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Homophobic Minnesota Vikings Special Teams Coach Mike Priefer Returns From Suspension

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 1.33.08 PMMinnesota Vikings special teams coach Mike Priefer is being reinstated today after sitting out two games of his three game suspension. Priefer’s suspension came earlier this year following accusations from former Vikings kicker Chris Kluwe claiming that Priefer was active and central to the promotion of locker room homophobia and general hostility.

“Mike Priefer also said on multiple occasions that I would wind up burning in hell with the gays, and that the only truth was Jesus Christ and the Bible.” Kluwe wrote in an open letter Deadspin published in January. “He said all this in a semi-joking tone, and I responded in kind, as I felt a yelling match with my coach over human rights would greatly diminish my chances of remaining employed."

While Priefer denied the accusations against him, a third party investigation into the matter corroborated at least one of Kluwe’s claims of homophobic exchanges with priefer. Kluwe, who claimed that he was let go from the Vikings because of his support of the LGBT community, recently reached a settlement with the Minnesota team after threatening to sue.

"I regret what has occurred and what I said.” Priefer said in a press conference following his suspension. “I am extremely sorry but I will learn from this situation and will work on educating others to create more tolerance and respect."


Fugitive Suspect in Murder of LGBT Advocate Kelly Phillips Arrested Following Monthlong Manhunt: VIDEO

Hoffman

Early Thursday, Minnesota police ended a monthlong manhunt with the arrest of Lyle "Ty" Hoffman - the man charged in the August 11 killing of former lover and business partner Kelly Phillips.

Hoffman was found disheveled and unarmed outside an Arby's restaurant in Shakopee, Minnesota.

The Star Tribune reports:

Phillips“It’s a good day for us,” said Ramsey County Chief Deputy John Kirkwood, whose agency has been leading the investigation. “It’s a great relief.”

Hoffman, 44, allegedly shot Phillips [pictured right] three times — once in the head as Phillips begged for his life — in the parking lot of a gas station in Arden Hills after the two pulled up in the same vehicle and were seen and heard arguing. The shooter then drove over Phillips’ body as he fled.

In the weeks since the slaying, Hoffman has been charged with second-degree murder and is also suspected of robbing a bank in Blaine while on the run. Authorities said Thursday that additional charges could be filed against him in coming days. He is scheduled to make his first court appearance in St. Paul Friday.

Kirkwood added that police are still looking for the murder weapon - a Glock semiautomatic .45-caliber handgun. 

Check out a Fox 9 News report on Hoffman's capture, AFTER THE JUMP...

Friends and family of Kelly Phillips, a well-known Minneapolis executive and LGBT activist, addressed the media following Hoffman's arrest, Fox 9 adds:

“Today won't bring Kelly back," Phillips' fiancé, Nathon Bailey, said Thursday afternoon. "No amount of justice will bring Kelly back or fill the hole in my heart.”

“On the one month anniversary of the brutal death of our beloved Kelly Phillips, his friends and family are grateful that law enforcement was able to bring the suspect into custody without further tragedy,” friends of Phillips said in a statement.

(image facebook)

Continue reading "Fugitive Suspect in Murder of LGBT Advocate Kelly Phillips Arrested Following Monthlong Manhunt: VIDEO" »


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...

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

  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...

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


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

Screen Shot 2014-08-24 at 2.28.20 PM

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" »


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