US: Retired United Methodist minister sets himself on fire to protest against racism, homophobia

Reverend Charles Moore committed suicide a few weeks before his 80th birthday. Get the latest LGBT headlines in your inbox with our free daily newsletter! Join Topics Gay rightsChristianTexassuicideracismequal rightsCivil RightsmethodistReverend Charles Mooreself-immolationanti-homophobia protest Share on WhatsApp 14 reader comments

Family and colleagues of a retired United Methodist minister who set himself on fire to protest against racism and homophobia have spoken about his life-long fight for equal rights.

The Rev. Charles Moore, 79, committed suicide on 23 June, having driven across Texas to his childhood home of Grand Saline, before dousing himself with gasoline and lighting himself on fire.

Moore chose Grand Saline for the negative memories it held of racism and prejudice, and particular of lynching, which he witnessed as a boy.

Although he spent much of his early life fighting racial segregation, in later life he directed his attention first against the death penalty and then to combating prejudice within the Methodist church against gays and lesbians.

In the 1990s, he took an active role in encouraging gay Christians to join his own congregation, and in challenging the prejudices of an aging church-going population for whom religious condemnation of homosexuality was the norm. He promoted gay members to leadership positions within his church.

A colleague, the Rev. Sid Hall, described Moore as having

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