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May 30, 2015

Mormon leader L. Tom Perry dies at 92, opposed same-sex marriage

Tom Perry was senior member in Mormon church

Mormon leader L. Tom Perry, the oldest member of the faith's highest governing body and who spoke against same-sex marriage, died from cancer on Saturday at age 92, the church said.

Perry, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, died at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statement.

Perry was present when Utah lawmakers and Mormon leaders introduced a landmark bill in March barring discrimination against gays and transgender people while protecting the rights of religious groups and individuals.

But he drew criticism from gay rights advocates in April when he told a church gathering in Salt Lake City that he opposed "counterfeit and alternative lifestyles."

Perry, a former businessman, was also among four Mormon leaders who met President Barack Obama during a trip to Utah in April.

Perry had served on the quorum since 1974. The quorum is a governing body of the church that is modeled after Jesus Christ’s apostles and serves under the church president and his two counselors.

His first wife, Virginia Lee, died in 1974, and the couple had two daughters and a son. Perry is survived by his wife, Barbara Taylor Dayton, whom he married in 1976.