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

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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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Police Search for Ex-Boyfriend in Brutal Execution-Style Murder of Gay Minneapolis Man: VIDEO

Phillips
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A gay Minnesota activist and executive's life ended abruptly on Tuesday when he was shot to death at a gas station in Arden Hills, Minnesota. Police are searching for Lyle "Ty" Hoffman (below), an ex-boyfriend and former business associate of Kelly Phillips (above), a VP and general counsel at medical device company Boston Scientific and the co-founder of Lush Food Bar in Minneapolis, who died of multiple gunshot wounds at the scene of the shooting.

HoffmanThe Star Tribune reports on the brutal killing:

Police said both men were in the BMW in a Holiday station parking lot on County Road 96 near Interstate 35W.

Josh Polos, who was filling his tank with gas at the Holiday station when the BMW pulled up behind him Monday morning, witnessed the killing.

Polos said he heard yelling in the car and assumed it was directed at him.

But when he got out, the car passed his SUV and pulled into a parking spot next to the station. As Polos watched, two men got out of the car and the driver shot the other man three times — including in the back as the victim started running, and finally in the head from close range as the wounded man pleaded for his life.

The shooter turned to Polos and looked him full in the face. He then got back into the car, sat there for several seconds and sped away — running over Phillips as he left.

Hoffman and Phillips had been romantically involved and had opened Lush together, the paper adds:

While the personal relationship soured several years ago, the business relationship between the two continued until several months ago.

“Ty worked at the bar but had no ownership in it,” said Fabian Hoffner, a local attorney who has known Phillips for about 20 years. Hoffner would not say what led to the business breakup.

Earlier this year, Phillips evicted Hoffman from a northeast Minneapolis residence that he owned near Lush. The eviction came about the time that their business relationship was dissolving.

Hoffman is still at large, KSTP reports:

The driver took off and was last seen heading west on Highway 96 in a dark grey, four-door BMW 535i with license place 004-EYY. Authorities found the car around 11:30 p.m. Monday in Blaine but still haven’t found the suspect.

Meanwhile, condolences and grief are pouring in on Phillips' Facebook page, some of them noting his work in the community, City Pages reports:

"You had a passion to make Minnesota better," Jacob Reitan writes. "I remember so many events at your house where you advocated for causes and people you believed in. Minnesota is a stronger state because you lived in it."

That sentiment was echoed by Minneapolis City Council member Jacob Frey, who writes that Phillips was "always the voice of reason in the room."

"You were a good friend, and I know so many of us will deeply miss you," Frey adds.

Our thoughts go out to Phillips' family and friends.

Watch a WCCO report on the shooting, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Anti-Gay Archbishop John Nienstedt, Accused Of Sex Abuse Cover-Up, Refuses To Resign - VIDEO

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John Nienstedt, the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has refused to resign despite allegations of sexual misconduct and a cover-up of child sex abuse, reports ABC News.

Last week, Minnesota newspaper the Star Tribune called on Nienstedt - who in the past told the mother of a gay son that she must reject him or risk burning in hell and said Satan is behind gay marriage - to resign.

An allegation that he touched a boy inappropriately in a public setting resulted in no criminal charges. Another involves accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior with seminarians and priests. 

Nienstedt, who claims both allegations are untrue, said that although he was shown memos about problem priests, he didn't fully grasp the scope of the troubles until last year, after Jennifer Haselberger, Nienstedt’s top adviser on church law, resigned last year and publicly accused church leaders of mishandling several cases.

Writing in a column published last week in The Catholic Spirit, Nienstedt publicly addressed the numerous recent calls for him to resign:

"In a sense, you could say that I didn't see the forest through the trees. But when everything started coming out in October, whoa, Nelly, I just wasn't aware that there was the kind of breadth to the whole thing — which surprised me and kind of sickened me.

"I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here. I have acknowledged my responsibility in the current crisis we face, and I also take responsibility for leading our archdiocese to a new and better day.”

In a statement, The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said that it is "saddened" that Nienstedt won't resign "but distraught that he continues to deceive."

Watch a report on allegations made against Nienstedt last year, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Gay Archbishop John Nienstedt, Accused Of Sex Abuse Cover-Up, Refuses To Resign - VIDEO" »


Anti-Gay MN Archbishop John Nienstedt, Accused Of Sex Abuse Cover-Up, Called On To Resign: VIDEO

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A Minnesota newspaper has called for St. Paul and Minneapolis archbishop John Nienstedt to resign following confirmation that he has been subject to an investigation of sexual misconduct, ignored evidence of pedophilia, and concealed the names of priests involved in the abuse.

Last December, Nienstedt, who launched a mass mailing campaign of 400,000 anti-gay DVDs, told the mother of a gay son that she must reject him or risk burning in hell and said Satan is behind gay marriage, was accused of inappropriately touching a minor.

In an editorial last Saturday, the Star Tribune said that for the sake of the Catholic church, “one of this state’s most valued institutions,” Nienstedt’s service at the archdiocese should end now.

The editorial continued:

“Nienstedt has become the face of a coverup that has put children in harm’s way. His credibility is in tatters. The archdiocese needs a different leader — a reformer — to have a reasonable chance of restoring its damaged reputation and sustaining its service to the community.

“The damage that brand name is suffering in Minnesota has become severe enough to put public support — and, crucially, donor support — of all things Catholic at risk. The abuse scandal has become more than an internal problem.”

In conclusion, the paper suggested that Nienstedt should follow Pope Benedict’s example of church leadership:

“Eighteen months ago, Benedict concluded that he was not up to the task of meeting the church’s leadership needs, and broke with 600 years of tradition to resign from office. His decision was not a display of weakness, but of love for his church. Nienstedt’s resignation would show the same.”

Watch a report on last December's revelations, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Anti-Gay MN Archbishop John Nienstedt, Accused Of Sex Abuse Cover-Up, Called On To Resign: VIDEO" »


Chris Kluwe Outraged Over Light Punishment for Homophobic Vikings Coach, Still Plans to Sue: VIDEO

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Former Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe is outraged over the punishment meted out by the team to special teams coach Mike Priefer following the results of an investigation in to Kluwe's claims of homophobic remarks and anti-gay bias by the team.

Priefer was suspended for 3 games and ordered to make a donation to LGBT organizations.

Kluwe spoke to KMSP about the investigation.

Said Kluwe:

"Players who get caught smoking weed or DUI get 4 games, and you're telling me the guy who made a comment like 'let's round up all the gays put them on an island nuke it till it glows' -- he's only going to get a slap on the wrist? ... I think he's probably sorry that all of this ever happened. I don't think he's truly sorry because in the report he kind of backs his way and says yeah, I kind of said it...The NFL is a league where you can get redemption for killing someone, for beating your wife in an elevator, for driving drunk, for a whole variety of things but when you speak out for civil rights, that's the one thing you cannot get redeemed for."

Kluwe says he still plans to sue the organization and his attorney is still requesting the full 150-page investigation.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Chris Kluwe to Sue Minnesota Vikings for Withholding Results of Investigation into Homophobia Claims

Back in January, the Minnesota Vikings announced it had hired attorneys to lead an investigation into claims by former punter Chris Kluwe, who said in an article published on Deadspin that he was released from the team because of his gay activism.

KluweKluwe also claimed that special teams coordinator Mike Priefer unleashed a homophobic rant in his presence, saying, "We should round up all the gays, send them to an island, and then nuke it until it glows."

At the time, Kluwe said that he would sue the Vikings if the investigation turned up clean. But today Kluwe and his attorneys announced they would be suing the team for refusing to release the results of the recently-completed investigation, Pioneer Press reports:

"After the Vikings were given the investigative materials from Magnuson and Madel, in order to further maintain objectivity and integrity, the team engaged a nationally-prominent law firm -- Littler Mendelson P.C. -- to evaluate employment law matters and provide findings and recommendations to the Vikings," according to the team's Tuesday statement. "Those recommendations are to be provided to the team this week."

Kluwe and Halunen held a press conference Tuesday morning to announce the lawsuit and denounce the team for reneging on what they said was a promise to make the investigation public.

Halunen said he was contacted by Vikings' representatives on Monday and was told they do not intend to make the report available either to Kluwe or to the public.

"At this point we have no choice but to file a lawsuit against the Vikings," Halunen said.

Kluwe told reporters that if the investigation results are released he will reconsider the lawsuit.


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