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Hate Crimes & News & Views from Around the World

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  • umcornet
    Divine Right From the belly of the southern conservative beast, a small group of Christians set out to change the way the pious think about politics. By
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 29, 2003
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      Divine Right

      From the belly of the southern conservative beast, a small group of
      Christians set out to change the way the pious think about politics.

      By Francis Wilkinson

      MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- For the first time since black ministers and some
      of their white brethren marched arm in arm in the civil-rights era, a
      group of Christians in the South are championing social and economic
      justice for the dispossessed as a matter of spiritual imperative.

      Susan Pace Hamill is an unlikely redeemer. Since 1994, Hamill has
      lived with her husband and two children in Tuscaloosa, where they
      moved after she left a job at the IRS in Washington. A former
      corporate lawyer, she was an inveterate careerist who spent years
      fussing over her tenure file at the University of Alabama.

      Hamill entered Beeson as a mainstream Methodist and a social,
      political and religious moderate. Why she chose to spend her law-
      school sabbatical at a conservative evangelical seminary is a bit of
      a mystery to everyone involved. "You're trying to get to the core
      psychology of why I did this and I don't think I can answer that very
      well," Hamill says. "I'm probably the strangest student they've ever
      had." <MORE>

      Thursday, August 28, 2003
      Arson damages gay cleric's church
      By Elizabeth Fong

      Honolulu fire investigators said a fire yesterday morning at a Makiki
      church headed by an openly gay pastor was intentionally set, which
      several civil rights groups called a hate crime.

      Neither local nor federal law enforcement officials would say whether
      they considered the fire a hate crime, a federal offense encompassing
      violent acts motivated by bias against a victim's perceived race,
      religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation or disability. <MORE>

      Thursday, August 28, 2003
      City, ATF probing church fire
      By Curtis Lum, Honolulu Advertiser Staff Writer

      A fire that heavily damaged a portion of the First Christian Church
      yesterday in Makiki is being investigated as a possible hate crime.

      The church's openly gay pastor — who says the fire will not make
      him back down — recently challenged the city--sponsored Family

      He acknowledges being a controversial figure because he welcomes gays
      to his Protestant church. "There might be people that disagree with
      my views and my ideas, but I don't consider that to be justification
      for burning a church," he said. <MORE>

      Thursday, August 28, 2003
      Homophobia Suspected In Church Fire
      by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

      (Honolulu, Hawaii) The FBI has entered the investigation into an
      arson fire at a gay--welcoming church in Makiki. The blaze at the
      First Christian Church this week could be linked to the church's
      opposition to last month's Family Day (story --
      http://www.365gay.com/NewsContent/070603hawaiiParade.htm ) which
      excluded gays fire department officials say. <MORE>

      Thursday, August 28, 2003
      Poland proposes civil union legislation
      A Polish senator has suggested a civil union bill in the country,
      which it is hoped will help grant same sex couples similar rights as
      marriage. <MORE>

      Thursday, August 28, 2003
      Respected gay pastor sees change
      By SANDY STUART , Staff Writer Observer--Tribune

      MENDHAM -- It's a high honor to be nominated as a candidate for
      bishop of the Episcopal Church, but it was a challenge the Rev. Fred
      Baldwin wasn't ready to take on when his name was submitted two years
      ago for a post in the diocese of Southeast Florida.

      The reason? The longtime rector of St. Bernard's Episcopal Church in
      Bernardsville didn't want to become embroiled in a national
      controversy over the possibility of becoming the church's first
      openly gay bishop.<MORE>

      Wednesday, August 27, 2003
      D.C. Man Charged With Murder in Transgender Death
      Police Say SE Slaying Followed Quarrel
      By David A. Fahrenthold
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Page B02

      A 22-year-old man was charged with murder yesterday in the killing of
      a transgender person in Southeast Washington last week, D.C. police

      Antwan D. Lewis is accused of shooting Aaryn Marshall and dumping the
      body in a grassy area off Second Street SE. Police said that they
      believe Lewis picked Marshall up in his car and that the shooting
      followed an argument.

      Marshall, 25, who friends said went by the name Emonie Kiera
      Spaulding, was found dead after 2 a.m. Aug. 20, marking the third
      time in a week that a transgender person was shot in the city. <MORE>


      Wednesday, August 27, 2003
      A Safe Haven Finds Itself Under Siege
      New York Times

      I WAS always different," Dino Portalatin said. "A few years
      ago, when I was 15, I went back to visit my old elementary
      school, P.S. 169. They're like, 'Did you come out yet?' I
      said, 'You knew then?' They said, 'Oh yeah.'"
      The majority of students at Harvey Milk are poor, 10
      percent are in foster care, 75 percent are black or Latino.
      And yet in filing suit last week to block financing for the
      school, State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr., Democrat of the
      Bronx, complained that resources were being diverted from
      poor black and Hispanic children. Others, including The New
      York Times's editorial page, praised Harvey Milk as
      well--intentioned but argued that the answer was not a
      segregated school, but to make all schools safe for gays. <MORE>
      Tuesday, August 26, 2003
      Killer Confesses He Hates Gays, Prosecutor Refuses Hate-Crime Charge
      by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

      (Hardinsburg, Kentucky) A Kentucky man charged in the killing of a
      gay acquaintance confessed to his relatives that he murdered the
      victim because he hates homosexuals, but the prosecutor in the case
      a hate-crime charge is not necessary.

      Josh Cottrell is accused of strangling Guinn "Richie" Phillips with a
      belt and then stuffing Phillips' body in a suitcase. The suitcase
      with Phillips' body in it was later found floating in Rough River
      lake. <MORE>

      Monday, August 25, 2003
      Some local clergy performing, honoring same--sex unions
      Staff Writer, The Tennessean

      Some ministers feel it's their duty to officiate at such ceremonies.

      And while some denominations officially frown on the practice,
      ministers covertly do it anyway, said the Rev. Joretta Marshall, dean
      of pastoral theology at Eden Theological Seminary in Denver.

      "There are a whole lot of us that do them without the blessing of the
      church," said Marshall, a United Methodist minister and a Vanderbilt
      University graduate. "I do holy unions, only I don't say I do holy
      unions. However, I say I participate in honoring relationships
      between gay and lesbian folks."

      Mark Jordan, a religion professor at Atlanta's Emory University who
      is working on a book about blessings of same--sex relationships, said
      that when a gay couple goes to their religious leader, it is often
      after a long period of reflection about what their relationship
      means. <MORE>
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