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Formal complaint filed against NC pastor for officiating same-sex wedding

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The United Methodist Church confirmed this week that it was investigating a formal complaint against at least one North Carolina pastor for officiating same-sex weddings.

In response to North Carolina’s HB2 law against transgender bathroom rights, Bishop Melvin G. Talbert and Rev. Val Rosenquist conducted a same-sex wedding at the First United Methodist Church of Charlotte, NC on Saturday.

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The Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church revealed this week that an anonymous formal complaint had been filed against Rosenquist.

“Multiple media outlets have reported that Rev. Dr. Val Rosenquist at First United Methodist Church in Charlotte performed a same sex wedding, which would be in violation of Paragraph 341.6 in The 2012 Book of Discipline, and that Bishop Melvin Talbert was in attendance at the service,” the statement said.

“A formal complaint was filed with Bishop Goodpaster over the weekend, after the press deadlines for Monday’s paper,” a statement from the conference said. “In response to the filed complaint, Bishop Goodpaster has begun the process outlined in paragraph 363 of The 2012 Book of Discipline.”

It was not clear if a complaint had also been filed against Talbert, who came under fire from the church in 2013 for officiating a same-sex wedding at a church in Georgia.

A ruled added to the church’s Book of Discipline in 1972 states that homosexuality “is incompatible with Christian teaching.”

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The United Methodist General Conference meeting in May is expected to consider how the church will address the issue of human sexuality going forward. Church members are reportedly split on adopting a platform of LGBT inclusiveness.

Watch video of the wedding ceremony below.

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Trump is deploying national guardsman to provide pandemic support without any health benefits: report

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The National Guard are an essential part of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, and thousands of them have potentially been exposed to infected civilians, making it a particularly dangerous and important time to serve.

But according to The Daily Beast, the guard has been deployed in a way that prevents them from being eligible for the military's health care system.

"The approximately 20,000 guardsmen who have been called up to help states around the country deal with the spread of the coronavirus are federalized on what’s called Title 32 status, which puts them in command of their various state governors but with the federal government paying costs," wrote senior national security correspondent Spencer Ackerman. "But according to the National Guard’s advocates and the U.S. governors’ association, the guardsmen are activated on orders that last 30 days. That puts them one single day shy of the requirement allowing the military health insurance system known as TRICARE — think of it as Medicare For All In Uniform — to cover them."

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Vaccine researchers grew ‘alarmed’ as Trump’s CDC wasted weeks of their time with a flawed coronavirus test: report

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According to a report from the Washington Post, in the early days as health officials became concerned about the possibility of the COVID-19 pandemic blossoming out of China, researchers sat and wasted days they could have used to start developing a vaccine because they were assured by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that a testing kit was on its way.

As it turned out, that test was flawed.

Relying on emails and interviews, the Post is reporting, "On a Jan. 15 conference call, a leading scientist at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assured local and state public health officials from across the nation that there would soon be a test to detect a mysterious virus spreading from China. Stephen Lindstrom told them the threat was remote and they may not need the test his team was developing 'unless the scope gets much larger than we anticipate,' according to an email summarizing the call."

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Lawmakers need to step up and stop Trump from ‘killing Americans’ with his ‘incompetence’: Ex-prosecutor

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On Saturday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner excoriated President Donald Trump's mismanagement of the national health care system on Twitter — and called on elected leaders to "stop letting Trump kill Americans."

Trump’s mixture of incompetence and exploitation for political purposes of our national health emergency is costing lives. The most pressing question at this moment is: at what point do our elected politicians stop letting Trump kill Americans?

— Glenn Kirschner (@glennkirschner2) April 4, 2020

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