University ends United Methodist affiliation over LGBT bans
A university in Ohio has ended its affiliation with the United Methodist Church over the denomination’s renewed bans on LGBT clergy and same-sex marriage reported The Canton Repository.
The University of Mount Union president says the board of trustees considered the issue for months before voting recently to end the affiliation of more than 150 years.
University President W. Richard Merriman Jr. says the school wants a diverse campus. He says it became difficult to see how the denomination’s recent actions could be reconciled with the university’s values.
The General Conference of the United Methodist Church in February voted to continue prohibiting ordination of gays and lesbians and barring its clergy from presiding at same-sex weddings.
The university in Alliance says ending the affiliation won’t affect its curriculum.
Utah County commissioner comes out as gay
A Republican lawmaker in an area of Utah where many residents are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has publicly come out as gay.
The Washington Post reported Utah County Commissioner Nathan Ivie said May 22 his announcement was inspired in part by his work with families who have lost gay children to suicide.
He said he is a member of the church but declined to discuss his faith. The religion opposes same-sex relationships.
Utah County is south of Salt Lake City and includes the church-owned Brigham Young University.
The 40-year-old Ivie shared the news in a video posted to Facebook in which he describes wrestling with his sexual orientation since he was a boy and surviving a suicide attempt at age 22.
Ivie said he and his wife of 13 years will be separating.
Alabama Public Television won’t run ‘Arthur’ wedding
AL.com reported Alabama Public Television has chosen not to air an episode of the PBS children’s show “Arthur” because it included a same-sex wedding.
The episode “Mr. Ratburn and the Special Someone’’ aired nationally on May 13, showing Arthur attending the wedding of his teacher and partner.
APT showed a re-run instead.
APT director of programming Mike Mckenzie defended the decision by saying parents trust that their children can watch the station without supervision.
The station had previously pulled an episode of “Arthur’’ in 2005 when a character had two mothers.
Misty Souder, a substitute teacher from McCalla, Alabama, said she’s disappointed. She said she’s using this to teach her 9-year-old daughter about the importance of standing up for minority groups.
Police look at whether transgender women’s deaths connected
San Antonio Express-News reports police in Dallas say they are investigating whether the killings of two transgender women and an assault on a third are connected.
Maj. Vincent Weddington said May 21 during a news conference that there are similarities in the three cases. No arrests have been made.
The most recent killing occurred over the weekend. Twenty-three-year-old Muhlaysia Booker was found shot to death May 18. Her death came a month after a cellphone video showed her being brutally beaten in a separate incident.
Police said the first killing, which was also a fatal shooting, occurred last October.
They said the assault happened in April and the victim was stabbed repeatedly.
Proposed LGBTQ health organization clears Connecticut House
Legislation aimed at better matching members of Connecticut’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community with health and other services has cleared a key vote reports WFUV.org.
The House of Representatives voted 130-6 May 20 in favor of a bill that creates a new organization that recommends to state officials ways to build safer and healthier environments for the LGBTQ community. The Department of Public Health would provide funds to help the network develop a statewide needs assessment and ultimately help coordinate care with nonprofit agencies.
Democratic Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan of Bethel said, “This is a population that hasn’t been served well.”
The Connecticut TransAdvocacy Coalition supports the bill. Executive Director Diana Lombardi recently told lawmakers how not all Connecticut primary-care physicians will treat transgender patients.
The bill awaits senate action.