Dobson Lawyers Get Tough With Gay Christian Church as Presiding Bishop Is Installed MCC Church’s “Focus on the Human Family” Initiative Has to be Re-Named

WASHINGTON, October 29, 2005 – The installation of the Presiding Bishop of a predominantly-gay Christian denomination took an unexpected twist today when lawyers for Dr. James Dobson’s “Focus on the Family” insisted they cease using the name of their new ministry to persons with HIV and AIDS.

The Reverend Nancy Wilson (above) is scheduled to be installed as Presiding Bishop of the predominantly-gay Metropolitan Community Churches at Washington National Cathedral this afternoon.

Rev.Wilson had planned to announce a 10-year initiative to be called “Focus on the Human Family”. But yesterday, lawyers for Dobson’s conservative religious group insisted the gay church cease using the campaign's name.

“Even though many of our views are diametrically opposed, apparently Dobson’s organization feels the name of Metropolitan Community Church’s new campaign could create confusion for people,” said the Reverend Wilson.

“Our program features ministry to women and children with HIV and AIDS, compassionate care for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender senior adults, a focus on issues of infant mortality caused by the global HIV pandemic, and an educational program to create understanding about gay and lesbian people of faith,” said Wilson.

“Well, it's a Goliath versus David situation," she continued. “As a relatively small Christian denomination, we don’t have the financial resources to go up against one of the largest Right Wing organizations in existence, and quite frankly, we wouldn’t want to invest our funds to fight them.

“We’d rather put those monies into our ministry programs that provide faith and hope for people," she said.

As of yesterday evening, Metropolitan Community Churches had committed to remove the “Focus on the Human Family” name from their website.

“It’s a bit puzzling,” admitted Rev. Wilson. “The ministry of Metropolitan Community Churches is so different from that of James Dobson. His group tends to focus on one kind of family, what they often mistakenly call the ‘traditional family’.

“In Metropolitan Community Churches, we believe that God’s people find many ways to create family, and that includes gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender families.”

Rev. Wilson indicated she would address the differences between the two organizations during her Installation Service at Washington National Cathedral on Saturday.

“Dobson's group is certainly within their rights to defend their trademark as they see fit,” she said. “They may be able to stop the name of our program, but they can’t stop our ministry or our commitment to all members of the human family, especially those that have experienced rejection by other faith communities.”

The installation of Rev. Wilson as Presiding Bishop is at Washington National Cathedral this afternoon (October 29) at 2pm and is open to the public.

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