5 LGBT things you need to know today, Aug. 16

1. Ding dong, the bill is dead! Which old bill? The anti-transgender Texas bathroom bill, that is. 2. In Alabama, the fight to fill Jeff Sessions' vacated seat after he leveled up to the federal government: ...
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Julian Bond joins HRC for marriage equality video series

Former NAACP chief Julian Bond

Civil rights icon Julian Bond and the Human Rights Campaign this week released a video featuring Bond in the “Americans for Marriage Equality” series, calling for same-sex couples to have the right to marry.

The HRC calls the series a public engagement campaign.

“The issue of marriage equality is at a critical time as it moves through electoral, legislative and judicial arenas,” reads the HRC website.

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[Video] Tempers flare during NAACP panel discussion on LGBT issues

NAACP CEO Ben Jealous

CNN anchor Don Lemon, who recently came out as gay, moderated a panel discussion on black LGBT issues during the annual National Association for the Advancement of Colored People conference in Los Angeles over the weekend. Panel participants included out comedian Wanda Sykes, civil rights activist Julian Bond and other leaders in the black gay community and focused on a wide variety of topics from homophobia and hypocrisy in the black church to reaching out to allies in the community.

The two hour discussion was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center during the organization's 102nd annual conference.

There were contentious moments during the discussion, when NAACP CEO Benjamin Jealous was asked how the NAACP could be taken seriously as an advocate for LGBT equality when members of its board have made public anti-gay statements in the recent past.

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Bernice King confirms she is no longer a member of New Birth

On the heels of Bishop Eddie Long's settlement with four young men who sued him for alleged sexual coercion, Bernice King confirmed Tuesday that she is leaving New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

"I know there has been lots of speculation and comments about my departure from New Birth," King told radio host Rhodell Lewis on Praise 102.5 FM. King is the daughter of the late Martin Luther King Jr. and late Coretta Scott King.

"Let me start by just clarifying to let all your listeners and others who may be listening in that ...  after eight years and eight months my last Sunday as a member of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church was this past Sunday," King said.

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Bishop Eddie Long denies in court documents sexual contact with four young men

Bishop Eddie Long denied accusations he sexually coerced young men who are former members of his mega-church New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in court documents filed late today.

Long filed four responses in DeKalb County State Court to the four lawsuits filed against him by the four men who allege he used his authority as their spiritual leader into having sexual relationships with him.Long is also asking the lawsuits to be dismissed.

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Eddie Long scandal ‘blows hinges off church’s closet doors’

Bishop Eddie Long is accused of luring male members of his congregation into sexual relationships

Rev. Kathi Martin remembers sitting down with Bishop Eddie Long in 2008 in a conference room at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to talk about his virulently anti-gay views in an attempt to educate him about LGBT people. Martin and the other Atlanta gay pastors who attended wanted him to meet face-to-face some of the people he has said “deserve death.”

“He actually seemed very engaged,” said Martin, associate minister of The Victory Church in Stone Mountain. “We first met with other leadership of the church and then he came in and listened to our stories of how his church and its anti-gay messages set a tone for the rest of the church, which then sets a tone for the people in the church and the families — that there’s a ripple effect. People are either having their prejudices confirmed or that prejudice is spread.”