Not long after he endorsed “Marriage Protection Week,” President Bush sent a letter of congratulations to a denomination founded by homosexual activists that performs more than 6,000 same-sex “weddings” each year.

The president wrote to the founding congregation in Los Angeles of the Metropolitan Community Churches, led by leading homosexual activist Rev. Troy D. Perry, on the occasion of its 35th anniversary.

Rev. Troy Perry, left, and partner Phillip De Blieck were granted a marriage license in Toronto in July (Photo: Toronto Star)

“By encouraging the celebration of faith and sharing of God’s love and boundless mercy, churches like yours put hope in people’s hearts and a sense of purpose in their lives,” Bush said in his Oct. 14 missive. “This milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on your years of service and to rejoice in God’s faithfulness to your congregation.”

Just prior to sending that letter, however, Bush issued a proclamation endorsing an effort to defend the traditional family in response to an increasingly powerful homosexual lobby intent on establishing a right to same-sex “marriage.”

The president wrote in his proclamation, “Marriage is a sacred institution, and its protection is essential to the continued strength of our society. Marriage Protection Week provides an opportunity to focus our efforts on preserving the sanctity of marriage and on building strong and healthy marriages in America.”

President Bush at forum yesterday in Greer, S.C. (White House photo)

The president further stated: “Marriage is a union between a man and a woman. …”

Marriage Protection Week was promoted by groups such as the Southern Baptist Convention, Focus on the Family and the American Family Association.

The Metropolitan Community Churches’ Perry said he was alarmed at Bush’s proclamation.

“President Bush was wrong in his endorsement of a week dedicated to denying equal rights to gays and lesbians,” he said, according to the website “And while we appreciate the sentiments he expressed on MCC’s anniversary, the president has sent a very mixed message that makes his effusive praise of MCC’s 35th anniversary all the more puzzling.”

As WorldNetDaily reported, Perry is challenging U.S. courts to recognize his same-sex “marriage,” which was granted in Ontario in July after a provincial court ruled Canada’s ban is unconstitutional.

He has launched a campaign to ensure the bond is recognized in his home country.

“I don’t care what the U.S. government says. My partner, Phillip, and I are legally married under Canadian law,” Perry said after his ceremony.

“We’ve put our nation on notice: We’re coming home and we are legally married,” he added.

Rev. Troy Perry, left, and Rev. Neil Thomas with letter from President Bush (Photo:

Perry, who says he and his partner are “missionaries for marriage equality,” is encouraging thousands of same-sex couples to follow their lead and head to Canada.

The president’s marriage proclamation also was rebuked by the leading homosexual-advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign.

“It is reprehensible for a president who claims to be compassionate to pander to a coalition of extremist groups by joining their assault on gay families,” said Elizabeth Birch, HRC’s executive director.

“The American people want to see politicians in Washington concentrating on the real threats to our families – an unstable economy, high unemployment rates and uncertainty in Iraq – not guaranteeing that same-sex couples are left without more than 1,000 rights, responsibilities and protections under federal law.”

Rev. Neil Thomas, senior pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles, said the president’s letter baffled him.

“How does one denounce the right of gays and lesbians to marry in their churches and suggest they are incapable of having healthy marriages in one moment, and in the next rejoice in God’s faithfulness to a gay and lesbian congregation that performs such same-sex marriages?” Thomas asked.

Ed Vitagliano, spokesman for the American Family Association, had the same question.

“I’m disappointed, because this is politics as usual,” he told WorldNetDaily. “This is speaking out of both sides of your mouth. This is playing to two groups at the same time who are really after two different things – who uphold two completely different worldviews.”

Vitagliano said he understands the pressure President Bush is under, recognizing he has to be the president for everybody, but believes he could fulfill his responsibilities without sanctioning a church like Perry’s.

“The MCC is evidence of a growing apostasy within Christianity and our culture and Western civilization, and to applaud what is essentially an apostate denomination is disappointing from a Christian standpoint,” he said.

“It may be something we would expect from a politician,” Vitagliano added, “but I guess there were some of us who would hope the president was not simply a politician.”

The White House did not respond to calls from WND seeking comment.

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U.S. ‘gay’ activist touts Canadian ‘marriage’

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