As 2017 draws to a close, DignityUSA is taking time to reflect on some on our accomplishments. With our members’ and donors’ support, DignityUSA has:
- Condemned a letter directing parents of transgender children not to support their kids in living their true gender, published on the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) website. In a widely-circulated media statesment, DignityUSA called the letter “heinous and intensely damaging.” DignityUSA also wrote a letter to the USCCB’s General Secretary, calling on him to remove the letter from the USCCB website and disavow its content.
- Responded to recent news of Cardinal Law’s death and a WIsconsin’s priest decision to come out as gay, with statements covered by the mainstream media.
- Issued timely media statements that on Pope Francis’s multiple comments denouncing “gender theory” and transgender identity, the reaffirmation of the ban on gay men entering the priesthood, LGBT-supportive ministries in San Diego and Cardinal Tobin’s welcome of an LGBT group to the Newark Cathedral, the firing of Matt Tedeschi, a gay religion teacher in Chicago, religious liberty issues, lesbians banned from bringing female dates to Catholic school proms, expulsion of a gay teen from CCD class, and several other issues.
- Broke the story of Illinois Bishop Paprocki’s ban on LGBTQI people receiving Eucharist or funerals, which became an international news story. President Chris Pett joined a delegation that met with the Bishop to describe the damage bans like this cause.
- Multi-faceted local and national response to Wisconsin Bishop Morlino’s guidelines on funerals for those in same-sex relationships. Integrity-Dignity/Madison gave local television, radio, and newspaper interviews and held a Solidarity Liturgy and Gathering for the community. DignityUSA issued a statement covered broadly nationally and internationally, and launched a petition directed to the Diocese that has gathered 5,000 signatures.
- Helped organize the very successful “Rolling the Stone Away: Generations of Love and Justice” conference celebrating and documenting over five decades of the LGBTQI Christian Justice movement.
- Sponsored one of the most impactful and energizing national conferences ever, making “A Place at the Table” for international guests, people of many races and faith backgrounds, transgender leaders, and Catholics from rural areas, among many others.
- Sent a delegation of three leaders to the second meeting of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, helping to ensure a unified international voice for LGBTQI Catholics and allies.
- Our efforts at the 2015 World Meeting of Families contributed to Limerick Bishop Leahy’s call for the 2018 gathering in Ireland to be welcoming of all families, including same-sex couples. We have sent him suggestions for how to ensure that WMF 2018 be a safe and supportive experience for all families.
- Celebrated the 45th anniversaries of our Boston, Chicago, New York, and Washington, DC Chaters, and the 48th anniversary of Dignity/Los Angeles.
- Launched a two-year Jubilee period of reflection, discernment, and celebration leading to our 50th anniversary in 2019.
- Dignity members, Caucuses and Chapters across the country have been active participants in human rights events such as the Women’s Marches, March for Science, Immigrants’ Rights/DACA marches, Black Lives Matter marches, the national LGBTQ and local Pride marches, Peace rallies, Health Care rallies, and more.
- Outreach at 3 conferences for transgender/gender non-conforming individuals to make Dignity more visible within this community.
- Provided support and resources for four families with pre-teen transgender children dealing with Catholic schools and religious education programs.
- Assisted the President of an order of women religious in addressing the controversy that erupted when the director of one of their high schools refused permission for a GSA to be formed, in conflict with the order’s longstanding support of LGBTQI issues.
- Was one of 15 faith-based and civil rights groups to submit an Amicus Brief in the Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission case that will be heard by the Supreme Court this term.
Here’s to 2018 and to building a just, inclusive Church and society for all God’s people. Happy New Year, DignityUSA!