Minister Stripped of Credential for Officiating Gay Son’s Wedding Dies

The Mennonite minister whose church stripped him of his credentials for officiating the wedding of his gay son has died. Chester Wenger passed away Friday, October 2, in Lititz, Pennsylvania, with his family caring for him. He made history in 2014 when he officiated the wedding of his son Phil, who had been ex-communicated from the Mennonite church for being gay, and his partner Steve Dinnocenti. Wenger was 102.

“My father was a person who gave his life to his family and his church,” his son, Phil Wenger, told WGAL.

The elder Wenger officiated the ceremony of his son and Dinnocenti after marriage equality became legal. Phil had been excommunicated by a single leader in the Mennonite church decades before, but Chester was adamant he wanted to preside over the ceremony. He published an open letter afterwards explaining why doing so was in accordance with his interpretation of the

Read More Read more

Downtown jewelry store stripped of valuables by rioters intends to sue city

A longtime downtown jeweler intends to sue the City of Portland, alleging that the Police Bureau and city politicians failed to protect downtown merchants from thieves that broke into her store in a May 30 riot.

Noha Kassab, owner of Kassab Jewelers, filed a tort claim notice with the city last month. She claims the store was stripped of valuables, including $1.5 million worth of diamonds, rubies and other gems. Together with the damage to the store and its fixtures and lost profits, Kassab informed the city she will seek $2.5 million in damages.

The Kassab store was one of several high-end retailers hit by thieves in a wild spree of vandalism, arson and smash-and-grab late in the night of May 30. The night of plundering further scarred a downtown already burdened by COVID-19 restrictions, the associated recession and widespread homelessness.

Four months later, storefronts through much of downtown remain

Read More Read more