From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Transgender Persons Affirmed by Metropolitan Community Churches

Date Mon, 3 Feb 2003 01:54:07 EST

 From The Headquarters of
Metropolitan Community Churches .

N E W S   R E L E A S E
For Immediate Release: 3 February 2003

"It is not surprising that the God who created our world with
incredible diversity and complexity also created humanity
with a diversity of sexual orientations and gender variance."
			   -- The Rev. Troy Perry, MCC Moderator

Los Angeles -- The head of the world's largest Christian denomination with a
primary affirming ministry to gays and lesbians has reaffirmed the church's
commitment to transgender persons.

"All of God's creation is good and holy, and that includes our transgender
brothers and sisters," said Rev. Troy D. Perry, Moderator of Metropolitan
Community Churches (MCC), a denomination with almost 300 congregations in 22

The MCC statement comes in response to a Vatican declaration prepared by the
Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reported in the Roman Catholic
news agency Adista, that "transsexual persons suffer from mental
pathologies," have "pathological personality situations," and are to be
barred from serving as Roman Catholic priests, nuns, monks, friars and
brothers in religious orders.

"It is not surprising that the God who created our world with incredible
diversity and complexity also created humanity with a diversity of sexual
orientations and gender variance," said Perry, a veteran human rights
activist and a past delegate to the White House Conference on Hate Crimes.
"Metropolitan Community Churches reaffirms its long-held belief that all life
is sacred and holy, and that God calls people from every human experience to
vocational Christian ministry."

"Rather than condemn our transgender brothers and sisters, we should
celebrate people who have often made great sacrifices to grapple with issues
of gender variation and who are committed to living their lives with openness
and authenticity," added Perry.

Others within Metropolitan Community Churches echoed Perry's comments.

"This may raise medical questions for some, it does not raise moral
questions," said Rev. Dr. Justin Tanis, MCC's Director of Clergy Development
and a transgender clergyperson.

Tanis, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and author of "Transgendered:
Theology, Ministry and Communities of Faith" (Pilgrim Press, 2003), added,
"We're learning that our world is far more diverse than we previously
imagined, and that includes our chromosomal, physical and emotional
diversities. This diversity is part of God's plan and is to be celebrated."

"Just as we have come to learn that there is a range of human sexual
orientations, we are also learning that there is a range of human gender
variance," added Tanis. "Several MCC clergypersons are transgender and have
served in both local congregations and in denominational roles with
excellence and distinction."

Along with its positive ministry to gays and lesbians, Metropolitan Community
Churches has a long history of ministry with the transgender community. "A
transgender person participated in the very first MCC service, and MCC
members who are transgender have served as elders within our denomination,
pastors of our local churches, and on the MCC headquarters staff," said

"It is the great sin of the Church to exclude those whom God created and
loves. We call upon all faith communities to welcome all people of faith,
just as God invites and welcomes all, including transpeople who are called as
members, friends, clergy and lay leaders," added Perry. 

Founded in 1968, Metropolitan Community Churches offering positive, affirming
ministry to gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender persons, and their
families and friends. Additional information on MCC is available on the
Internet at A free MCC e-mail newsletter is avilable upon
request by writing to


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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