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Reporters Excluded from Temple Square

Dan Bammes
LDS spokesperson Ruth Todd with reporters outside Temple Square, October 2013

Temple Square is typically crowded with members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other visitors during General Conference sessions twice a year.  But reporters and media cameras or recorders won’t be allowed on the square this weekend.

  Members of the church public affairs staff say they’re just reiterating a long-standing policy about media access to Temple Square, though reporters with cameras have often taken pictures and interviewed visitors on the square in past years.

Media Director Dale Jones says the attempt by the group Ordain Women to get tickets for the priesthood session of general conference turned into a media circus last October and wasn’t, as he put it, “in the spirit of Temple Square.”  The group has been asked not to come through the gates this time.

Jones says reporters or photographers who come on the square without permission will be asked to leave.

Kate Kelly, the leader of Ordain Women, says they plan to enter Temple Square tomorrow afternoon in any case, and she’s been told church security personnel won’t try to stop them.

Ordain Women is planning a training session this evening at the University of Utah for those who want to participate in tomorrow’s event.  Part of that training, she says, is in “de-escalation,” in the hope of avoiding confrontations with security staff or others who object to their views


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