By: David Rice Re: In the news VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (ITN) A gay clergyman arrested a week a

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By: David Rice Re: In the news VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (ITN) * A gay clergyman arrested a week ago while trying to meet with Pat Robertson said Wednesday he would end a weeklong jailhouse fast if the religious broadcaster condemns anti-gay violence. The Rev. Mel White, a former ghost writer for Robertson, said in an interview in the Virginia Beach Jail he would refuse food and stay in the isolated cell where he's been held since Feb. 15 until Robertson acknowledges him. "I don't think Pat Robertson wants anybody hurt or beaten or killed," White said. "But when you get up in a theater and yell 'fire' and people get trampled, you are responsible for those deaths." White maintains that Robertson uses anti-homosexual language in his "700 Club" show on the Christian Broadcasting Network and in fundraising appeals. "You have every right to say what you believe," White wrote in a letter to Robertson. "But ... so much of what you say is misleading and dangerously inflammatory." Gene Kapp, a spokesman for CBN, said Robertson already "condemns violence of any kind" and accused White of trying to create "a media event to publicize himself." Kapp said White showed up on a day when Robertson was out of town and refused to discuss his concerns with other ministry executives who were available. White, a volunteer clergyman in Dallas for the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches, a national gay denomination, said he has tried for three years to meet with Robertson. He was arrested on a charge of trespassing at Robertson's CBN offices. White was a ghost writer for a Robertson book in 1986. He said he acknowledged his homosexuality in 1991 and severed all ties to Robertson. Robertson told White in a letter made public earlier this month he would not meet with him. Robertson, who condemns homosexuality as a "sin," wrote in the letter to White that the Bible directs him to "have love in my heart toward homosexual and lesbian people." Despite the refusal, White showed up at Robertson's headquarters on Valentine's Day carrying flowers and candy and was arrested the next day, after spending the night outside CBN headquarters. White said he would refuse offers to pay his $2,500 bail on the misdemeanor charge because he would have to agree to stay away from CBN headquarters or to pay any fine if he is convicted when his case is heard March 28. Instead, he sits in a cell that is isolated from other inmates, drinking only liquids in a prayer fast that he hopes will convince Robertson to change his mind and see him. "If I can't walk across that campus, if he has to call the civil authorities to arrest me, you can see how frustrated I am," White said. ... "And the bug-eyed monster?" "Is green, yes."


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