MEDIA RELEASE
 
DATE: November 5, 2015
 
Contact:                 Linda Brenner-Beckstead, lindabrennerbeckstead@mccchurch.net, 941-321-7886  
                                  Ann Craig, craignewyork@gmail.com, 917-280-2968
 
Defeat of Equal Rights Means "Everyone in Houston is More Vulnerable" 
Moderator of MCC speaks out as equal rights protections is voted down in Houston
 
The Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson is the Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, which has ministries in around the world. Dr. Wilson was part of the first LGBT faith delegation to meet with a sitting president in 1979. She was a member of President Obama's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  

 
"The defeat of the Houston Equal Rights Amendment (HERO) is a sad day. Conservative Christians and politicians continue to use fear to enforce prejudice. Today, everyone in Houston is more vulnerable to job discrimination, because fear was fomented through lies about LGBT people," said the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Global Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches.

"In more than 200 cities and counties, non-discrimination clauses that include sexual orientation and gender identity are functioning well, and businesses have had no undue burden under the law-but not in Houston. Now, anyone in Houston can say, 'Oh I thought he was gay, so I fired him.' Because of this vote, there is no law in Houston to protect any citizen."
 
Rev. Troy Treash, of Resurrection MCC in Houston said, "Yesterday, we were denied low-cost local recourse to acts of discrimination making it easier to fire, to refuse service, and to refuse housing... discrimination is a daily reality. The harm this discrimination causes costs us dearly."  
 
Dr. Wilson said, "Conservative Christians and politicians invoked specters of bathroom invasions by men and being forced to make wedding cakes for same-gender couples. Lockstep conservative pundits repeat, repeat, repeat that Christians are the ones being persecuted, rather than LGBT people, racial minorities, and all citizens who need protected from job discrimination by such legislation as HERO. The strategies used in Houston are the strategies we will see in campaign after campaign."

In October 2015, at the World Congress of Families in Utah, the head of the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM) laid out the strategies for resisting marriage equality:
  • Affirm continually and publicly that marriage is by nature a union of a man and a woman.
    Reject the Supreme Court's decision as illegitimate
  • Overturn the decision, perhaps through decades of struggle or perhaps with new Supreme Court justices appointed by a Republican president elected in 2016
  • Contain the damage in the meanwhile by passing laws that allow public officials and business people to refuse to have anything to do with gay couples' marriages.
"I am reminded," Dr. Wilson concluded, "that fair-minded people everywhere need to be aware that human rights must always be defended. Although most people understand this, others seem to believe there are no rights-only privileges based on allegiance to a religious creed. This must be stopped."

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Founded in 1968, Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) has been at the vanguard of civil and human rights movements by addressing issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, economics, climate change, aging and global human rights.  MCC was the first to perform same gender marriages and has been on the forefront of the struggle towards marriage equality in the US and other countries worldwide.