09-20-2021  5:10 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NORTHWEST NEWS

As Shootings Rise Mayor Wheeler Wants to Hire Retired Cops

Wheeler also called for a citywide expansion of Portland Street Response, a team that helps people experiencing homelessness or low-acuity behavioral health issues, to reduce the number of calls police must handle

Illegal Marijuana Farms Take West's Scarce Water

Deer Creek has run dry after several illegal marijuana grows cropped up in the neighborhood last spring, stealing water from both the stream and nearby aquifers

Biden Slammed for Challenging Nuclear Workplace Health Law

The Biden Administration is picking up where the Trump administration left off, challenging a 2018 Washington state law that made it easier for sick Hanford Nuclear Reservation workers to qualify for compensation benefits.

After Humble Beginnings, Oregon's Dutch Bros Launches IPO

After humble beginnings as a pushcart operation in an Oregon town, Dutch Bros Coffee launched an initial public offering Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

NEWS BRIEFS

OHSU Offers Free COVID-19 Testing by Appointment at Portland Expo Center

This newest drive through testing site is open Monday through Friday. ...

Pfizer Vaccine for Children 5 to 11 is Safe with Robust Antibody Response

These are the first such results released for this age group for a US Covid-19 vaccine. Pfizer said it plans to submit to the U.S....

Chris Rock Says he Has Covid-19 and Tells People to Get Vaccinated

The 56-year-old comedian wrote on Twitter: “Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this. Get...

Rep. Beatty Introduces Legislation to Establish National Rosa Parks Day

In coordination with Reps. Jim Cooper and Terri Sewell, U.S. Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty...

Rabid Bat Found in Northeast Portland; First in 7 Years

Make sure pets are up-to-date on their rabies vaccine, and never handle bats or other wildlife without protection ...

Ex-official calls out city for ending equity group

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — In the summer of 2020, after racial justice protests roiled Klamath Falls and many other American cities, the Klamath Falls City Council created a task force to examine local issues of racial and social fairness and advise city government on ways to make the city more...

Washington governor asks feds for medical staffing help

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inlsee has asked the federal government for assistance staffing hospitals and long-term care facilities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. “In Washington State, our hospitals are currently at or beyond capacity, and we...

Bazelak, Missouri make quick work of SE Missouri, 59-28

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Connor Bazelak squeezed a full day of production into one half Saturday as he led Missouri to a 59-28 victory over Southeast Missouri. Bazelak completed 21 of 30 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers (2-1). “You...

CMU's McElwain relishes return to LSU's Death Valley

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain and the Chippewas have demonstrated already this season that they can go into an SEC stadium and be competitive. Yet McElwain is reluctant to characterize a visit to LSU’s 102,000-seat Death Valley, where the...

OPINION

American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

Grassroots Organizers Should Be Celebrated in Georgia’s 95% Voter Registration Rate

The recent release of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s biennial report brought welcome news that 95% of Georgia’s voting-eligible population is currently registered to vote. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Re-defining 'racial equity' may increase donations for it

Though last year's racial justice protests unleashed an avalanche of donations for minority causes, the philanthropic community remains divided about which donations should be counted as advancing racial equity. Candid, a leading philanthropy research organization, told The...

4 men charged for shouting antisemitic abuse in London

LONDON (AP) — Four men were charged Monday for allegedly shouting antisemitic abuse while driving around in a convoy in north London. The suspects, all in their 20s and from the northwest English town of Blackburn, are accused of using threatening, abusive or insulting words...

New claims in NYC restaurant brawl over vaccine proof

NEW YORK (AP) — New details have emerged about a brawl outside a popular New York City restaurant between several out-of-town visitors and an employee over the restaurant's requirement that the guests show proof of vaccination. Attorneys for Carmine's and for three women from...

ENTERTAINMENT

Emmys: ‘Crown,’ ‘Lasso,’ ‘Queen’s Gambit,' streaming triumph

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Netflix’s “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” combined with Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” to sweep top series honors at the Sunday’s Emmy Awards, a first for streaming services that cemented their rise to prominence in the television industry. ...

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Sept. 26-Oct. 2

Celebrity birthdays for the week of Sept. 26-Oct. 2: Sept. 26: Country singer David Frizzell is 80. Actor Kent McCord (“Adam 12”) is 79. “The Weakest Link” host Anne Robinson is 77. Singer Bryan Ferry is 76. Actor Mary Beth Hurt is 75. Singer-actor Olivia Newton-John is...

Review: Richard Powers amazes again with 'Bewilderment'

“Bewilderment,” by Richard Powers (W.W. Norton & Company) Here are two words that are so ingrained in Richard Powers’ astounding new novel as to be almost unnecessary: Autism and Trump. The book tells the story of Theo Byrne and his son Robin,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Pro-Kremlin party keeps large majority in Russian parliament

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s ruling party retained its supermajority in parliament, further cementing President...

The AP Interview: UN chief warns China, US to avoid Cold War

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Warning of a potential new Cold War, the head of the United Nations implored China and the...

Stocks drop the most since May on worries over China, Fed

Stocks on Wall Street closed sharply lower Monday, mirroring losses overseas and handing the S&P 500 index its...

'Hotel Rwanda' hero sentenced to 25 years on terror charges

KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — The man who inspired the film “Hotel Rwanda” for saving hundreds of his countrymen...

Nobody hurt but much damage in Spanish volcano eruption

LA LAGUNA, Spain (AP) — Giant rivers of lava tumbled slowly but relentlessly toward the sea Monday after a...

Ships rescue 190 Europe-bound migrants off Libya

ABOARD THE GEO BARENTS (AP) — Two vessels rescued around 190 Europe-bound migrants, including women and...

Dan Merica, CNN


An image from a "It Gets Better" video created by BYU students

(CNN) -- Kevin Kloosterman, a former Mormon bishop, said he "came out" last year -- just not in the way that many people associate with coming out.

"I came out and basically made a personal apology to (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) folks for really not understanding their issues, not really taking the time to understand their lives and really not doing my homework," Kloosterman said in an interview with CNN.

Though not speaking on behalf of the church, the then-bishop stood in front of a crowd of gay and straight Mormons at a November conference on gay and lesbian issues in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is headquartered.

Donning a suit and tie, Kloosterman was visibly shaken, struggling to find the right words as tears welled up in his eyes.

"I'm sorry -- deeply, deeply sorry," Kloosterman told the group in a speech that was captured on video. "The only thing I can say to those of you who have been so patient, and have gone through so much, is for you to watch and look for any small changes with your loved ones, with your wards (Mormon congregations), with your leaders. And encourage them in this repentance process."

Kloosterman's apology was just one example of what many Mormons and church watchers see as a recent shift in the Mormon community's posture toward gays and lesbians, including by the official church itself.

Though the church's doctrine condemning homosexuality has not changed, and the church remains opposed to same-sex marriage, many say the church is subtly but unmistakably growing friendlier toward the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, including voicing support for some gay rights.

Students at the church-owned Brigham Young University recently posted an "It Gets Better" video about the gay and lesbian community there, while a gay Mormon in San Francisco was selected last year for a church leadership position.

A new conference series on gay and lesbian Mormons -- the same one Kloosterman addressed last year -- is seeing an uptick in popularity.

Church spokesman Michael Purdy would not comment on whether church members are changing their stance toward gay and lesbian issues but said in an e-mail message: "In the Church, we strive to follow Jesus Christ who showed immense love and compassion towards all of God's children."

Purdy wrote, "If members are becoming more loving and Christ-like toward others then this can only be a positive development."

'It is definitely getting better'

The Brigham Young students who taped the pro-gay video this month were contributing to a popular video series meant to inspire hope in young people who are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality identity.

The video featured students telling stories of being gay at Brigham Young, sharing tales of heartache, loss and even suicide.

"It kind of is a very different world to be gay and Mormon because it feels like neither community accepts you completely," said Bridey Jensen, a fifth-year senior and acting president of Understanding Same Gender Attraction, the group that posted the video.

"We put out the message for youth that are going through this, and we want them to know that we were them a few years ago, and it gets better and there is a place for you," she said.

Though chastity is a requirement at Brigham Young, gay and lesbian students say they are under more scrutiny. The school's honor code says that "homosexual behavior is inappropriate and violates" the code.

But Jensen said reaction to the video, which has been viewed almost 400,000 times on YouTube, has been "overwhelmingly positive."

Carri Jenkins, an assistant to Brigham Young's president, told CNN that the production of the video is not a violation of the honor code and that the students will not be punished.

The honor code, Jenkins said, is "based on conduct, not on feeling and if same-gender attraction is only stated, that is not an honor code issue."

Jensen said that while gay and lesbian Mormons face a tough road, she sees a shift toward greater acceptance. It is definitely getting better within the church, she said. "They are not so quick to judge. They understand that they don't understand everything. I am glad I can be a little part of it."

Some scholars of Mormonism, such as Columbia University's Richard Bushman, said they see the very existence of such a gay rights group at Brigham Young as a step toward greater acceptance of gays and lesbians.

"The last 10 years have been a huge sea change in terms of willingness to accept homosexuals," Bushman said. "Gay kids are still going to have a tough time in the church, but this level of acceptance and acknowledgment -- that is really that last decade I would say."

Most gay Mormons point to 2008's push for Proposition 8 in California, which banned same-sex marriage in the state but has faced legal challenge in the courts, as a low point in the relationship between the church and gay and lesbian community.

Mormons make up 2% of California's population, but they contributed half of the $40 million war chest used to defend Proposition 8, according to a Time magazine report.

The church's Proposition 8 activism angered many gay rights groups around the country, with some labeling the church "bigoted," "homophobic" and "anti-gay."

But church officials pushed back against the perception that the Proposition 8 backlash has provoked a Mormon softening on gay and lesbian issues.

"Many positive relationships have come from the Church's experience in supporting traditional marriage in California," Purdy, the church spokesman, said in an e-mail exchange with CNN.

Purdy draws a distinction between being against same-sex marriage and against equality for gays and lesbians.

He reiterated that the church was "strongly on the record as supporting traditional marriage," but he said its stance should never be used as justification for violence or unkindness.

"The Church's doctrine has not changed but we certainly believe you can be Christ-like, loving and civil, while advocating a strongly held moral position such as supporting traditional marriage," Purdy wrote in an e-mail message.

"We do not believe that strong support of traditional marriage is anti-gay," he wrote. "We love and cherish our brothers and sisters who experience same gender attraction. They are children of God."

Church doctrine says that sex outside marriage is a sin and can lead to excommunication. Since gay people cannot be married in the church, any sex for them would be premarital and, therefore, sinful.

"The distinction between feelings or inclinations on the one hand, and behavior on the other hand, is very clear," the church's website says. "It's no sin to have inclinations that if yielded to would produce behavior that would be a transgression. The sin is in yielding to temptation. Temptation is not unique. Even the Savior was tempted."

Openly gay and a church leader

Mitch Mayne seems to relish his role as a lightning rod.

Mayne, an openly gay Mormon who blogs about homosexuality and the church, received the calling -- a term Mormons use for being invited into a church position -- in August.

Mayne is now executive secretary in a San Francisco ward of the church.

"I view myself as gay and being completely whole as being gay," Mayne said.

Many observers of Mormonism say Mayne's calling marked a unique moment in church history. Purdy said that Mayne's appointment is "not unique," but it's hard to find precedent for an outspokenly gay executive secretary.

Mayne said he sees his job as building bridges with the gay community in San Francisco and showing them "there are pockets in the Mormon Church where you can be yourself."

The biggest obstacle toward building those bridges is the threat of excommunication, said Mayne, who told CNN that in some wards just being gay can lead to expulsion from the church.

According to church doctrine, a formal disciplinary council can be called at the request of church leader.

While the leaders of the church mandate councils called for murder, incest or apostasy, it has a long list of reasons to call a disciplinary council.

According to the church's website, the list of reasons includes "abortion, transsexual operation, attempted murder, rape, forcible sexual abuse, intentionally inflicting serious physical injuries on others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations. ..."

Some wards are observing that guidance while others aren't, Mayne said.

"Here in the Bay Area ... we are no longer seeking out LGBT members of the church and excommunicating them," Mayne said. "Our role is to bring people closer to the Savior, so if we are routinely excommunicating people, then we are really not doing our job."

Mayne said he believes the challenge is to convince church leaders that they don't ever have to excommunicate gay members.

And he said the Proposition 8 campaign was the "least Christ-like thing we have ever done as a church."

"Not only did we alienate gays and lesbians, but we alienated their parents, their friends, those who support them -- the ripple effect went way beyond the gay community, and I don't think we were prepared for such a negative fallout," Mayne said. "I think the church deserved the black eye they received."

He added, "As a result of that really horrible time, I think we are entering a really good time to be a gay Mormon. It is getting better."

'Mormonism doesn't simply wash off'

When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints speaks, the City Council of Salt Lake City listens. At least the council seemed to in 2009 when it voted on an ordinance to make it illegal to discriminate against gay and transgendered residents in housing and employment.

"The church supports these ordinances because they are fair and reasonable and do not do violence to the institution of marriage," church spokesman Michael Otterson told the council.

Shortly after the church's expression, the City Council approved the measure unanimously.

Many gay rights activists said they saw the move as an olive branch after the Proposition 8 debate.

"The tone and the culture is evolving, and the way the LGBT people are being treated is changing. I don't think the church's policy has caught up to that change in culture," said Ross Murray, director of religion, faith and values at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "The Mormon church hasn't gotten nearly as politically involved as they had since 2009."

Though Murray sees the church lobbying for anti-discrimination laws as a positive step, he said the church's shift is more about style than substance.

"It is going to take a lot of intentional effort to actually prove they are different," Murray said. "That burden, because of the really public nature of their support of Prop 8, falls harder on the Mormon church than others."

Joanna Brooks, a popular Mormon blogger and president of Mormon Stories, a nonprofit group that facilitates conversations on Mormon issues, echoes Murray's sentiments.

She said she sees the church's stance as challenging gay Mormons to choose between the religion they most likely grew up with and their desire for romantic companionship.

"Mormonism doesn't simply wash off," she said, adding that the church can't make it that "either you are gay or you are Mormon, or either you support gay rights or you support the church."

The-CNN-Wire/Atlanta/+1-404-827-WIRE(9473)

™ & © 2012 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events