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Dallas Methodist Pastor Commits Suicide To Make Statement About Homophobia, Racism, Social Injustice

A retired Methodist pastor committed suicide in Dallas on June 23rd to make a statement about racial injustice, homophobia and the death penalty, reports The Dallas Morning News.

Rev-charles-moore-327x388-1Reverend Charles Moore left a number of notes that cited as reasons for his suicide the Methodist Church’s refusal to marry same-sex couples, the death penalty and cuts to social programs.

Moore died in a strip-mall parking lot in Grand Saline, Texas, by self-immolation.  One suicide note suggests that the 75-year-old chose Grand Saline because he was troubled by his hometown’s history of prejudice he witnessed there as a boy.

In one of the notes, he wrote:

“I would much prefer to go on living and enjoy my beloved wife and grandchildren and others, but I have come to believe that only my self-immolation will get the attention of anybody and perhaps inspire some to higher service.”

Moore had a history of supporting equal rights. In the 1950s and 1960s he supported the civil rights movement. In 1995, he went on a hunger strike to protest the Methodist Church’s treatment of gays and lesbians.

However, although Moore had intended his act to be a grand gesture in the manner of Buddhist monks, his suicide drew little notice, notes The Dallas News:

“A report in the Grand Saline Sun described him as an elderly man who seemed troubled. An article in the Tyler Morning Telegraph asked if he was a ‘madman or a martyr.’”


AIDS Memorial Defaced In Oak Lawn, Dallas: VIDEO

Oak lawns dallas legacy of love monument

A monument in Oak Lawn, Dallas, which has become a gathering place for LGBT rallies, protests, and vigils, has been defaced with the tag “666” in red paint.

Named for an endowment started by Dallas resident Donna Fishel, the 35-foot Legacy of Love monument includes plaques inscribed for people who supported its building, were historically significant in the neighborhood or died of AIDS. Fishel and others had donated money on behalf of Friedhelm Schnitzler and Heinz Reifferscheid, partners for more than 25 years both of whom died of AIDS.

Along with the Legacy Of Love monument, the Cathedral of Hope which has a large lesbian and gay membership, and the buildings that house the Dallas Observer, were also targeted with the same graffiti.  

Speaking to Dallas News, Brenda Marks, the president of Oak Lawn Committee, a neighborhood group responsible for maintaining the Legacy of Love monument, said that the intentional damage hurts more than various repairs carried out after car crashes because the “666” symbol is “the mark of the devil on a monument that’s dedicated to those who have lost their lives to AIDS.”

Marks, who along with other volunteers spent Sunday afternoon cleaning the monument, said they may have the monument sandblasted if the paint fails to come off.

Watch a news report on the vandalism, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Dallas Pastor Says He'll Defy Church Doctrine to Perform Gay Marriage Ceremonies: VIDEO

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Rev. Bill McElvaney, a Methodist pastor who led the congregation at Northaven United Methodist Church  in Dallas for 40 years, is speaking out for marriage equality and says he'll officiate gay marriage ceremonies despite the church's directives against it, WFAA reports.

"I think we need to take this position. It is long overdue in the United Methodist Church...This is a justice matter, but it's not just an issue. It's about people; it's about people being loved and accepted, and about the church being what it's called to be."

McElvaney could lose both his pension and his credentials by officiating at marriages for gay couples.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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'Dallas Voice' Editor Blasts Owners for His 'Unjust, Immoral, and Just Plain Wrong' Termination

John Wright, the longtime editor of the Dallas Voice, is speaking out about his recent termination, and policies at his former paper.

Writes Wright on Facebook: Wright

OK so here goes. I have poured my heart and soul into Dallas Voice for the last six-and-a-half years. I've worked my ass off for minimal pay because I loved my job and I loved fighting for equality. As a reward, I was unceremoniously fired Monday for alleged insubordination, which is a totally false and slanderous charge. I can tell you that I did absolutely nothing wrong, and my termination was unjust, immoral and just plain wrong.

Roughly six months ago, the original owner of the Voice, Robert Moore, sold the newspaper to his ex-husband whom he had recently divorced, Terry Thompson, and the longtime sales director, Leo Cusimano. Since then, things have gone steadily downhill. In my opinion, the new owners of the Voice are interested in nothing but profit. They don't seem to care about the LGBT community or their employees, and they certainly don't care about doing good journalism. They want an editor who will write puff pieces about their advertisers instead of reporting the facts, and I refused to be that editor.

For example, last week we reported on the new dress code at Dallas Pride. Organizers of the parade are among the Voice's biggest advertisers, and they were not at all happy when this became a national story. They blamed me for it. I also raised objections about the cover of our Pride issue because I didn't think it included enough minorities, and specifically African-Americans. In response, I was shouted down and told, "That's not our market."

These are just a few examples of what I have endured for the last several months. The new owners wanted to get rid of me, so they fabricated something out of thin air. Of course, they waited to do this until I had just closed on a house. This whole thing is a total outrage, and I'm still in shock over it. If you're reading this, I hope that you will help me do something about it. The LGBT community needs to take back its Voice.


Activists Outraged Over New Dress Code For Dallas Pride Barring Public Nudity

Pride

Controversy has erupted over a new dress code being enforced at this year's Dallas Pride, The Dallas Voice reports. The move towards a dress code is intended to prevent "lewdness" and public nudity. Though Michael Doughman, executive director of the Dallas Tavern Guild, the group that puts on the pride parade, has attempted to downplay the controversy, insisting the dress code was not being imposed by the Guild but rather the city and reflects existing laws and ordinances governing lewdness and public nudity, others remain concerned. In a Facebook post rebuking the "new rules," activist Daniel Cates addressed head on why such restrictive regulations are troublesome in the context of a pride parade:

“The ‘queer’ is effectively being erased from our Pride celebration in favor of the most polished, heteronormative representation of our community as possible,” Cates wrote. “It should be noted that the rioters at the Stonewall Inn fought to break OUT of the damn closet! Our movement was built of sex positivity and our desire to BE WHO WE ARE! I urge you ALL to openly DEFY the Tavern Guild!”

The police for their part are taking the dress code seriously:

Jeremy Liebbe, a detective sergeant at Dallas Independent School District, will oversee 95 officers from DPD and DISD as co-commander of security for the parade and festival. Liebbe, who’s gay, said any floats in violation of indecency standards will be warned in the lineup on Wycliff Avenue prior to the parade. If they fail to comply before reaching the parade route, they will be removed from the parade and individuals may be charged with class-B misdemeanor indecent exposure. But Liebbe added: “If there’s an erection and a child is present that could see it, it is a felony, and we don’t want to see that happen.”

“My goal at all of these events is to have zero enforcement action taken,” Liebbe said. “But there are some people over the years who’ve tried to push that line to see just how far we could go.”

Dallas Pride will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.


Rep. Louie Gohmert Wants To Know How Two Males Mating Advance the Species: VIDEO

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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), the same nutbag who believes the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is a 'war on religion,' has been busy this summer speaking out against those who contradict the "plumbing God created.' Earlier this month, Gohmert spoke at a Tea Party rally in Dallas where he asked the question on everyone's mind: How does the mating of two males 'evolve the species upward?' Right Wing Watch reports:

Alleging that the Obama administration was attacking Christianity by threatening to prosecute those who believe that homosexuality is wrong with hate crimes laws, Gohmert wanted to know how "someone who believes in evolution...that throughout the history of the universe, and particularly Earth, that people have come together and born an offspring from different species that has evolved and given us stronger and better species, how does the mating of two males evolve the species upwards? Somebody send me a letter and help me with that."

But as Gohmert says to the crowd: "we're not haters as Christians, we're lovers." And he plans on continuing to spread the love....just not the icky gay kind. 

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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