Rev. Troy Perry Calls for Apology from Lott

The head of the world’s largest Christian denomination with a primary ministry to gays and lesbians today called for an apology from Senator Trent Lott.

In remarks on June 15, Lott called homosexuality a “sin” and noted, “There are all kinds of problems and addictions and difficulties and experiences of this kind that are wrong. But you should try to work with that person to learn to control that problem.”

“Senator Lott owes an apology to the millions of American citizens who are gay or lesbian,” said the Rev. Troy D. Perry, moderator of the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC). “His statements this week are a sobering reminder of our nation’s unfinished work in the fight against ignorance and prejudice.”

“I’d welcome an opportunity to introduce the Senator to the hundreds of thousands of gays and lesbians with whom I’ve worked over the past 30 years who live in stable family relationships, who work hard at their jobs, who pay their taxes, who have parented children and who contribute their time and energy to local and civic organizations. And I’d like to introduce him to the legions of gay Americans who believe in and love God and who actively participate in the life of their local churches, synagogues and other houses of worship.

“For the past three decades, I have joined hands with clergy of every faith to affirm the spirituality of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons with this message: God loves all people unconditionally.”

“Name calling and accusations never elevate public debate,” said Perry, noting that the gay community has long been the subject of such attacks. “The capitalists called us communists. The communists called us decadent. The psychiatrists called us sick. And the churches called us sinful. Well, it’s a lie. Homosexuality is not a sin, and it’s not a sickness.

“I respectfully suggest the Senator spend less time judging the gay community, and spend more time working for legislation which will protect the equal rights of all Americans.”