US pastor to ask judge to reject Uganda anti-gay lawsuit

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (AP) – A Massachusetts evangelist will ask a federal judge to reject a lawsuit that accuses him of waging a long campaign to persecute gays in Uganda.

An East African gay advocacy group filed the lawsuit in 2012 against minister Scott Lively under a statute that allows non-citizens to file U.S. court actions for violations of international law.

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South Africa bars American pastor over hate speech

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — An American pastor who has made anti-gay comments has been barred from entering South Africa, the government said Sept. 13.

Steven Anderson and members of the Faithful Word Baptist Church of Tempe, Arizona will not be allowed to travel to South Africa because they allegedly promote hate speech and “social violence,” said Malusi Gigaba, the home affairs minister.

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Lesbian pastor, United Methodist Church agree to separation

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EDGERTON, KAN. (AP) – A lesbian pastor has agreed to go on involuntary leave from her United Methodist Church in Edgerton to avoid a church trial over her sexual orientation.

Cynthia Meyer and Methodist officials agreed in early August that her leave will begin Sept. 1. Her final sermon in Edgerton will be Aug. 28. No other United Methodist church will be able to appoint her as a pastor but churches could hire her to “perform functions equivalent to a lay staff person,” according to the agreement.

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Gay pastor faked cake slur, drops lawsuit

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – A gay Texas pastor who sued Whole Foods after he bought a cake that he alleged had a slur written on it in icing has dropped his lawsuit against the grocer.

Jordan Brown of Austin dropped the suit and issued an apology May 16. Brown said he was “wrong to pursue this matter and use the media to perpetuate this story.”

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Connecticut police investigating if pastor shooting was hate crime

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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Hartford police are investigating whether a pastor who was shot while placing flags outside a church for Memorial Day was the victim of a hate crime.

Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley told WVIT-TV that investigators are keeping open the possibility that the shooting of 54-year-old Augustus Sealy of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, on May 24 outside the First Church of Nazarene was a hate crime.

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Former Arkansas governor compares being gay to using alcohol, profanity

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WASHINGTON (AP) – Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee on Feb. 1 said being gay is akin to choosing to drink alcohol or use profanity — lifestyle choices he says are appealing to others but not to him.

The former Baptist pastor, who is weighing a second run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, also claimed that forcing people of faith to accept gay marriage as policy is on par with telling Jews that they must serve “bacon-wrapped shrimp in their deli.” That dish would run afoul of kosher rules in the same way Huckabee sees asking Christians to accept same-sex marriages.

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Arizona pastor’s anti-gay remarks draw protests

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – A Tempe pastor drew protests outside a church for his comments about being gay and AIDS.

The Arizona Republic reports that roughly 100 people demonstrated outside the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, where Pastor Steven Anderson giving a Sunday morning sermon.

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Pastor who performed same-sex marriage keeps ordination

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Rev. Frank Schaefer

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (AP) – A Methodist pastor who was disciplined after he officiated at the wedding of his gay son will be allowed to remain an ordained minister.

The Judicial Council of the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination ruled Oct. 27 that a Pennsylvania church jury was wrong to defrock Frank Schaefer last year after he would not promise never to perform another same-sex wedding.

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8.14.14 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshot_137x185When I was a child, enjoying one of many sleepovers with my cousin, we’d often get a bedtime story from his mother, my aunt. Her husband, my uncle, was the pastor of our church, so it wasn’t surprising that most of these stories had a spiritual or fable-like lesson attached to them.

Her story-telling abilities were mesmerizing to my 8-year-old self and my 9-year-old cousin. While I have no idea if these tales were of her own creation or if she found them in books, I was always fascinated. One story in particular remains with me.

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Tampa church cancels funeral service of gay man

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Tampa – A Tampa mother received a phone call a day before her son’s funeral saying the service was cancelled after the pastor found out the deceased was gay.

Julie Atwood, Julion Evans’ mother,was told she could not have the funeral services at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church because it be “blasphemous.” 

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Methodists reinstate pastor after performing gay son’s wedding

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APHILADELPHIA (AP) — A pastor who presided over his son’s same-sex wedding ceremony and vowed to perform other gay marriages if asked can return to the pulpit after a United Methodist Church appeals panel June 24 overturned a decision to defrock him.

The nine-person panel ordered the church to restore Frank Schaefer’s pastoral credentials, saying the jury that convicted him of breaking church law erred when fashioning his punishment.

“I’ve devoted my life to this church, to serving this church, and to be restored and to be able to call myself a reverend again and to speak with this voice means so much to me,” an exultant Schaefer said, adding he intends to work for gay rights “with an even stronger voice from within the United Methodist Church.”

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