Internationally Known Gay Cleric Voices Support for WorldPride Gay Festival in Jerusalem
- For background for the following MCC press release, see
Clerics of 3 Faiths Protest Gay Festival Planned for Jerusalem
By LAURIE GOODSTEIN and GREG MYRE
New York Times, March 31, 2005
International gay leaders are planning a 10-day WorldPride festival
and parade in Jerusalem in August, saying they want to make a
statement about tolerance and diversity in the Holy City, home to
three great religious traditions.
Now major leaders of the three faiths - Christianity, Judaism and
Islam - are making a rare show of unity to try to stop the festival.
They say the event would desecrate the city and convey the erroneous
impression that homosexuality is acceptable.
NY Times registration required.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 31, 2005
Internationally Known Gay Cleric Voices Support for WorldPride Gay
Festival in Jerusalem
"We are coming to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is our Holy City, too," says
the Reverend Dr. Troy D. Perry, founder of world's largest gay church
Los Angeles -- An internationally-known gay cleric entered the debate
over the upcoming WorldPride festival and parade in Jerusalem today,
noting "We are deeply saddened that once again, religion has been used
to attack God's gay and lesbian children." The Reverend Dr. Troy D.
Perry, founder of the 43,000 member Metropolitan Community Churches,
one of the world's largest predominantly gay organizations, voiced his
strong support for the international gay event schedule for Jerusalem
in August 2005..
Perry, who is co-chair of an Interfaith Gay Clergy Conference to be
held at WorldPride, said, "We are coming to Jerusalem. And we are
coming with gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender clergy of
many faith communities. Jerusalem is our Holy City, too."
On Thursday, Christian, Jewish and Moslem clerics in Israel denounced
the WorldPride Festival, asking city officials to ban the observance.
"They have a right to their views," said Perry, "but they don't have a
right to globalize their prejudice and infringe on the freedoms of
others. True spiritual values are about inclusion and welcome, not
attacks and threats."
Perry, a long time human rights activist, is the first openly gay
person to serve on the Los Angeles Human Rights Commission and is a
past delegate to the White House Conference on AIDS and the White
House Conference on Hate Crimes. In 1998, he was one of 100 U.S.
religious leaders honored at a White House breakfast by U.S. President
Bill Clinton for their contributions to American society.
At a Thursday press conference in Israel, Rabbi Yehuda Levin, of the
Rabbinical Alliance of America, called the festival "the spiritual
rape of the Holy City," adding, "This is not the homo land, it is the
"The religious voices attacking World Pride are loud and shrill, but
they are not representative of the growing spiritual movements that
welcome gays and lesbians," said Perry.
"Thirty-six years of activism for gays and lesbians have taught me
never to be intimidated by the voices of hate and ridicule and
exclusion. They only make us stronger and more convinced in our work
for equality. And this attack is no different," said Perry. "I'm
inviting everyone I know to come to WorldPride with me in August."
"Many of us will be gathering in Jerusalem not only to celebrate gay
pride, but also to celebrate our spiritual pride," said Perry. "We're
coming as pilgrims to pay homage to the three faiths of Christianity,
Judaism, and Islam that hold Jerusalem sacred."
For More Information, Contact:
MCC Communications Department
8704 Santa Monica Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Tel. (310) 360-8640
Fax (310) 360-8680