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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Fifa accused of not taking racism seriously enough at World Cup

Piara Powar, director of FARE, said Fifa received a proposal to have three anti-racism officials at every match. Photograph: Adam Hunger/Reuters

The head of Fifa’s anti-racism task force has voiced his disappointment at the failure to appoint staff trained to record discriminatory abuse in World Cup stadiums in the wake of a series of contentious incidents.

Fifa did not take action over offensive chanting by Mexican fans, racist chanting at matches involving Russia and Croatia, or

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Government must investigate Sodexo racism claims, says Labour

Sodexo is in pole position to win a contract to run six British military bases in Cyprus. Photograph: Jean-Erick Pasquier

Labour is calling for the government to investigate allegations of racism at one of the largest outsourcing firms in the UK before a decision is made on the awarding of a military contract to run British bases in the Mediterranean.

The Guardian revealed on Wednesday that Sodexo, a multinational company that operates privatised prisons, NHS pathology services and school kitchens, is facing damaging claims about racism in the personnel department of the defence division. The claims arose after an employee was hit by her director, who said it was “punch-a-black week”.

The firm is in pole position to win a contract to run six military bases in Cyprus. The deal is worth up to

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