From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
Gay Church Delegation, Brazilian Minister of Human Rights Hold Meeting
George Conklin <email@example.com>
Fri, 07 May 2004 18:20:36 -0700
N E W S R E L E A S E
From Metropolitan Community Churches
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 7, 2004
Metropolitan Community Churches Delegation Meets With Brazilian Minister for
MCC Delegation Discusses Homophobia, HIV Policies, Legal Protections For
Brasilia, Brazil -- A delegation of leaders from the predominantly gay
Metropolitan Community Churches met on May 5 with The Honorable Nilmario
Brazilian Minister for Human Rights and a member of the Brazilian President's
Attending the meeting were Rev. Troy Perry, Rev. Elder Armando Sanchez, and
Pastor Marcos Gladstone. The MCC delegation met for 45 minutes with the
Minister for Human Rights and with Ivair Santos, Special Adviser to the
The meeting, at the Brazilian National Justice Building in Brasilia. focused
on human rights for LGBT people, Brazilian HIV and AIDS policies, legal
protections for transgender persons, and MCC's role in reducing
homophobia in Brazilian society.
During the meeting, Rev. Perry expressed deep appreciation for Brazil's
leadership in the United Nations and for Brazil's nondiscrimination proposals
before the UN. Brazil is the sponsor of a UN resolution that calls upon
to promote and protect the human rights of all persons regardless of their
The MCC delegation was the first LGBT group to meet with Brazil's
governmental leaders since Brazil withdrew its UN proposal several weeks
confirmed the resolution was withdrawn because sufficient votes did not
passage this year. Had the vote taken place and failed, the resolution could
not be reintroduced into the UN for at least 10 years. In meetings with the
MCC representatives, Brazilian officials pledged their firm commitment to
reintroduce the UN resolution in 2005.
Brazilian officials asked a wide range of questions about Rev. Perry's
participation in the U.S. White House Conference on Hate Crimes, discussed a
Cabinet-level group recently formed to combat homophobia in Brazil, and
extensive discussion of rights and legal protections for transgender
During the meeting, participants discussed the global AIDS pandemic and Rev.
Perry shared information on MCC's role in HIV and AIDS ministry.
A key outcome of the meeting was an announcement by the Brazilian Minister
for Human Rights that a national (Brazilian) conference will be convened at
end of May to address LGBT discrimination and homophobia in Brazil. The
conference will include Cabinet members, political and governmental
NGOs. MCC representatives will also participate in the Brazilian
purpose of the event is to draft national policies to protect the legal
of LGBT people.
Brazilian government officials were especially interested in MCC's history
and growth, and Rev. Perry discussed the persecution MCC churches and clergy
have experienced, including hate crimes, arsons, firebombings and church
The Brazilian Minister for Human Rights expressed a need for theological
reflection as a way to assist churches and religious groups in Brazil in
overcoming homophobia and asked for MCC to assist by providing advice and
this purpose. He showed special interest in MCC's work of Biblical
At the close of the meeting, the MCC delegation presented a silver medallion
for Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva The medallion contained the
logo of Metropolitan Community Churches and saluted the Brazilian President
in both Portuguese and English -- for his human rights leadership for LGBT
In a related story, the government of Brazil officially extended recognition
this week to Metropolitan Community Churches as a Christian denomination
authorized to establish churches and ministries within Brazil. MCC, which
an extensive cell group program across Brazil, held dedication ceremonies for
its first official church in Rio this past week.
Founded in 1968, Metropolitan Community Churches offers positive, affirming
ministry to lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons. MCC is made up
of more than 43,000 members and adherents in 300 congregations in 22
For additional information, visit www.MCCchurch.org.
For Additional Information, Contact:
MCC Communications Director
8704 Santa Monica Boulevard, Second Floor
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Tel. (310) 360-8640, Ext. 226
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