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December 10, 2001

Local pastor to speak at 2002 Pride banquet

By Eric Rangus


Chris Copeland, associate pastor of Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, will be the featured speaker at the Pride banquet, March 4.

This announcement came at the latest meeting of the President’s Commission on LGBT Concerns, which took place Dec. 4 in 400 Administration.

Copeland, ‘97L-’97T, is an alumnus of Emory’s Law and Religion Program. As a gay man, Copeland’s ordination by Oakhurst Baptist led the Georgia Baptist Convention (GBC) to expel the church from its membership. In 1998, the GBC voted to exclude any church that “knowingly takes or has taken, any action to affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior.”

While the speaker and the date of the Pride banquet have been finalized, the location has not, said Pride banquet chair Catherine Shiel. Venues being discussed include the Houston Mill House and the Miller-Ward Alumni House.

Essay committee chair Susan Browne updated the commission on her committee’s work. She said a leaflet advertising the competition was designed and will be posted throughout campus and distributed both to commission members and LGBT groups. A e-mail advertisement was sent to campus LGBT groups as well

Browne said several ads are scheduled for The Emory Wheel both before and after the holidays, and commission members stressed the importance of advertising just prior to the Feb. 4 deadline. In previous years participation has suffered because of a lack of late-January advertising.

In addition to Copeland’s address, the Pride banquet will feature the awards of $500 to the best graduate and $250 to the best undergraduate essay in the field of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender studies, to be presented by President Bill Chace. For more information on how to enter the essay contest, contact Browne at 404-727-6590 or

The membership and outreach committee discussed the informational brochure it has been working on. Members have discussed including it in new hire packages, although that may not be feasible.

Placing it on advertising racks in Human Resources, however, appeared to be an option.

Much of the discussion centered around what the commission hopes to accomplish with the brochure. One goal is to differentiate it from the Office of LGBT Life, a separate entity that is part of the Division of Campus Life but is often grouped with the commission.

“Part of what we do is wait,” said chair Mark Jordan. “We’re there when there’s trouble. The brochure lets people know we’re here.”

The next LGBT meeting is scheduled for Jan. 22 in 400 Administration.

If you have a question or comment for LGBT, send e-mail to Mark Jordan at


Back to Emory Report December 10, 2001