion believes that gender is part of a person’s “eternal God-given identity and purpose.” Because of that, Hawkins says church leaders don’t baptize people planning transgender operations. People who choose to have the operation may risk losing their membership in the religion.

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3:02 p.m.

Utah lawmakers will study this summer how schools and transgender students will be affected by the Obama administration’s recent directive that transgender students be allowed to use facilities that match their gender identity.

Top Republicans on Tuesday originally sought to have an education committee hold a hearing looking at the impacts on schools, but after prodding from Democrats, they agreed to also have the committee look at the impact on transgender students.

Democratic Sen. Jim Dabakis of Salt Lake City says it is important that lawmakers discuss bullying faced by transgender students.

No date has been set for the hearing.

The guidance from the Obama administration is not legally binding but schools could lose federal aid if they don’t comply.

Republican Utah Gov. Gary Herbert calls it federal overreach. He says he’ll fight the order if necessary.

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