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

Connell O'Donovan talks with Preston Hilburn before a press conference to announce a new bill called Prohibition of the Practice of Conversion Therapy Upon Minors at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019.

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.

The Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, has previously said that about 85% of the comments supported the rule. But the agency 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.