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Supreme Court: Marriage is a fundamental right for gay couples


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Barry Manilow


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TWO AND A HALF MEN


Appeals panel decided to overturn decision to defrock pastor

Frank Schaefer


Bishop Gene Robinson announces end of marriage

1st openly gay Episcopal bishop to divorce husband


Author Jeanne Phillips, the daughter of the original advice columnist Dear Abby poses for a photo at a hotel in Century City in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 5, 2007. Dear Abby is publicly declaring her support for same-sex marriage next week in Washington, D.C. She has hinted at this in past columns, but plans to step it up in the future. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)  DAMIAN DOVARGANES, AP

A letter about a couple unhappy with their gay neighbors in Tampa got little sympathy from “Dear Abby” in a column published on Wednesday.

“Gay people don’t choose to be gay; they are born that way,” Jeanne Phillips, the current author of the syndicated advice column, wrote. “They can’t change being gay any more than you can change being heterosexual.”

In the letter from “Unhappy in Tampa,” a woman complains of being excluded from neighborhood gatherings over her refusal to extend an invitation to two gay couples.

“While they are nice enough, my husband and I did not include them when it was our turn to host because we do not approve of their lifestyle choices,” the letter read. “Since then, we have been excluded from neighborhood gatherings, and someone even suggested that we are bigots!”

The letter, which has sparked interest on social media sites, says “Unhappy in Tampa” and her husband were welcomed quickly by their neighbors after moving to Florida from a conservative community, but did not think they should compromise their values to win their neighbors’ approval.

“But really, who is the true bigot here?” it asked. “Would you like to weigh in?”

Phillips, who under the pen name Abigail Van Buren took over the original column from her mother, responded that the couple would apparently be happier in a neighborhood surrounded by people who thought the way that they did.

“But if you interact only with people like yourselves, you will have missed a chance for growth, which is what you have been offered here,” concluded Phillips, who in 2007 announced that she supported gay marriage. “Please don’t blow it.”


Rev. Frank Schaefer married son


Tim Schaefer is still happily married to his husband and living in Massachusetts, but his father’s career as a Methodist minister in Pennsylvania is threatened.

PHILADELPHIA —A United Methodist pastor from central Pennsylvania was defrocked after officiating at his son’s same-sex marriage in Massachusetts, a church spokesman announced Thursday.

The Rev. Frank Schaefer of Lebanon had already been suspended. He was scheduled to meet with church officials Thursday morning in Norristown, a Philadelphia suburb.

Schaefer was told to resign from the clergy by Thursday if he could not follow the denomination’s Book of Discipline.

Schaefer performed son Tim Schaefer’s wedding at a Hull restaurant function hall, not in a church.

Schaefer says the book discriminates against gay people. He says he won’t voluntarily surrender his credentials and hopes the church has a change of heart.

Schaefer has planned an afternoon news conference. It will be held at a Methodist church in Philadelphia where an associate pastor was defrocked in 2005 for being in a lesbian relationship.