According to an article on 365gay.com, the radical Christian group, “Repent America” has blamed gays and the annual Southern Decadence festical in New Orleans for the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina. Southern Decadence is the largest annual gay festival held in the entire South.

According to the article:

“Southern Decadence” has a history of filling the French Quarters section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars” Repent America director Michael Marcavage said in a statement Wednesday.

“Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city.” Marcavage said. “From ‘Girls Gone Wild’ to ‘Southern Decadence’, New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same.”

“Let us pray for those ravaged by this disaster. However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long,” Marcavage said.

“May this act of God cause us all to think about what we tolerate in our city limits, and bring us trembling before the throne of Almighty God,” Marcavage concluded.

Hurricane Katrina has killed a known hundreds of people and the total death toll could be in the thousands, said New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin. CNN has reported that the death toll in New Orleans alone could total almost 100,000 souls.

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As a person who does believe in the awesome power of a supreme being more powerful than myself, I ask all people who believe the same, no matter your religion, to pray for those lost by Katrina and those who remain.

Also, take the time to pray for the people involved with Repent America and other similar groups that they may come to love their neighbors as themselves and in so doing find God and His never-ending love.

According to an article on the Washington Blade, a Georgia high school has banned all clubs in an effort to keep a gay-straight alliance from meeting at the school.

White County High School has banned all non-curricular clubs such as Key Club, Interact, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and PRIDE, the school’s gay-straight alliance. The clubs will no longer be endorsed or sponsored by the school and must now meet off campus.

PRIDE (Peers Rising In Diverse Education) was allowed to form last year but only after heated debate including a meeting of the school board where preachers railed against homosexuality.

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This reminds me of the days of segregation. When the government wanted to integrate the schools, many of the schools and school systems inthe South just shut down all schools rather than allowing blacks to go to school with whites.

See, that is what the South is good at: Denial and Ignorance. If you don’t see it, if you don’t hear it… then it isn’t there.

Sooner or later, however, the school will be forced to allow non-curricular clubs again. All of the students and the parents will become upset and the school probably won’t be able to deal with the aftermath. It would ahve just been better for the school to go ahead and allow the gay-straight alliance to form and to meet. The firestorm would have blown over eventually.

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Good Problems at Gay UNCG

As many of you know, I am a member of the Executive Board of UNCG PRIDE!, UNCG’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Allied Student Association. It is with great joy that I get to share this news about UNCG PRIDE!

After a summer’s worth of planning with the Executive Board for this academic year, we had our first meeting last Thursday with such a large turnout we could not fit everyone into the same room. Seventy seven people signed in but of course this does not count the people who never sign in at events such as these. I would not be afraid to say that it is very possible that almost one hundred students were present at the first meeting.

This is our problem, although it is a good problem. I, along with one other current Board member, were on the Executive Board last year as well. The experience which we have had with PRIDE! is one of working with a student organization which attracted, at most, thirty people to one meeting. Many of the things we did last year cannot be done this year, including many of our discussion based meetings. So our good problem is that because we have so many people the Executive Board is now going to have to make a concerted effort in trying to do events and activities which can include and involve all of those seventy-some people.

Many people who went to school at UNCG two to three years ago and many students still at UNCG can probably remember when PRIDE! almost collapsed due to one of the Executive Board members wanting a change in the Constitution of PRIDE! Last year (the year following the fall out) was mainly a year in which to rebuild and regain the strength we had before all the turmoil. A former Board member who attended last week’s meeting said PRIDE! had not seen such a large turnout in almost three years. Evidently, last year’s “rebuidling” year is exactly what the group needed.

It makes me so happy to see that PRIDE! is once again becoming the strong and large group that it has been in the past. From our humble beginnings as the Gay Student Union in 1974, we have done nothing but grow. UNCG is special in the fact that our school has had only one GLBTQQA student group in its entire history. Many universities find themselves having numerous groups, with numerous missions. More often that not, those numerous groups all fail and collapse. UNCG PRIDE! has been on this campus since 1974. We are one of the oldest GLBTQQA student groups in the nation and I would even go as far to say that we are the oldest in North Carolina.

My hope is that we will continue to grow and solve this good “problem” of having so many people interested and involved. It will be a challenge, yes, but I am quite sure that we can do it. We’ve been here thirty-one years… I don’t think we’ll be giving up anytime soon!

UNCG PRIDE! meets every Thursday at 7:30pm. Check pride.uncg.edu for meeting locations throughout the semester. This week’s meeting (9/01) will be held in the Faculty Center on College Avenue.

Student Body President Daphne Villanueva will deliver the State of the Campus Address at tonight’s meeting of the Student Government Association; tonight’s meeting is a session of the full Senate.

The meeting will begin at 7:30pm in the Kirkland Room of the Elliot University Center.

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Greensboro Candidates Forum to be held

A Candidates forum for those running for the Greensboro City Council will be held on September 27, 2005, 6:15PM-8:30PM, at the Weatherspoon Art Gallery at UNCG.

For more information, please email floyds@gcsnc.com.

According to an article on 365gay.com the Vatican is preparing to issue new regulations calling for the prohibition of allowing gays into the priesthood.

For years, the celibacy vow all priests take was considered enough to allow gay persons to serve as priests since Church doctrine does not condemn homosexual “temptations,” but only condemns homosexual acts.

It is not clear whether the Holy Father will sign off on the new regulations, which was brought forth by the Congregation for Catholic Education and Seminaries, the Vatican body which oversees seminaries.

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These new regulations are just one more attempt by the Church to try to blame gays for the abuse of children by the clergy. This is even more evident when you consider that the Holy Father will be sending investigators to the United States in order to gauge the clergy child abuse crisis and also to investigate how many gays are currently serving in the priesthood.

If the new regulations are passed by the Holy Father, gays will no longer be able to enter into seminary and gays currently serving within the clergy may be defrocked.

As the Church apologized to Galileo five hundred years after his death, the Church will certainly have to apologize to gays in the future. It is too bad that the Church does not realize that what it does is wrong until centuries after it has caused harm.

According to an article published by the Washingotn Post on Saturday, August 27, 2005, a task force of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has recommended that the church make a change in its rules on gay clergy.

According to the article:

Unveiling its long-awaited report in Chicago, the 20-member Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity and Purity called for Presbyterians to “make every effort to prevent schism.” Its recommendations, adopted unanimously, represent a concerted effort by a mainline Protestant denomination to come to terms with internal disagreements over homosexuality and to avoid the kind of acrimony that has divided Episcopalians since their consecration of an openly gay bishop.

The rule change, if adopted would lead to localized control over the ordination of gays into the clergy and would occur on a case-by-case basis.

According to an article on 365gay.com, the Ku Klux Klan plans to protest the “Hearts on Fire” Conference of the Reconciling Ministries Network of the United Methodist Church. The conference is set to take place on Labor Day weekend at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.

According to the article, which was originally published by the Associated Press:

Imperial Wizard J.J. Harper told the newspaper he expects 20 Klan protesters in plain clothes. State law bans the KKK from wearing masks in public.

Haywood County Sheriff Tom Alexander will plans to use members of his force, as well as members of other municipalities forces, the State Bureau of Investigation, the Highway Patrol, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in providing security for the event.

The conference is expected to draw about 500 attendees, and according to the the article:

Local newspapers have been filled with letters about the conference in recent days. On Sunday, Nesbitt Chapel United Methodist Church in nearby Buncombe County bought a half-page newspaper ad urging “Christian Brothers and Sisters in Christ” to join them in “standing against the pro-homosexual rally” planned for Labor Day weekend.

For more information about the Conference, please visit: www.rmnetwork.org/convo/

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National Gay Groups Oppose Roberts

According to an article on 365gay.com, four of the nation’s major LGBT rights organizations have jointly issued an official statement opposing Roberts’ nomination to the Supreme Court.

The Human Rights Campaign, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, are urging the Senate not to confirm Roberts to the high court.

In the statement, the groups claim that Roberts would be against equality for LGBT citizens, despite the pro bono work he did on behalf of gay rights activists, helping them to win in the case of Romers v. Evans.

According to the article, the statements says:

“Since President Bush nominated John Roberts on July 19, disturbing evidence has emerged about the kind of justice that he would be,” the joint statement said. “His writings as a lawyer, his rulings as a judge, and his statements as a policymaker all lead us to the unfortunate conclusion that Judge Roberts would not vote to protect our civil rights from those who are, at this moment, fighting so hard to take them away. Instead, his record indicates that Judge Roberts would vote to roll back the constitutional protections upon which our community — and all Americans — rely.”

For more information, read the full article

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First UNCG PRIDE! Meeting Tonight

The first UNCG PRIDE! meeting of the 2005-2006 academic year will be held tonight, Thursday, August 25th, at 7:30pm, in the Claxton Room of the Elliot Univerisity Center.

UNCG PRIDE! is UNCG’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Allied Student Association.

For more information: http://pride.uncg.edu

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In other events, the President of the Student Body of the University will deliver her “State of the Campus” Address on Tuesday, August 30th, at 7:30pm in the Kirkland Room of the Elliot University Center. The Student Government Association meets every Tuesday at 7:30pm.

For more information: http://sga.uncg.edu