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Texas Judge Rules Which Churches Are Acceptable for Gay Families

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  • U.M. Cornet
    CALLED OUT INFORMATION SERVICE N E W S R E L E A S E From The News Service of The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches Texas Judge Rules
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 28, 1999

      N E W S R E L E A S E

      From The News Service of The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan
      Community Churches

      Texas Judge Rules Which Churches Are Acceptable for Gay Families
      - Decides Metropolitan Community Church Not Acceptable -

      DATELINE TEXAS, USA -- A district judge in the Texas court system has
      released an official ruling that the predominantly gay Metropolitan
      Community Church (MCC) is not an acceptable church for the daughter
      of a lesbian mother.

      The ruling came in the midst of a custody ruling as part of a divorce
      between the lesbian mother and her husband.

      "I'm holding the judge's order in my hand and reading and re-reading
      his words. I can hardly believe what I am seeing," said the Rev.
      Troy D. Perry, Moderator of more than 300 MCC congregations.

      In his legal opinion, Judge Keith Nelson of the 78 Judicial District
      of Texas wrote:

      "The primary issue is where the child would attend Sunday school and
      church...the intent was for mainline churches to be utilized in the
      religious training of the daughter. This would include the Catholic
      Church, and church in the Protestant faith such as Presbyterian,
      Methodist, Baptist, Christian, Episcopalian, which are considered to
      be the standard religious institutions in the Protestant field. The
      Metropolitan Community Church does not fall within this category."

      "This is a violation of the First Amendment protections to freedom of
      religion," said Perry. "We have joined hands with the National Center
      for Lesbian Rights to fight this injustice and protect the
      constitutional rights of this lesbian mother and her child."

      "This is not only shocking," said Perry, "it's an attack on GLBT
      families and people of faith. Because we're gay or lesbian, this
      homophobic, sexist judge feels he can decide by official government
      decree which churches or synagogues are "acceptable" and which are
      not. What in God's name will it take to get the government out of our
      lives -- or from attempting to control our GLBT families?"

      The lesbian mother reports she tried to comply with the judge's
      ruling and attended the types of churches listed in his order. "We
      never felt comfortable in those places," said the mother, whose name
      is being withheld to protect her daughter's legal rights. "My heart
      almost broke when my daughter begged me to take her back to the MCC

      "I am asking all people of goodwill to support this case. And I
      encourage those who believe in prayer, to remember this courageous
      mother and her beautiful young daughter with their prayers," said

      According to Perry, an appeal of the judge's decision was filed in
      the Texas court system on Friday, April 23. "I have made a personal
      commitment to this family that we will pursure the appeals process
      as far as we have to to ensure that justice is done, and to protect
      other GLBT families from this kind of government interference into
      our personal, family and spiritual lives," added Perry.

      Since its founding in 1968, UFMCC has been at the forefront of the
      drive for spiritual and social justice for gays, lesbians,
      bisexuals and transgendered persons. The denomination successfully
      fought for the of rights of gays and lesbians to serve as chaplains
      in public jails, and has fought a variety of anti-gay laws and ballot

      UFMCC is composed of more than 300 local congregations in 15
      countries. UFMCC has 42,000 official members and adherents, and
      more than 225,000 persons attend the services and programs of UFMCC
      annually. Additional information on UFMCC is available on the
      Internet at http://www.ufmcc.com


      James N. Birkitt, UFMCC Director of Communications
      8704 Santa Monica Blvd., 2nd Floor
      West Hollywood, CA 90069

      Tel. (310) 360-8640, Ext. 226

      Fax: (310) 360-8680

      E-Mail: Info@...

      website: http://www.ufmcc.com

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