Gay Church To Aid Bush Administration In Adoption Policy

Thu. July 15, 2004 12:00 AM

Washington, DC - The Bush Administration has invited a gay church group to help set government adoption and foster care policies.

"We take as sincere the invitation by the Bush administration for our predominantly gay church group to recommend government policies to increase adoption and recruit foster families," said Rev. Troy D. Perry, Moderator of the gay Christian denomination of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). "We welcome this positive overture by the Bush Administration."

Perry was referring to an invitation received from Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of Health and Human Resources, inviting the gay MCC church group to participate in the AdoptUSKids National Adoption and Foster Care Recruitment Summit in Washington, DC on July 15 and 16.

The letter from Secretary Thompson to Perry, an openly gay clergyperson, said, "As a respected leader in the faith community, your participation is the AdoptUSKids Summit is critical to mobilizing a dedicated segment of the American public who intrinsically understands the importance of family to healthy youth development."

"We welcome the invitation by the Bush Administration to contribute to policies around adoption and foster care. Perhaps this is an affirmation of what we have long known: Gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons make outstanding parents and create warm, loving, caring families."

"I am sending a list of policy recommendations to Secretary Thompson," said Perry, "and the 43,000 members and adherents of Metropolitan Community Churches join me in strongly encouraging both the federal and state governments to establish policies that welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as adoptive and foster care parents."

This is not the first time the Bush Administration has sent mixed signals to the gay community.

In October 2003, during the same week U.S. President George W. Bush endorsed the anti-gay Marriage Protection Week, he sent enthusiastic 35th anniversary congratulations to the predominantly gay and lesbian Metropolitan Community Churches, a group that performs more than 6000 same-sex weddings annually.

Metropolitan Community Churches is one of the world's largest gay organizations, and was founded by openly gay Rev. Dr. Troy D. Perry in 1968. Today, MCC provides almost 300 local churches for its 43,000 members and adherents in 22 countries.

In his letter dated October 14, 2003, to MCC Los Angeles, the founding congregation of Metropolitan Community Churches, President Bush wrote, "By encouraging the celebration of faith and sharing of God's love and boundless mercy, churches like yours put hope in people's hearts and a sense of purpose in their lives. This milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on your years of service and to rejoice in God's faithfulness to your congregation.


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