U.S. Recognizes Predominantly GBLT Churches To Provide Chaplains
- U.S. Recognizes Predominantly GBLT Churches To Provide Chaplains
N E W S R E L E A S E
For Immediate Release: July 30, 2002
U.S. Government Recognizes Predominantly Gay MCC Churches To Provide
Chaplains For Military Veterans
"Historic step," says MCC Founder Rev. Troy Perry
Los Angeles, CA -- Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), the
predominantly gay Christian church with 300 congregations in 22
countries, has received recognition from the federal government to
provide chaplains to the U.S. Veterans Administration.
"This marks an historic step for MCC churches," said Rev. Troy Perry,
longtime human rights activist and Moderator of the 52,000-member
church organization. "U.S. programs have long been hostile to GLBT
military servicemembers and veterans, so this marks yet another
positive step toward full equality for America's gay and lesbian
citizens," added Perry, himself a veteran of the U.S. Army.
While independent from the military services, the Veterans
Administration provides support and outreach programs to both active
duty servicemembers and veterans.
MCC has a second application pending with the U.S. federal government
to provide chaplains to military branches. The application process is
being overseen by Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis, MCC Director of Clergy
Development, and Rev. Dr. Penny Nixon, senior pastor of MCC San
The Veterans Administration is the second largest of the 14 Cabinet
departments in the U.S. executive branch and operates nationwide
programs for military veterans, including health care, financial
assistance, vocational rehabilitation, education, training, and
employment services, as well as management of all national cemeteries.
Among its many services, the VA provides health care assistance to more
than 100,000 homeless veterans each year. More than 70 million
Americans are eligible for VA benefits because they are veterans,
family members, or surviving spouses of veterans.
Metropolitan Community Churches is a Christian denomination with a
positive, affirming ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender
persons and their enlightened friends and families. Founded in 1968 in
the months before the Stonewall Riots, MCC is today made up of 300
local congregations in 22 countries, and has 52,000 members and
adherents. The MCC movement has an annual operating budget of $20
million dollars, more than 90% of which is reinvested in the
communities in which local churches operate. Information on MCC is
available at www.MCCchurch.org.
A free MCC e-mail newsletter is available by writing to
(whose church membership resides at Good Shepherd Parish MCC Chicago,
IL USA, but whose views and opinions do not always reflect those of
that particular body and even when they do, they are still just my
NOT so humble opinions and views, so THERE!)