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

Phillips
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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...

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


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

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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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Minnesota Hunting Club Agrees to Pay for Gay Couple's Wedding After Initial Refusal

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A Minnesota hunting club has agreed to pay for a gay couple's wedding after its initial refusal of the request was brought to the attention of the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, Star Tribune reports:

Leblanc'sThe owners of LeBlanc’s Rice Creek Hunting and Recreation Inc. agreed to pay about $8,500 to cover the upcoming wedding of Cole Frey and Adam Block, as well as apologize to the two men and comply with the state’s nondiscrimination law in the future.

Frey, 20, and Block, 18, said Friday that they met last October and became engaged in November. In February, Frey said, he contacted LeBlanc’s to inquire about having the wedding at its clubhouse after his stepmother suggested it. He said he didn’t immediately reveal that he was marrying a man, and was told their desired date was available.

A few weeks later, Frey said, he went to sign papers and leave a security deposit. “That’s when they found out it would be between two males,” Frey said. “They told us they don’t condone same-sex marriage, and they wouldn’t be marrying us on their property.”

Following settlement talks with the Department of Human Rights, the club's owners claimed it was a simple case of misunderstanding state law. 

“They made a mistake and we did everything in our power to correct it,” [LeBlanc's attorney Paul Rogosheske] said. “This couple is going to have a great wedding and I can assure you LeBlanc’s is going to be open to everybody.”

A Minnesota Department of Human Rights press release adds:

This is Minnesota Department of Human Rights’ first same-sex wedding case involving discrimination in public accommodation based on sexual orientation since same-sex marriage was legalized on Aug. 1, 2013. Sexual orientation was added to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights Act in 1993.

[top photo via Facebook]


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

Phillips
(image facebook)

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...

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


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

John nienstedt

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" »


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