Three face trial for anti-gay stunts in Arkansas
by Christopher Curtis
Anti-gay protesters are being tried in court after two separate attempts to disrupt a June 27 Pride parade in the small town of Conway, Ark.
In one case, a farmer admitted to spreading three tons of manure along the parade route, but told a court on Monday he was innocent of any crime because of his constitutional right to free speech.
Wesley Bono, 35, of Greenbrier, is charged with misdemeanor harassment for dumping the manure in front of a same-sex couple's home and spreading it along two city streets before Conway's June Pride parade started.
Before appearing in court, Bono told KATV, "Under the First Amendment, a man is allowed to protest. That's what I was doing," he said. "I didn't do it as a hate crime, or any crime at all."
But Brian Chase, a staff attorney for Lambda Legal, disagreed: "In the first place, he didn't spread (the manure) along the street, he also targeted a local home. Spreading it on a public road is one thing, targeting a specific house is another.
Lesbian couple files suit in Lee over marriage law
By ALISON KEPNER, firstname.lastname@example.org
Published by news-press.com
A lesbian couple from Cape Coral became the first in Lee County to file suit against Florida’s law banning same-sex marriage Monday.
Margaret Kelley, 45, and Cynthia Koenig, 50, held hands as they walked into the Lee County Justice Center shortly before 2:30 p.m. to the file their suit in the 20th Circuit Judicial Court against Lee County Clerk of Courts Charles Green.
Partners for 10 years in November, the women said they want the security, honor and dignity that a marriage offers heterosexual couples. They applied for a marriage license on Feb. 14, 2003 and were denied.
“I love her very much,” Koenig said. “I’ve loved her for very many years.
Methodist Pastor in Pennsylvania Faces Church Trial for Speaking About Lesbian Relationship
The Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A lesbian Methodist minister faces a church trial for telling her congregation she's in a gay relationship, a United Methodist Church official said.
The Rev. Irene E. "Beth" Stroud, associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown, spoke about the relationship in an April 2003 sermon, according to a statement from the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church.
In March, the Rev. Karen Dammann faced a similar trial in Bothell, Wash., and was acquitted by a jury of 13 pastors. Church officials said that trial was the first against a homosexual Methodist pastor since 1987, when the credentials of the Rev. Rose Mary Denman of New Hampshire were revoked.
In a sermon posted on her church's Web site, Stroud said she realized she was a lesbian while a student at Bryn Mawr College and has lived with a woman for 2 1/2 years.