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