Never before has homosexuality been so visible in this country, especially in entertainment and news reporting, and never before have homosexual groups been so militant. Because of increasing religious study of homosexuality and involvement of churches with homosexual causes, the news department ofCHRISTIANITY TODAYasked correspondent Robert Cleath to investigate. Here is his report:

People call the Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles the “gay” church. This doesn’t particularly please the 440-member congregation drawn overwhelmingly from the homosexual community. “We are a Christian church first, and homosexual second,” said its 56-year-old assistant minister, who prefers not to be identified lest his regular job in the “straight” world be jeopardized.

The congregation that packs Hollywood’s Encore Theater each Sunday was founded nearly two years ago by the Reverend Troy Perry, 29, former Baptist and Church of God of Prophecy pastor. It now has branches in San Francisco, San Diego, and Chicago, with others pending in Miami and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The congregations are ready to ratify a constitution for a new denomination, “The Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches.” And Metropolitan leaders plan to establish a two-year seminary for homosexual ministers.

Howard Wells, 25, pastor to a hundred homophilesHomophile literally means anyone sympathetic to homosexuals though the term is often used as a synonym for homosexual. who meet over a gay bar in San Francisco, said in an interview: “If regular churches would welcome homosexuals and their lovers to worship God with them, there would be no need for the Metropolitan Community Church. As long as a homosexual has no lover and pretends he’s straight, he ...

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