• County supervisors in San Francisco voted unanimously August 10 to expand the city's domestic partners policy, making it the only U.S. municipality to order private businesses to provide the same customer discounts offered to married couples. The passage of the ordinance came on the heels of the U.S. House voting 214 to 212 to prevent the city from obtaining federal housing funds because of an ordinance passed last year that forces businesses with city contracts to extend health benefits to partners of homosexuals.
  • Roman Catholic Bible scholar Raymond E. Brown, 70, died August 8 after suffering a heart attack. Brown, the first Catholic to hold a tenured position at New York's Union Theological Seminary, wrote nearly 40 books, including The Birth of the Messiah, The Death of the Messiah, and landmark commentaries on the gospel and epistles of John. His 1996 book An Introduction to the New Testament responded to liberal theories emerging from the Jesus Seminar.
  • Due to an outcry by nearly 100 religious schools, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) on August 11 voted to accommodate schools that had objected to playing Sunday championship games. In April, the NCAA had decided not to give colleges an option. That sparked protests from Campbell University, a Southern Baptist-related school in North Carolina, and Brigham Young, the Mormon institution in Utah. Dozens of other schools joined in complaints.
  • Kay Ward, 56, a pastoral theology professor at Moravian Theological Seminary in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on August 10 became the first woman elected as bishop among the 700,000 members of the worldwide Moravian Church. The Moravian Church of America has ordained women since 1975.
  • Church music composer and choral director Fred Bock, 59, died of cardiac arrest on July 31. Bock, music director at First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, California, at age 24 founded the music publishing division of Word, Inc. There are more than 400 compositions and musical arrangements by Bock in print.
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