[Hpn] Church shelter bars gay congressman from volunteering on Thanksgiving fw Thanksgiving fw

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Fri, 24 Nov 2000 14:14:48 -0800 (PST)

FWD  Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Nov 23, 2000


TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ A Tucson homeless shelter told U.S. Rep Jim
Kolbe to stay away from its Thanksgiving dinner because he is gay.

The Arizona Republican, the party's only openly gay congressman,
wanted to spend a few hours volunteering at Gospel Rescue Mission
like he did last year.

But the shelter's board of directors met Sunday and subsequently
faxed a memo to Kolbe regarding its resolution.

``This decision is based on your publicly announced sexual
orientation that is diametrically opposite to admonitions in the
Bible,'' wrote board member Evelyn H. Haugh. ``This mission is
founded on biblical principles, and we cannot give a public forum
to a public official who is blatantly flaunting those principles.''

Skip Woodward, board vice president, told The Arizona Daily Star
that Kolbe was allowed to serve meals last year because ``he just
showed up and took us by surprise.''

Kolbe was asked not to partake in the mission's traditional
Thanksgiving eve dinner this year because his ``very public stand
on homosexuality is inconsistent with our beliefs,'' Woodward said.

``We wouldn't want anyone who advocated adultery to serve
either,'' he said.

Kolbe, who publicly acknowledged his sexual orientation in 1996,
did not return calls to The Arizona Daily Star.

AP-WS-11-23-00 0428EST
Received  Id AP100328059A0CA7 on Nov 23 2000 07:19


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