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NewsBriefs - July 13, 2007
July 9, 2007


Click For Full Size He Shall Not Be Moved

Standing in righteous defiance against the celibate-only gay clergy rule of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Rev. Bradley Schmeling of St. John's in Atlanta said July 5 that he would not step down as minister to his congregation even though his name has been removed from the denomination's clergy roster. John Ballew, the congregation's president, said nothing would change at St. John's. Schmeling is in a committed relationship with openly gay United Church of Christ minister Darin Easler.

Bill Gates Helps Out

Although early reports were dubious, they were apparently true. Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, acting through Cascade Investment LLC, is among the investors who recently rescued PlanetOut Inc. from insolvency by injecting $26.2 million into the LGBT media company that owns gay.com, The Advocate and Out.

Local Circus Clown Featured in the Advocate

Twenty-year-old Dustin Portillo from Independence, Mo., studied to be a clown for two years at Mooseburger Camp in Minnesota. Now he's on a two-year tour of "Bellobration," the 137th edition of the Greatest Show on Earth, named for clown star Bello Nock.

Check out the mini-article on Dustin in Advocate's July 17 "Cool Jobs: look, no one's knocking your 9-to-5 gig."

Ex-"Ex-Gays": "We're sorry."

On June 27, three former leaders of Exodus International apologized for the harm the group has caused to lesbians and gays. Michael Bussee, Jeremy Marks and Darlene Bogle told of their concern about what they described as "the wrenching human toll of such gay conversion efforts."

Speaking outside the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center's Village, Marks added, "We are committed Christians, but we're still gay."

According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released the same day as the press conference, fifty-six percent of Americans now believe that sexual orientation cannot be changed.



Uncovering Us

As part of its special report compilation, uncoveringamerica, CNN takes a look at the battles for LGBT rights.

You'll find video, text and slideshows in fightingforacceptance.

Soak up Some Homo History

Stonewall Day is June 28. The date marks the thirty-eighth anniversary of the series of riots that began outside the Stonewall Inn in New York City in 1969. To commemorate the day, check out The Stranger's "Homo History," a brief anthology of our queer past.

(Some mark Stonewall Day as June 27, since that was the date when everyone went out for the evening. But the riots began on June 28.)



New Jersey High School Kiss Censored

Newark, N.J., Public Schools Supt. Superintendent Marion Bolden issued an apology June 25 for having a yearbook photograph blacked out before distribution of the annual; the picture showed Andre Jackson kissing his boyfriend, David Escobales. Photos of opposite sex couples kissing were reportedly unaltered.

"It was just a picture showing my emotion, saying that I'm happy,
you know, whatever. It was to look back on as a memory. I was upset. I was hurt. I felt embarrassed and abused," said Jackson. According to Jackson, he learned of Bolden's apology through the media; it was not made to him personally.

To rectify the $20,000 mistake (230-250 yearbooks @ $85 each), the school district will offer uncensored versions of the yearbook to any East Side high School student who requests one.

UPDATE: On June 26, Supt. Bolden made an appearance at East Side High School’s graduation rehearsal. There she met Andre Jackson, and apologized for her actions in front of the graduating class.



Carlton Pearson's Gospel of Inclusion

Bishop Carlton Pearson spent years preaching fire and brimstone and warning about the damnation in store for lesbians and gays. Then one day, his best friend came out to him as a gay man.

Now Pearson tells of a Gospel of Inclusion from the dais of his New Dimensions Worship Center.

Listen to This American Life's "Heretics" for more about Bishop Pearson, or watch his story here. look for a cameo by the "one hundred percent heterosexual" Ted Haggard.



Tammy Faye is Moving to the Metro

The former wife of televangelist Jim Bakker and mother to welcoming minister Jay Bakker, Tammy Faye Messner is reportedly moving to the Kansas City metropolitan area in order to be closer to family in Wichita, Kan. Messner has terminal lung cancer, which she has ceased treating do to lack of success.

To read the June 29, 2007 NewsBriefs, go to NewsBriefs - June 29, 2007.
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