Click here to watch the recorded media event following the historic SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality in the USA.
Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, MCC Global Moderator, celebrates the historic decision by SCOTUS to support same-sex marriage.
Contact: Linda Brenner-Beckstead, Linda@MCCchurch.net, 941-321-7886
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson is the moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, which has ministries around the world. Dr. Wilson was part of the first LGBT faith delegation to meet with a sitting president in 1979.She was a member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
“Today, love and equality win! The Supreme Court concluded that all loving couples deserve the right to marry! Finally, the U.S. Constitution applies to every family,” said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, global Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches. “More children in America can now go to school proudly and know their families are protected by the highest court of the land. I am thrilled but we cannot rest until all people, regardless of race, gender identity, and sexual orientation are free to live without fear.”
“O happy day! LGBTQ couples in the United States have the right to marry! MCC was the first to marry same-sex couples in1968. In 1970 we brought the first lawsuit for marriage equality,” said the Rev. Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches. “Metropolitan Community Churches demonstrated for marriage licenses every Valentine’s Day. We married couples at Pride marches. We performed thousands of marriages in our churches, and we never gave up!”
“We are thrilled with the Court’s decision for marriage equality. Today, we redouble our efforts to let the world know that discrimination is wrong-not just in marriage, but in employment and every walk of life,” said Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt, Director for Marriage Equality for MCC’s Public Policy Team.
“We are celebrating-and getting back to work,” said the Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Executive Director of the Global Justice Institute. “LGBTQ people in Kenya, Eastern Europe, and 76 countries live in fear for their lives. After almost 50 years, MCC is still on the cutting edge of ministry. Known as ‘The Human Rights Church’ in many countries, MCC knows the next chapter will be Global. LGBTQ people in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America deserve to live in peace.”
“While marriage equality is a significant stride toward justice, injustice remains for too many people. We have learned the painful lesson that unless we stand up for each other, some people will never experience justice. Black lives matter, Trans lives matter, Immigrant lives matter-and the list goes on! We are not finished with our work for justice until all lives matter,” said the Rev. Darlene Garner, Director of Emerging Ministries with responsibility for diversity and inclusion.
on the day the decision is announced
Ann Craig, MCC Communications Consultant
Rev. Candy Holmes, Program Officer, People of African Descent
Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt, Public Policy Team
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Mariela Castro, daughter of Cuban President, sponsors blessing ceremonies and celebrates Cuba Pride
In another historic first for Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC), the Rev. Troy Perry, founder of MCC, was one of the presiding clergy at the first blessing of unions in Cuba. About a dozen couples pledged their love to each other as part of Cuba Pride on May 9, 2015. The Associated Press reported:
Luis Enrique Mederos and his partner for 14 years, Alain Morales, approached clergyman including Troy Perry, founder of Los Angeles’ gay-friendly Metropolitan Community Church, and held hands beneath a canopy while the pastors blessed their relationship. “Luis, I give you my life,” Morales said, as the crowd of 300 applauded and cheered. “It’s a step to strengthen our relationship because we’re both religious, believers,” said Mederos, a 47-year-old graphic designer. He said he saw the ceremony as an important step toward the eventual legalization of gay marriage in Cuba.
Mariela Castro was in the middle of Cuba’s Pride celebration, and she gave her blessing to the proceedings but was not present for the actual blessing of the unions. The MCC delegation had informal conversations with Mariela Casto and met more formally with Cuba’s Religious Affairs Commissioner, with officials in the Cuban Council of Churches, and with the Fraternity Of Baptist Churches in Cuba.
Rev. Elder Troy Perry traveled with his husband Phillip De Blieck, as well as the Rev. Elder Dr. Mona West, and the Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez. The delegation talked with Cubans about the global challenges faced by LGBTQ people of faith and plan to continue collaborations with LGBTQ religious leaders in Cuba.
“As the founder of MCC going back to 1968, I have lived long enough to see so many churches open their doors — and to see MCC congregations on almost every continent,” said the Rev. Elder Troy Perry. “It is exciting to be part of a moment when Cuban people of faith and political leaders are opening doors to all loving couples and to LGBTQ people!”
“We were honored for MCC faith leaders to be part of this historic event,” said global MCC Moderator, the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson. “These blessings for loving couples in Cuba parallel MCC’s many firsts — first to marry same-sex couples, first to convene AIDS awareness day, and first to provide a welcoming worshipping community for LGBTQ people.”
“Throughout the Americas and the world, people know that Cuba’s future will impact everyone’s future,” said the Rev. Elder Hector Gutierrez, head of the Latin American MCC network. “I meet people in los pueblos where they live their daily lives and increasingly see families supporting each other, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. I am so hopeful about supportive relationships with our partners in Cuba.”
Today, along with fair-minded people of faith around the world, Metropolitan Community Churches celebrate Marriage Equality in the state of Idaho, USA. Every picture and video we see and every story we hear of committed same-sex couples and allies celebrating, fills our hearts with joy and gratitude.
On Tuesday evening, May 13, 2014, U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale issued a ruling that struck down Idaho’s 2006 constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage. Her ruling will take effect on Friday, May 16, 2014, at 9:00 AM. Although Idaho Governor Butch Otter has requested a stay of the order and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden plans to do the same today, no court action on those requests has occurred.
Marriage Equality is important to Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). The Rev. Elder Troy Perry, founder of Metropolitan Community Churches, performed the first same-sex wedding ever in the United States in 1968, according to Time Magazine. Rev. Perry continued his marriage equality work throughout his ministry as Founder and Moderator of MCC. “MCC’s commitment to the work for Marriage Equality continues today, not only in the United States, but all over the world. We will not rest until full Marriage Equality is established,” says The Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt, Director for Marriage Equality and Relational Issues for the Global Justice Institute.
Marriage Equality is becoming the law of the land in many places. “We look forward to its full implementation in Idaho, all over the United States and around the world.” said MCC Moderator The Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, “When it comes to Marriage Equality, justice is raining down like water.”
Once again, hearty congratulations and blessings to the people of Idaho.
Prepared by The Moderator’s Public Policy Team and the Global Justice Institute
The Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Executive Director
Metropolitan Community Churches worldwide join in the celebration of Marriage Equality in England and Wales. After passing in the British House of Commons yesterday, Queen Elizabeth II has given her assent to the bill. Although the monarch’s assent is a formality in the United Kingdom, it makes the measure official. Marriages could be held in England and Wales as early as next summer.
This measure in England and Wales marks another watershed accomplishment on the long road to full equality under the law for LGBT residents. “On behalf of the friends and members of Metropolitan Community Churches, I salute all those who stood up for full equality, including marriage equality of all citizens of England and Wales,” said The Reverend Elder Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches worldwide.
Marriage Equality supporter Sarah Jane Ramage said, “I am very happy that this legislation has passed. Many people have campaigned for many years. The Rev. Sharon Ferguson of MCC North London and LGCM was part of the equal love campaign that three years ago sought to raise the profile of the differences between civil partnerships and marriage. It is great to be celebrating the success of that and other initiatives. I look forward to seeing the remaining inequalities affecting same sex couples and trans people removed.”
MCC’s Global Justice Chair, The Reverend Pat Bumgardner said, “We won this battle for Marriage Equality because of hard work — because of people like Rev. Sharon Ferguson, Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of North London. We won, because though ‘the arc of the moral universe is long, it bends toward justice,’ and Marriage Equality is the just, the right thing to do AND — don’t ever let anyone tell you differently: it is the MORAL thing to do. The angels and saints of heaven are rejoicing tonight.”
“For 42 years, the denomination of Metropolitan Community Churches has been at the forefront of the marriage equality movement. Today, along with people of goodwill everywhere, we’re celebrating the marriage equality victory in England and Wales,” said The Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt, Director for Marriage Equality of The Global Justice Institute.
This Statement prepared by The Global Justice Institute of Metropolitan Community Churches and The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. Rev. Pat Bumgarnder, Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt, Director for Marriage Equality and Relational Issues
Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt
Global leaders of the historic Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) praised the decisions of the Supreme Court today as it ruled on California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“Freedom and equality won today as the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the US Constitution and every family,” said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson. “Children in California now know their families will be treated equally. Today, every American is free to live in the assurance that their loved ones will receive all benefits the US gives to any other family. As the head of MCC, a global church founded on the belief that all people are created equal before God and the law, I am thrilled that the Supreme Court decided that the US Constitution applies to all of us, regardless of our sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“We are committed to full equality for all people, and we will work for the full implementation of today’s Supreme Court rulings and for marriage equality around the world,” said Rev. Dr. Jim Merritt, Marriage Equality Director for MCC’s Public Policy Team.
Metropolitan Community Church’s history of marriage equality began in 1968 when the Rev. Troy Perry, founder of MCC, conducted the first, public same-gender wedding ceremony in the US. In 1970, Rev. Perry brought a lawsuit for marriage equality in California. MCC worked for decades, sponsoring weddings at Pride marches, protesting on Valentine’s Day in Justices of the Peace offices, and performing thousands of Holy Unions in their churches.
MCC will celebrate these decisions and move forward at its 25th General Conference in Chicago, Illinois, July 1-5, 2013. After 45 years of ministry and advocacy, the church continues to be on the cutting edge of ministry around the world. Known as “The Human Rights Church” in many countries, MCC will host U.S. Ambassador Daniel Baer and present the MCC human rights award to Bishop Christopher Senyonjo of Uganda, where he has fought the infamous “kill the gays” bill. MCC leaders will also celebrate the founding of their “Global Justice Institute,” in partnership with The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. The Global Justice Institute is working with leaders in Asia, Africa and Latin America for equality for sexual minorities and all people who deserve justice.
(Click on the image below to read about MCC’s history of involvement with Marriage Equality)
Opening arguments before the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on Prop 8 and DOMA were about to begin. MCC faith leaders arrived at the crack of dawn on Tuesday, 27 March 2013, dressed in red, inspired by HRC’s red equal sign, to join the prayer and praise from almost every major faith tradition.
More than three hundred of the faithful barely slept the night before so they could show up for the 7:30 a.m. sunrise witness for equality. All eyes were on the Rev. Candy Holmes as she led the choir in powerful songs, which awakened every soul. Rev. Holmes was vital to the success of the service in her role as co-planner.
Rev. Elder Darlene Garner and many other dignitaries from Metropolitan Community Churches graced the pulpit with their presence and words. Speakers, singers, and dancers — from Buddhist, Native American, Muslim, Christian and other traditions — expressed respect and spiritual depth in both words and action.
Take the time to click through the links below for the collections of photos from Kareem Murphy of the MCC Governing Board and Public Policy Team. Click through quickly in each collection and you will feel the action, the motion, and the emotion of the worship service and two days of demonstrations where MCC made its presence known.
The PBS News Hour covered the voices of faith present on the steps of the Supreme Court, representing both progressives and voices of exclusion. The Rev. Mike Schuenemeyer, UCC head of the office for LGBT ministries and a key organizer for faith voices, urged SCOTUS to decide for our rights. Bishop Yvette Flunder, presiding bishop of The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries (TFAM), inspired the thousands gathered for equality with the historic freedom song, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.
Day 1 of demonstrations at the Supreme Court: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/114951740149313587032/albums/5859684625775738145
Day 2 of demonstrations at the Supreme Court: https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/114951740149313587032/albums/5860057207576347441
Some of the MCC leaders present were:
Rev. Candy Holmes, Co-coordinator of the Interfaith Service and Choir Director
Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, Speaker
Rev. David North, Soloist
Rev. Cathy Alexander, Choir
Rev. Y’Lon Dozier, Choir
Bishop Yvette Flunder, Soloist and Speaker at the Rally
Rev. Dwayne Johnson, Participant in the Opening Ritual
Shannon Young, Assistant to Rev. Elder Garner and Rev. Holmes
Rev. Harry Knox
Rev. Cindi Love
Rev. DeWayne Davis
Rev. Onetta Brooks
Rev. Robin Gorsline