The Gen­tle­men’s Foun­da­tion, ‘Ellen’ re­spond to anti-LGBT re­marks made by gospel singer

GA Voice - - Newsbriefs -

Gospel singer and pas­tor Kim Bur­rell, who was sched­uled to ap­pear along­side Phar­rell Wil­liams on the Jan. 5 episode of “Ellen,” was re­moved from the line-up af­ter an anti-LGBT ser­mon she preached in Hous­ton, Texas cir­cu­lated on­line.

Bur­rell re­ferred to “that per­verted ho­mo­sex­ual spirit” in her ser­mon, which also en­cour­aged her cheer­ing au­di­ence to “spit on” ho­mo­sex­u­als that “say you got to love every­body.”

She also said Ed­die Long, se­nior pas­tor of New Birth Mis­sion­ary Bap­tist Church in Litho­nia, was “an em­bar­rass­ment to the Church.” Long was pre­vi­ously ac­cused by four for­mer male con­gre­ga­tion mem­bers of en­gag­ing them in sex­ual acts as teenagers.

At­lanta or­ga­ni­za­tion The Gen­tle­men’s Foun­da­tion, which pro­motes and cel­e­brates gay, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der men of color, re­leased a state­ment con­demn­ing Bur­rell’s re­marks and use of her church to spread dis­crim­i­na­tory mes­sages.

“While we know that this type of hate against our com­mu­nity is due to many years of forced re­li­gious thoughts, be­liefs and prac­tices that con­tinue to seek to make us less than hu­man, we must all still be re­spon­si­ble for the im­pli­ca­tions our words can have on oth­ers,” the group said in the state­ment, dated Jan. 3. “We un­der­stand and even have com­pas­sion for any­one who holds this type of hate in their hearts, but ig­no­rance is never an excuse for de­mean­ing and/or be­lit­tling any­one.”

Gee Smalls, the foun­da­tion’s co-founder and vice chair­man, said Bur­rell has been in­vited to meet with them and other faith lead­ers of color “to be schooled about love, es­pe­cially as the Bi­ble re­ally teaches.”

Clin­i­cal tri­als for in­jectable PrEP treat­ment get un­der­way

Hu­man tri­als for an in­jectable form of pre-ex­po­sure pro­phy­laxis, known as PrEP, are now un­der­way.

PrEP, ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Pre­ven­tion, is a way for peo­ple State Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) vows to con­tinue the fight for a ‘re­li­gious free­dom’ bill de­spite re­port­edly los­ing a cru­cial lead­er­ship po­si­tion. (File photo) at risk of get­ting HIV to pre­vent it by tak­ing a daily pill, known by its re­tail name Tru­vada.

“When taken con­sis­tently, PrEP has been shown to re­duce the risk of HIV in­fec­tion in peo­ple who are at high risk by up to 92 per­cent,” the CDC states. “PrEP is much less ef­fec­tive if it is not taken con­sis­tently.”

In an ef­fort to com­bat that in­con­sis­tency, the Na­tional In­sti­tutes of Health’s Na­tional In­sti­tute of Al­lergy and In­fec­tious Dis­eases launched a “large-scale clin­i­cal trial of a long-act­ing in­jectable drug for HIV pre­ven­tion” on Dec. 20.

The study looks at whether reg­u­lar, eightweek in­jec­tions of the drug cabote­gravir can pro­tect in­di­vid­u­als from con­tract­ing HIV as well as Tru­vada.

“Tak­ing a daily pill while feel­ing healthy can be dif­fi­cult for some peo­ple,” Dr. An­thony S. Fauci, di­rec­tor of the in­sti­tute, said in a re­lease. “If proven ef­fec­tive, in­jectable cabote­gravir has the po­ten­tial to be­come an ac­cept­able, dis­creet and con­ve­nient al­ter­na­tive for HIV pre­ven­tion.”

For the first five weeks of the study, par­tic­i­pants will take two daily tablets: a placebo pill and ei­ther Tru­vada or cabote­gravir. Start­ing in week six, par­tic­i­pants in the Tru­vada group will re­ceive Tru­vada pills and placebo in­jec­tions; and vice-versa for the cabote­gavir group. Nei­ther par­tic­i­pants nor re­searchers will know who is in which study group un­til the end.

Re­sults of the re­search, which has a sam­ple size of 4,500 men and transwomen who have sex with men, will be pub­lished in 2021. Later this year, a sec­ond cabote­gravir study will be­gin in Africa to test the drug’s safety and ef­fi­cacy in young women.

State se­na­tor aims to con­tinue ‘re­li­gious free­dom’ bill push de­spite loss of lead­er­ship po­si­tion

The At­lanta Jour­nal-Con­sti­tu­tion re­ported just be­fore the end of 2016 that Georgia’s Se­nate Repub­li­can Cau­cus met in a closed­door meet­ing to dis­cuss merg­ing its two ju­di­ciary com­mit­tees. If the merger is ap­proved dur­ing the first week of the leg­isla­tive ses­sion, it means Sen. Josh McKoon (R-Columbus) will likely not be the chair­man.

McKoon served as the chair­man of the civil mat­ters ju­di­ciary com­mit­tee and is well-known as a staunch sup­porter of “re­li­gious free­dom” bills at the state level.

Some could see the move as a sign that the chances of an­other such bill com­ing up this year dropped sig­nif­i­cantly

De­spite the po­ten­tial loss of a lead­er­ship role, and its im­pli­ca­tions on bills he backs, McKoon said he has no plans to give up.

“My work will con­tinue re­gard­less of the com­mit­tee as­sign­ments I re­ceive,” he told the AJC.

Dr. An­thony S. Fauci

Kim Bur­rell

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