Showing posts with label Utah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Utah. Show all posts

September 2, 2017

Nurse Arrested for Refusing to Draw Blood from Unconscious Patient in Utah

 Salt Lake City police have apologized after an officer handcuffed a hospital nurse who refused to draw blood from an unconscious patient. 
 Police spokeswoman Christina Judd said the agency initiated an internal investigation within hours of the 26 July encounter between Detective Jeff Payne and the University of Utah Hospital burn unit nurse Alex Wubbels that was caught on the officer’s body camera.
Payne is suspended from blood-draw duties but remains in his role as a detective in the investigations unit. 
Judd said the assistant police chief had apologized to the hospital and that the department was alarmed by the video. The department was working to investigate what went wrong and seeking to repair an “unfortunate rift”, Judd said. 
Wubbels showed videos of her arrest at the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City to a news conference on Thursday. Her first duty was to her patients, she said.
The footage shows Wubbels dressed in blue medical scrubs and consulting colleagues for several minutes before presenting waiting officers with a printout of the hospital’s policy on sharing blood samples to test for alcohol or drugs.
She tells the officers that under the policy, which she says was agreed with the Salt Lake City police department, she would need a warrant or the patient’s consent, or the patient would need to be under arrest.
“I’m just trying to do what I’m supposed to do, that’s all,” Wubbels says, noting that the officers are meeting none of the criteria. A hospital supervisor, speaking through Wubbels’ cellphone, tells the officers they are “making a huge mistake” in threatening a nurse.
Payne becomes angered and grabs at Wubbels.
“We’re done,” he says. “You’re under arrest.“
He then drags Wubbels outside as she screams.
“Somebody helps me!” she says as Payne handcuffs her hands behind her. “You’re assaulting me! Stop! I’ve done nothing wrong.”
The patient was a truck driver who arrived at the hospital comatose after being badly burned in a crash with a vehicle driven by someone fleeing police, the Deseret News reported.
Karra Porter, Wubbels’ lawyer, said the nurse followed the law and the police were wrong. 
The University of Utah issued a statement saying it supported Wubbels “and her decision to focus first and foremost on the care and well-being of her patient”. The hospital said it had created a new policy with police that would preclude officers from arriving at patient care units in person for blood.
Judd, the police spokeswoman, said: “We want to know where something went wrong, what we didn’t know, and why we didn’t know it.”
The agency has met with hospital administration to ensure it does not happen again and to repair their relationship, Judd said, adding: “There’s a strong bond between fire, police, and nurses because they all work together to help save lives, and this caused an unfortunate rift that we are hoping to repair immediately.”
Porter said Payne left Wubbels in a hot police car for 20 minutes before realizing that blood had already been drawn as part of treatment. Wubbels was not booked or charged. 
“This has upended her worldview in a way,” Porter said. “She just couldn’t believe this could happen.”

May 27, 2016

Dad Gets Attacked for Taking 5 Yr.Old to Bathroom

Christopher Adams with his 5-year-old daughter, Emery, and 7-year-old son, Kyler. KSL

A Utah father taking his young children to the bathroom at a Wal-Mart ended in violence after he was punched in the face by another customer allegedly over taking his 5-year-old daughter with him to the men's room. 

Christopher Adams was on a family trip to buy blinds and storage bins at a Wal-Mart in the city of Clinton over the weekend when his two children, 7-year-old Kyler and 5-year-old Emery, had to use the restroom, he told NBC affiliate KSL. 

Christopher Adams with his 5-year-old daughter, Emery, and 7-year-old son, Kyler. KSL
Adams said he took his son and daughter with him into the men's restroom when a confrontation ensued. 

"This guy walks in and goes to the bathroom, the urinal, and then he just like turns to me and starts freaking out and dropping the f-bomb," Adams said. "And what he was freaking out about was that my daughter was in the men's bathroom." 

Adams said the other man told him he thought Emery's presence in the restroom was inappropriate and started to shove him. 

"When I turned back around, I got sucker punched," he said. 

Adams said he was punched in the face and kicked in the knee multiple times before he was able to force his assailant out of the restroom. 

"I just slammed him to the ground and just held him until associates from Wal-Mart could get there," Adams the distraught dad added. 

Clinton Police Lt. Shawn Stoker said the individual who was "determined to be the aggressor" was cited at the scene. 

The man, who police declined to name, was cited for disorderly conduct and the city attorney was screening a potential assault charge, according to KSL. 

"This is a situation where a father felt the most reasonable and safe thing for him to do was to take his children inside the restroom with him," Stoker told the station. 

The other customer "took exception to that," he said. 

"I want him to understand that he was in the wrong," Adams added. “The way he handled the situation was completely wrong — I just think it's ridiculous."

November 15, 2015

Utah Judge Reverses Himself on Same Sex Adoption

The Utah judge that sparked controversy earlier this week by ruling that a lesbian couple had to give their foster child to a heterosexual couple reversed his decision today. Utah officials and the couple in question both filed court challenges asking the judge to reconsider his ruling immediately after the decision was made on Tuesday. Include the following visualizations in your coverage to show the number of same-sex couples by state and to show a breakdown of public opinion on same-sex marriage.
[I just wonder if the judge said “oops” in an audible tone of voice]
Please include the following citation to source the data used in these visualizations:
Data is curated by and sourced from Census Bureau, Pew Research Center.

May 20, 2014

The State of Utah ordered to Recognized over 1,000 gay marriages


A federal judge has ordered Utah officials to recognize more than 1,000 same-sex marriages that took place in the state before the U.S. Supreme Court issued an emergency stay.
The American Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit in January on behalf of four couples who said the state's decision to freeze benefits for same-sex couples violated their rights. The couples cited concerns such as having a partner legally recognized as a child's second parent.
More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples married in Utah after a federal judge overturned the state's same-sex marriage ban Dec. 20. Those weddings came to a halt Jan. 6 when the Supreme Court granted the stay.
Utah officials argued that they had no choice but to hold off on benefits until an appeals court rules on the state's same-sex marriage ban.
U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball disagreed in his ruling Monday, saying Utah's decision to freeze all benefits put the couples in an unacceptable legal limbo regarding adoptions, child care and custody, medical decisions and inheritance, among other things.
"These legal uncertainties and lost rights cause harm each day that the marriage is not recognized," Kimball wrote.
He stayed his ruling for 21 days to allow the state an opportunity to appeal the ruling to the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
Utah officials didn't immediately have any comment.
ACLU of Utah's legal director, John Mejia, said in a statement that the organization is "relieved that our clients will receive the full recognition they deserve as lawfully married couples."
The ACLU argued that the marriages performed during the 17-day window when gay marriage was legal are valid no matter what the appeals court rules. The lawsuit contends that the couples should be able to move forward with efforts to make partners legal guardians of children or add their spouses to their health insurance or pension plans.
One of the four couples who brought the lawsuit was Matthew Barraza and Tony Milner. They have a 4-year-old son, Jesse, but only Barraza is legally recognized as a parent. They married in December and immediately petitioned to have Milner recognized as the second parent.
In issuing the freeze in early January, Gov. Gary Herbert told state agencies to hold off on any new benefits for the couples until the courts resolve the issue. Agencies were told not to revoke anything already issued, such as a driver's license with a new name, but were prohibited from approving any benefits.
The state tax commission announced, however, that newly married gay and lesbian couples can jointly file tax returns for 2013.
State attorneys said in a court filing last month that moving forward with adoption requests and other benefits would be the equivalent of "a decision before a decision before a decision on finality."
The state has made clear it was not ordering agencies to void the marriages, saying instead that validity of the marriages will ultimately be decided by the 10th Circuit, which is weighing the state's appeal.
That court heard arguments in Utah's case in early April, and a ruling is expected soon.

January 5, 2014

Utah Gays’ Way of Life is been with Hostility and Acceptance

Jon Jensen (left) and his partner, Jared Reesor, walk away hand-in-hand from the Ogden clerk and auditor’s office after it canceled a special Saturday opening to issue marriage licenses in Ogden, Utah. A day earlier, a federal judge struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution.
Jon Jensen (left) and his partner, Jared Reesor, walk away hand-in-hand from the Ogden clerk and auditor’s office after it canceled a special Saturday opening to issue marriage licenses in Ogden, Utah. A day earlier, a federal judge struck down Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah has long been known as a bastion of red-state conservatism with deep roots in the Mormon faith. It’s the kind of place that historically has been unwelcoming to gay marriage.
The state is the world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which championed California’s gay marriage ban that eventually was tossed out in court. The church looms over almost every aspect of life in Utah, where an estimated two-thirds of residents are Mormon.
But, like the rest of America, how gays are received depends on where they live. Some gay couples describe feeling hostility in conservative, heavily Mormon cities such as Provo. The suburban areas that surround Salt Lake City are a mishmash of family-friendly communities across the political spectrum.
And Salt Lake City is more open to gays than many people outside the state realize.
The city is home to gay bars and coffee shops and a pride parade that attracts 25,000 people. There’s a bus that takes gay men and women to Nevada to party. Salt Lake also is the city where hundreds of gay couples rushed to the county clerk’s office to obtain marriage licenses and get married in the lobby of a government building, after a judge overturned the state’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage
As they wait for the courts to sort out the legal challenges to the Dec. 20 ruling, three gay couples describe differing experiences in Utah:
same everywhere
Cheryl Haws and Shelly Eyre have been lesbian partners for eight years in Provo, about 45 miles southeast of Salt Lake City and arguably the most conservative city in Utah.
They have been the target of outright hostility and insults. Eyre left the Mormon church years ago; Haws was excommunicated, they said.
A Mormon church leader once told Eyre, “‘I would rather see you dead than commit this sin,”’ Eyre said in what she described as one of her most painful experiences of being gay in Utah.
Provo is in Utah County and home to Brigham Young University, the flagship school for the Mormon faith where students are prohibited from having premarital sex and drinking alcoholic beverages. The county is overwhelmingly Republican; President Barack Obama received less than 10 percent of the vote there in 2012.
The couple initially was turned down for a marriage license by Utah County, which only reluctantly started granting them days after a federal judge struck down the state’s ban. The couple got a license Thursday.
Haws and Eyre are licensed clinical social workers with a private counseling practice in Utah County. A few patients abandoned them after their effort to get a marriage license made their relationship widely known.
“I’ve never been unfriended by so many people on Facebook,” Eyre said.
Eyre said she moved from more gay-friendly Salt Lake City to Provo eight years ago to live with Haws, a mother of seven children from a previous marriage who wanted to stay close to her family. Haws still was caring for two of the children, who are now off to college.
When Haws’ oldest son died in a car accident in 2006, Eyre found her name disappeared from a published obituary as the mother’s partner.
But Eyre said the couple has a circle of supporters, including traditional couples who have been “good, kind and generous — people who have protected us.” Some of her neighbors help out mowing their lawn or shoveling snow.
“We’re not trying to judge others who judge us,” Eyre said. “The folks who said they’d rather see us dead — in their mind that was all the love they could muster.”
The struggle in Utah is the same everywhere, Eyre said.
“Just being gay or lesbian and not having support or being afraid your family is going to kick you out or will not speak to you — Catholics and Baptists can be the same way in other states,” she said.
changing attitude
Jon Jensen has been with his partner more than six years, but it wasn’t until last week that the couple finally was able to become husband and husband.
It was a huge moment in their lives, but also, Jensen thinks, a reflection on changing attitudes in the state and more specifically, a backlash against the Mormon church over decades of repression.
Jensen and his husband, Jared Reesor, are more fortunate than others around Utah given they live in Salt Lake City, the state’s liberal hub, despite the presence of the church’s gleaming headquarters in the middle of downtown.
In fact, Jensen said, the church has had such a polarizing effect on Salt Lake City’s younger population that he thinks people in the capital are more open to gay people.
“It makes people stand up more for what they believe in,” he said.
With clubs and bars, coffee houses and tattoo parlors, Salt Lake City has become a bustling center for the younger, hipper crowd that doesn’t live up to Utah’s generally buttoned-up, clean-cut image. That’s why Jensen and Reesor, 36, a residential contractor, have chosen to live here after being raised Mormon in surrounding counties where acceptance wasn’t so easy to come by.
“People don’t even question that you’re a gay couple. In Utah County, we’d have to explain who we are,” said the 35-year-old software developer. “People here, they don’t even care. They don’t even bat an eye when you introduce your husband or partner.”
Jensen said the changing attitude toward gays in the city is prevalent in the number of outspoken critics he has counted during protests at the annual pride festival.
“It’s so reduced at this point it’s barely noticeable,” he said.
Jensen recalls his youth in Utah with hesitation and a bit of remorse, a legacy of his Mormon upbringing that stifled his individuality.
“As a young kid, I remember lying on my bed ... feeling so guilty I wanted to die. I always felt like I just didn’t belong,” he said.
Jensen left the church about 10 years ago while still hiding his sexuality, unable to come to terms with who he was and feeling unwelcomed by those around him. And now, living in Salt Lake City — without the guilt, without the judging eyes of others — Jensen and his husband are finally feeling free and rewarded for having waited.
They talked about going elsewhere for their nuptials, maybe Hawaii, “but we wanted to be married in our home state. We just never expected it to happen so soon.”
having family helps
Greg Jaboin is raising two teenage children with his partner in Salt Lake City. He grew up in the Boston suburbs, came out after college and moved to Utah in 2005 after meeting partner Steve Kachocki during a work training trip.
He said Utah is a huge shift from Massachusetts, the first state to legalize same-sex marriage in 2003. Jaboin, who is black, said people stare more often because of his skin color than because they notice he’s gay. Utah is more than 90 percent white.
“They can’t get past race to get to sexuality until they see Steve,” he said, referring to his white husband.
Steve’s former wife lives on the same street, four houses away with her new husband.
Their two children walk back and forth between the two homes, he said.
“For the most part, I’ve had a pretty decent time here being gay,” Jaboin said. “However, when work and gayness collide that’s when things change.”
Jaboin, 35, works in banking, and while there’s a relatively diverse workforce and accepting corporate policy, he said he still notices what he calls “passive disapproval” from some Mormon co-workers, such as a normally chatty co-worker turning silent after he brought up Monday that he’d just gotten married.
Jaboin said having a family helps him gain acceptance in Utah. People become more comfortable with them because their life is similar to that of heterosexual couples, “the children, the mortgage, the two cars, the school, the soccer on Saturdays, that kind of thing,” he said.
He said that he thinks full acceptance will come within his lifetime.
“The change will come more fully to Utah in the next 10 years,” he said. “Right now, they are a little bit shellshocked.”

December 7, 2013

Federal Judge to Decide on Utah’s on Gay Rights Ban

 A federal judge says he'll do his best to rule by early next year on a legal challenge to a same-sex marriage ban in Utah, after an attorney called for an end to the prohibition by arguing that the precedent has been set by the U.S. Supreme Court and discrimination has gone on long enough.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby heard arguments from both sides Wednesday as he weighed what will be a precedent-setting decision on Utah's 2004 voter-passed law.
About 100 people packed the courtroom in the city that is home to the Mormon Church, known for its efforts in helping California pass its anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment.
Lawyer Peggy Tomsic contended marriage is a fundamental right. "This is the time and this is the place for this court to make it clear that the 14th Amendment is alive and well, even in Utah," Tomsic said.
Attorneys for the state countered it's not the courts' role to determine how a state defines marriage, and said the high court ruling doesn't give same-sex couples the universal right to marry.
They also reinforced the state's argument that Utah has a right to foster a culture of "responsible procreation," and the "optimal mode of child-rearing," which the state believes the law does.
"There is nothing unusual about what Utah is doing here," said Stanford Purser of the Utah Attorney General's Office, objecting to the notion that the law is rooted in bigotry or hatred. "That's the nature of legislation: You draw lines and make designations."
Though more than 40 similar court challenges to same-sex marriage bans are pending in 22 states, Utah's is among the most closely watched because of the state's history of staunch opposition to gay marriage, said Jon Davidson, director of Lambda Legal, which pursues litigation on a wide range of LGBT issues across the country.
Utah is home to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which believes homosexuality is a sin and was one of the leading forces behind California's Proposition 8. Utah was among the first states to pass an amendment banning same-sex marriage, Davidson said.
"Utah has a particularly symbolic position in the history of the struggle of same sex couples to be able to marry," Davidson said.
Shelby, who took the bench in September 2012, asked dozens of questions to both attorneys. He said afterward that he had his "hands full" with the case but vowed to do his best to make a ruling by early January.
His decision would be the first on a state same-sex marriage ban since the Supreme Court last summer struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, which stipulated that marriage was between a man and woman.
Much of the hearing focused on the state's premise that the law helps promote procreation. Shelby grilled the state's attorneys on the connection between banning same-sex marriage and the number of babies born to heterosexual couples.
"How is it by excluding same-sex couples from marrying you're increasing procreation?" the judge asked.
Purser declined to answer directly, saying the issue was irrelevant in this case. Pressed, he said nobody knows yet the effects of same-sex marriage on heterosexual marriage.
Shelby also questioned if having children is essential to a person being able to take advantage of the constitutional right to marriage, proving his point by asking the state attorneys if Utah would consider giving fertilization tests before granting marriage licenses. He also asked how allowing a heterosexual post-menopausal woman to marry was different than allowing a gay or lesbian couple to wed.
Philip Lott of the Utah Attorney General's Office said the state wouldn't give fertilization tests and said a post-menopausal woman may still raise a grandchild or niece or nephew.
Tomsic scoffed at the state's rationale of promoting procreation, saying there is no evidence to suggest banning same-sex marriage has any effect on whether men and women have children. She also took exception to the idea that same-sex couples can't provide stable, loving homes for kids. She said an estimated 3,000 Utah children are being raised by gay and lesbian parents who are suffering because of the state's law.
"These kids every day of their lives are facing a social stigma," Tomsic said. "The harm is immense in this state."
Shelby questioned why harm should be considered in his judgment, and also pointed out that Tomsic's interpretation of the 14th Amendment was overly simplistic. He noted the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage had sections that benefited both sides in the legal challenge.
The judge also asked why he should overturn what nearly two-thirds of Utah voters decided was best for the state nearly a decade ago.
Five of the six people who brought the lawsuit in March attended the hearing.
Tomsic said one of the couples was legally married in Iowa and just wants that license recognized in Utah. She said the couples work and contribute to society and deserve equal rights in the state where they live, no matter how the law came to be.
Utah's law is "based on prejudice and bias that is religiously grounded in this state," Tomsic said.
Follow Brady McCombs at

Featured Posts

Thai Cabinet Backs Allowing Same Sex Unions

                Patpicha Tanakasempipat BANGKOK (Reuters) - Thailand’s cabinet approved a civil partnership bill ...