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Visionary Gay Leader Appointed Trustee at Chicago Theological Seminary

Rev. Troy D. Perry Is Founder, Moderator of
World's Largest Church Group Serving Gays, Lesbians

CHICAGO -- The Rev. Troy D. Perry, founder and moderator of Metropolitan 
Community Churches (MCC), has been appointed to the board of trustees of 
Chicago Theological Seminary.

Perry is a veteran human rights activist and spiritual leader of the world's 
largest church group serving gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender 
individuals. With more than 300 congregations in 22 countries, MCC is the 
world's largest church organization with a positive, affirming ministry to 
GLBT persons.

Chicago Theological Seminary, founded in 1855, has a rich history of 
commitment to social justice issues, including cultural and racial diversity, 
gender justice, and inclusivity of sexual minorities. The seminary has been 
open and welcoming to GLBT students, and many MCC clergy have received their 
theological training there.

CTS is the oldest institution of higher learning in Chicago and is an 
international force for greater justice and mercy.

"I am deeply honored by this appointment to the CTS board of trustees," said 
Perry. "Together we are continuing to build bridges of understanding, 
ministry, and acceptance for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender 
persons in faith communities around the world."

Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis, MCC's Director of Clergy Development, noted, "This is 
a significant honor for a leading gay clergyperson. As a longtime spiritual 
leader, former local church pastor, denominational head, gay rights leader 
and social justice activist, Rev. Troy Perry brings a wide range of expertise 
to his new role with Chicago Theological Seminary."

"CTS and MCC shares many of the same passionate commitments," added Perry, 
noting that CTS faculty and students were activists in the abolitionist 
movement and the underground railroad prior to the Civil War -- and CTS was 
the first institution of higher learning to give an honorary degree to Martin 
Luther King, Jr.  The seminary has also enjoyed a long and proud association 
with the Civil Rights movement and the struggle of South African Christians 
against apartheid.

Perry, who founded Metropolitan Community Churches in 1968, is a frequent 
speaker at churches and conferences around the world. He was a member of the 
first gay delegation to visit the White House during the Jimmy Carter 
administration, and was twice a White House guest of President Bill Clinton. 
Perry served as an official delegate to the White House Conference on Hate 
Crimes. His life-story is told in his autobiographies, "The Lord Is My 
Shepherd and He Knows I'm Gay" and "Don't Be Afraid Anymore."


For Additional Information, Contact:
Jim Birkitt
MCC Communications Director
8704 Santa Monica Boulevard, Second Floor
West Hollywood, CA  90069
Tel. (310) 360-8640, Ext. 226

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