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Mourners Pay Respect to Slain LGBT Advocate Kelly Phillips While Murder Suspect Remains at Large: VIDEO

Phillips
(image facebook)

Hundreds of mourners turned out on Thursday for Kelly Phillips, a Minneapolis executive and activist who was gunned down at a gas station by a still-at-large suspect believed to be his former lover and business partner Ty Hoffman, the Star Tribune reports:

Thursday evening, the service at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Minneapolis included elected and corporate leaders, such as the chief compliance officer from Boston Scientific, where Phillips was also active in an employees’ group that promoted equality.

U.S. Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., and Richard Carlbom, chair of Minnesotans United’s campaign for gay marriage equality, delivered eulogies that spoke of Phillips’ political activism, social work and charitable contributions.

He was long an activist for the LGBT community.

KMSP adds: Ty_hoffman

Phillips and his fiancé planned to marry on Saturday. Instead, a nationwide manhunt is underway. It's been two and a half weeks since the Twin Cities businessman who co-founded Lush Food Bar was gunned down at a gas station by his former boyfriend and business partner, Ty Hoffman. During the ceremony, Thunder Bay police momentarily thought they'd be able to answer the prayers of those hoping for Hoffman's arrest; however, they later confirmed that Hoffman had not been found. Currently, there is a $25,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest and conviction. He is believed to be armed and dangerous, and anyone who sees him is urged to call 911.

Watch KSTP's report, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Conversion Therapy Survivor Alleges Sexual Abuse During Treatment

Jeff White

Jeff White of Walls, Mississippi came out to his family in 1996 while still a student at Bethel Baptist School. His family in turn went to the church to try and figure out what to do, and the church promised that they could "cure" White of his homosexuality. This cure, evidently, consisted of attempting to rape the gay out of him.

According to White, teacher Steven Barnes was his conversion therapy counselor, and his preferred method of treatment was to rape and sexually assault White "to convince him that being gay was more painful than suppressing his sexual orientation." White dealt with ten years of emotional damage and turmoil from enduring three years of brutal "therapy", but is speaking up now in response to the National Center for Lesbian Rights' #BornPerfect campaign and its attempt to end conversion therapy in the next five years. Said White,

After growing older and witnessing so many who are still harmed by the church and by efforts to correct homosexuality through traumatic and damaging tactics like the ones used against me, I finally realized that it is my duty to stand up against those who have harmed me. By speaking out against the wrongdoings that were committed within the walls of Bethel Baptist School, I hope to shed light on the darkness that is so easily hidden within the church, and to help ensure that no one else suffers the pain that I had to endure.

BornperfectNCLR helped White file a complaint with the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Department against Bethel Baptist School. White is now the executive director of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Rainbow Center, the first LGBT center in the state. Barnes is now the Assistant Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Walls, MS.

In June, NCLR launched the #BornPerfect campaign to protect LGBT kids from the harms caused by attempts to change their sexual orientation or gender identity.


Police Continue Search For Ex-Boyfriend In Brutal Murder Of Gay Minneapolis Man: VIDEO

  Ramsey

Minnesota Police have released more photos of the man wanted in the murder earlier this month of his ex-boyfriend and former business associate. Lyle "Ty" Hoffman is the prime suspect in the killing of Kelly Phillips (right), an LGBT Minnesota activist and executive. 

Kelly-phillips-from-facebookSee the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website for more information and new photos of Hoffman.

Meanwhile, thanks to many of Phillips' friends, the reward money offered by Crime Stoppers of Minnesota has increased to $10,000.

One of those friends has pleaded for help in locating Hoffman:

“The appeal I would make would be to the broader public. People don’t disappear in thin air, this execution happened at 8:40 in the morning along a busy interstate at a busy location. The car has been recovered, somebody knows something,” Tober said. “Our appeal is for people to be active, to be aware and to help.”

Hoffman's sister has also asked for her brother to turn himself into police custody. Her message to him via an interview with FOX-9: "Turn yourself in. I can't imagine what Kelly's parents are going through -- family, friends. Please come forward. We're here to support you through it. We love you. We're family."

According to the Star Tribune, Hoffman may be using apps to hide out.

"...he may be relying on social media to find shelter while on the run. The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office released a 'wanted' poster Thursday that says 44-year-old Lyle 'Ty' Hoffman could be evading capture by using Craigslist and dating apps such as Grindr and Scruff."

If you have any information about Hoffman's whereabouts, call 911 or Crime Stoppers of Minnesota's toll free number at 1 (800) 222-8477.

Watch a WCCO interview with Phillips' friends, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Seattle Man Confesses to Gay Couple's Murder As 'Vengeance' for U.S. Military Role in Middle East

Ali Muhammad Brown, who was arrested last month for the murders of two gay men in Seattle on June 1, has confessed - saying that he committed the murders as an act of revenge against U.S. military involvement in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. 

Brown also confessed to two other separate murders, according to the King County Porosecutor's Office.

BrownThe Los Angeles Times reports:

"My mission is my mission between me and my lord. That's it," Brown said during a jailhouse interview in New Jersey, according to the court filings. "My mission is vengeance, for the lives, millions of lives are lost every day."

"All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government," Brown continued. "So a life for a life."

Police believe Brown used Grindr to lure Dwone Anderson-Young and Ahmed Said to a Seattle nightclub before shooting them both at close range.

Brown is currently in custody in New Jersey. Law enforcement officials have said he could face the death penalty for the killings.


Los Angeles Couple Arrested For Torturing, Murdering 'Gay Acting' Eight-Year-Old Son - VIDEO

Gabriel fernandez

Gabriel Fernandez, an eight-year-old from Antelope Valley, Los Angeles, was allegedly murdered by his mother and her boyfriend for ‘acting gay,’ reports the LA Times.

Gabriel, who died in May 2013, was allegedly beaten, doused with pepper spray, forced to eat his own vomit and locked in a cabinet with a sock in his mouth to muffle his screams.

FernandezGabriel’s mother, Pearl Fernandez, and her boyfriend, Isauro Aguirre, both of whom pleaded not guilty, are in jail awaiting trial on charges of capital murder and a special circumstance of torture.

Deputy District Attorney Jonathan Hatami said that Gabriel “was abused, beaten and tortured more severely than many prisoners of war” for eight months.

Two of the boy’s siblings confirmed that Gabriel was forced to eat cat feces, rotten spinach and vomit; that he slept in a locked cabinet and wasn't let out to go to the bathroom; and that Fernandez and Aguirre called him gay, punished him when he played with dolls and forced him to wear girls' clothes to school.

According to testimony, Pearl Fernandez once jabbed Gabriel in the mouth with a bat and knocked out several teeth.

One of Gabriel’s siblings said that on the day of the fatal beating, Fernandez began hitting her son because he didn't want to pick up his toys. She then dragged him into a bedroom, where Aguirre joined her, and the siblings heard screaming, banging and then silence.

James Kemp Ribe of the L.A. County coroner's office told the grand jury that Gabriel died as a result of blunt-force trauma and child neglect.  He added, "I have never seen this many skin injuries on one child.”

Gabriel's mother called 911 on May 22nd, 2013. She told sheriff's deputies that Gabriel had fallen and hit his head on a dresser. Paramedics found Gabriel naked in a bedroom, not breathing, with a cracked skull, three broken ribs and BB pellets embedded in his lung and groin. He died two days later.

The incident has prompted calls for reforms to the Los Angeles County foster-care system because child welfare workers failed to remove Fernandez from his home. Moves have since been taken to fire two social workers and two supervisors, while others involved in the case have received letters of warning or reprimand.

Watch a CBS report, AFTER THE JUMP...

[Photo via KTLA]

Continue reading "Los Angeles Couple Arrested For Torturing, Murdering 'Gay Acting' Eight-Year-Old Son - VIDEO" »


Texas Governor Rick Perry Indicted On Felony Charges of Coercion and Abuse of Official Capacity

Perry

In a move that might complicate Rick Perry's 2016 presidential ambitions, a grand jury in Texas has just indicted the long-time governor on two charges related to his effort last year to force District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunken driving arrest. 

LehmbergLehmberg [pictured], the first woman and first openly gay District Attorney in Travis County, runs the state’s Public Integrity Unit (PIU) which is charged with investigating wrongdoing by state officials. After her arrest and guilty plea for a drunk driving incident in April 2013, Perry called on her to resign and threatened to withhold $7.2 million in state money from the PIU if she refused.

Lehmberg refused and Perry carried through with his veto threat. The two felony charges, abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official, stem from this.

The AP reports:

Several top aides to the Republican governor appeared before grand jurors in Austin, including his deputy chief of staff, legislative director and general counsel. Perry himself did not testify, though.

Grand jurors indicted Perry on abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony with potential punishments of five to 99 years in prison, and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony that carries a punishment of two to 10 years. [...]

"I took into account the fact that we're talking about a governor of a state — and a governor of the state of Texas, which we all love," said Michael McCrum, the San Antonio-based special prosecutor. "Obviously that carries a lot of importance. But when it gets down to it, the law is the law."

The Austin-American Statesman continues:

Lehmberg supporters said Perry’s actions constituted political retribution; Many Republicans have said the Public Integrity Unit has unfairly targeted their party for prosecutions. The Travis County District Attorney’s office has for decades been led by Democrats, including Lehmberg.

As head of the PIU, Lehmberg was credited in 2010 with convicting U.S. House Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay for money laundering. Had Lehmberg resigned after her arrest and conviction, Perry would have been able to name her replacement, likely a Republican.   

Austin's KXAN adds that an indictment indicates the grand jury believes the state has a strong enough case to send to trial and is not an admission of guilt. McCrum told reporters he plans to meet with Perry's attorneys on Monday.


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