Greenbelt Interfaith News
    U.S. Brief

    November 1997

    Gay Churches Moderator Invited to White House Conference on Hate Crimes
    Greenbelt Interfaith News

    The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) announced on October 3 that its moderator has been invited to participate in the November 10 White House Conference on Hate Crimes. The Rev. Troy D. Perry, who is also the founder of the UFMCC, received the invitation after he wrote to President Clinton and described the hate crimes that had been directed against his denomination's churches. The UFMCC has about 300 congregations in 15 countries; most of its members are gay.

    "Since its founding in 1968, more than 20 UFMCC churches have been bombed or arsoned," Mr. Perry told President Clinton, "while many others have been vandalized, desecrated or threatened. . . . An astounding and shocking seven percent of our congregations have been targets of bombing or arson." The UFMCC reports that the crimes committed against its churches include threats against a Texas congregation by the Ku Klux Klan, arson undergone by the denomination's "Mother Church" in Los Angeles, and a fire in a New Orleans church that claimed the lives of more than 30 people, including the congregation's pastor.

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    © 1997 Heather Elizabeth Peterson
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