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|Inman Park UMC allows YouthPride to stay in space 'for now'|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|March 20, 2012 16:18|
At a Fulton Magistrate Court hearing today, Inman Park United Methodist Church agreed to allow YouthPride stay in its space for now as a way to settle the disagreements between the two parties "peacefully," according to the church's attorney.
The consent order was reached before today's hearing but the specifics of the agreement won't be available until tomorrow after it is signed by a judge, said Peter Morgan, attorney representing Inman Park UMC.
"We came to an agreement … to settle things peacefully and to the benefit of both parties," Morgan said following the hearing.
The organization serving lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth will be able to stay in the building at 1017 Edgewood Ave. that it rents from the church "for now," Morgan added.
Morgan declined to say more, including whether YouthPride will be expected to pay the $40,000 in back rent and fees the church contends it is owed.
YouthPride Executive Director Terence McPhaul also declined to comment about the consent order after the hearing other than to say he would discuss the agreement with YouthPride board members.
"I just echo what Peter said. We decided to end it peacefully," McPhaul said. "I've said all I want to say at this point because I haven't spoken with the board members yet."
McPhaul said the board members he is speaking to are Jordan Myers, board president, and Theresa Willis.
Myers has declined comment for months and reportedly ordered the agency shut down last month, according to former YouthPride employee Tana Hall.
Willis cannot be located for comment.
Gabriel Haggray, a former youth representative on the YouthPride board of directors, attended the court hearing on behalf of other youth.
"No matter what happens, the youth will stand united," he said. "No matter what happens with YP, the youth are still going to meet. We're going to go out on our own so we can still remain a family.
"I'm certainly disappointed to see the direction YouthPride is taking, I really, really wish we could avoid this. But this is where we are now and you have to make the best out of this," Haggray added.
Inman Park UMC filed a suit against YouthPride on Feb. 17 seeking payment of $40,000 in back rent; the organization has not paid rent since June 2011.
McPhaul, on behalf of YouthPride, filed a counterclaim against the church earlier this month, claiming in court records the church failed to make repairs to the facility.
"Due to this failure [by the church], its value has been reduced by $500 each month for 60 months," the counterclaim stated.
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