MCC IN THE NEWS
Sunday, August 12, 2007
MCC's current ministry tour to Malaysia and Singapore has been picked up by the international Associated Press and is featured in Sunday's (Aug. 12, 2007) edition of the International Herald Tribune.
The news story focuses on Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo's sermon in Malaysia -- he's identified in the news story as Rev. Ouyang Wen Feng -- and the story references MCC New York. Boon was ordained as MCC clergy this year and is a prominent author in Malaysia.
The six-member MCC team is lead by Rev. Pat Bumgardner, chair of MCC's Global Justice Team, and Rev. Troy Perry, Founder of MCC. They return home this coming week.
The International Herald Tribune news story is below.
MONDAY EVENING . August 13, 2007 . Los Angeles
MCC'S MINISTRY TEAM TO MALAYSIA,
FEATURED IN NATIONAL MALAYSIAN NEWSPAPER
MCC's ministry team to Malaysia and Singapore received major press coverage in news stories in The Star, a national Malaysian newspaper.
The Star is the largest English-language newspaper in Malaysia with an audited readership at 290,000 - 300,000 daily readers. Both stories carried photos (notice the background poster of "Tearing Down Walls, Building Up Hope" in the first photo).
The team's ministry was also covered this past week in an international Associated Press news story, and a press story in the International Herald Tribune.
In the near future, Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Chair of MCC's Global Social Justice Team, will share an full report of the team's recent ministry to Malaysia and Singapore.
The six-member MCC team included Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Mary Jane Gibney, Rev. Dr. Troy Perry, Philip Ray De Blieck, Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo (also referred to as Ou Yang Wen in news stories), and Angel Anaya.
The news stories from Malaysia's national newspaper follow.
MCC Communications Department
national newspaper in Malaysia (August 13, 2007)
ONLINE LINK: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/8/13/nation/18577278&sec=nation
national newspaper, Malaysia (August 10, 2007)
ONLINE LINK: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/8/10/nation/18542335&sec=nation
For Immediate Release: August 31, 2007
Country of Singapore Bans
Speech By Gay Activist Rev. Troy Perry,
Founder of Metropolitan Community Churches
"There's a saying that when a door closes, God opens a
window. That's also true of LGBT activists," says Perry, who
found creative ways to share the message of LGBT rights in Singapore.
Los Angeles -- During 40 years of LGBT activism, Rev. Dr. Troy D. Perry,
founder of the predominantly gay Metropolitan Community Churches, has been
picketed, taunted by Right Wing extremists, and arrested for civil
disobedience. Perry knows what it is to be the target of hate mail campaigns
and the recipient of death threats. Occasionally, a church or organization
has canceled a speaking engagement by the outspoken gay rights leader.
But recent actions by Singapore marked the first time an entire country had banned Perry from public speaking engagements.
Rev. Perry was part of a recent six-member delegation to Southeast Asia from Metropolitan Community Churches. The delegation, led by Rev. Pat Bumgardner, chair of the Moderator's Global Justice Team of MCC, was scheduled to conduct speaking engagements, workshops, and worship services in Malaysia and Singapore, and to meet with LGBT rights groups.
"I've had enough experiences for three lifetimes," said Perry, "but this was the first time an entire country banned me from public speaking. I was allowed to enter the country and told that I could speak one-on-one with individuals, but I was banned from delivering my public speech." Perry was scheduled to deliver a speech, "Metropolitan Community Churches and the Gay Christian Witness" before a coalition of LGBT rights and LGBT pride groups.
Gay male homosexual sex is illegal in Singapore, though lesbian sex in private is not criminalized. Penalties for male homosexual acts, while seldom enforced, are severe.
"All over the world I've observed it time and time again: the LGBT community always finds creative ways to make our voices heard in spite of oppression and intimidation. We always find ways to get out the message that all people deserve equality under the law, and that all of God's children, including gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender persons, are worthy of dignity and God's love."
Despite the intimidation, the public event took place as scheduled in Singapore City on August 8 -- with Rev. Perry and Rev. Bumgardner in attendance. Organizers identified three plainclothes police officers in the audience.
"The Singapore government may have banned me from delivering my speech, but the event's organizers saw to it that my voice was heard," said Rev. Perry.
LGBT activists had prepared a PowerPoint presentation of Rev. Perry's life with photos from the pictorial book, "Troy Perry: Pastor and Prophet," including pictures of Perry with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, U.S. President Bill Clinton, U.S. Senator Diane Feinstein, and other religious, political, and social leaders.
Then they read aloud passages from four books authored by Rev. Perry. "They used the words from my writings to give me voice and to share my beliefs about human rights for LGBT people," said Perry.
"But what happened next was simply a stroke of genius," he enthused.
"The organizers announced that, while I couldn't deliver my public speech, I had been told I could answer one-on-one questions from individuals. So for the next three hours, from 9 PM to midnight, I answered one individual question after another. Of course, I was answering them out loud in front of the audience, so I was actually able to share far more information than if I had only delivered my speech," said Perry.
"There's a saying that when a door closes, God opens a window. That's also true of LGBT activists," said Perry. "When Singapore officials closed a door, Singapore's LGBT activists opened a window."
"I am so proud of LGBT activists across Singapore and Malaysia. They are working to secure the human rights of LGBT people in their countries and are doing so in the face of great cultural and political opposition," added Perry. "And let me also say how thankful I am for spiritual activists such as Rev. Pat Bumgardner, senior pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of New York, and Rev. Boon Lin Ngeo, the first openly gay clergyperson in Malaysia, who were part of the recent MCC team. They are working hand-in-hand with national and regional activists to further social and spiritual justice across Southeast Asia."
Rev. Dr. Troy D. Perry founded Metropolitan Community Churches in 1968, one year prior to the Stonewall Riots. Today Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) is the world's largest and oldest Christian denomination with a primary, affirming ministry to lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons. Known as "The Human Rights Church" for its commitment to social justice, MCC has almost 300 local congregations in 28 countries. Additional information on MCC can be found on-line at www.MCCchurch.org or by writing to info@MCCchurch.net.
To Arrange Media Interviews With
Rev. Dr. Troy Perry or Rev. Pat Bumgardner, Contact:
MCC Communications Director
P. O. Box 691728
West Hollywood, California 90069