From the beginning, MCC pushed the envelope, insisting that we were a ‘full service church,’ and that included same-sex weddings.
I came out as a lesbian, and a minister in Metropolitan Community Churches in 1972, when most LGBT people would not use their real names, or last names, in social circles. “Gay” relationships were “private,” that is, forbidden, considered sinful, sick or against the law. It was dangerous to be a publicly open queer person.
From the beginning, MCC pushed the envelope, insisting that we were a “full service church,” and that included same-sex weddings.
One of my first memories, as a 25 year old, “out” pastor of MCC Detroit, in 1976, was the afternoon that a federal judge and her partner showed up, looking for me. I had a little office in a Methodist Church that we used for worship services.
They asked me a simple question: “Could I marry them if I did not know their last names?”
They were conservatively dressed, in their 50’s I would say. I could see their love for each other, in their sideways glances, the touch of their hands. And, I could feel their fear. They were taking a huge risk, to have a blessing of their union in a church.
As a young person who loved the freedom I had in MCC, I said “Yes, of course!”
In my simple, subversive, justice theology, I thought, “God knows your last names.”
We walked into the empty sanctuary, light streaming in through the stained-glass windows, and together we defied the stigmatization of queer love.
ABOUT THIS MCC AUTHOR: Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson is the former Moderator (global leader) of Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC). She is only the second person to serve in that role since the founding of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1968. Rev. Wilson obtained her B.A. from Allegheny College, her M.Div. from SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary, and her D.Min. from Episcopal Divinity School (EDS). She also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Episcopal Divinity School in 2016, and an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from Allegheny College in 20219. Rev. Wilson is a global activist and leader for LGBTQ rights, and inclusion of LGBT persons in faith communities. Read More