As we approach Pride 2017, the LGBTQI community faces unexpected threats. That Gospel parable of the thief in the night feels very relevant. We had been enjoying what has felt like steady progress in greater social and spiritual inclusion and legal protection for our communities. And suddenly we—like many others—now find this advancement in jeopardy.
Much of this threat comes from our own Bishops’ championing of expanding so-called “religious liberty.” They are really trying to get our government to protect doctrines and practices that limit our access to health care, employment, equality for our families, and a whole range of social services and supports. There is no one better positioned to show why this is not true Catholicism than DignityUSA.
As we approach Pride 2017, attacks on and even murders of LGBTQI people are increasing at an alarming rate. The culture of divisiveness is giving people the freedom to say and do hurtful things. Many of them are using religious rhetoric to justify their bad actions. People are feeling wounded and anxious. People need their dignity affirmed. DignityUSA is a strong voice proclaiming Divine love of each and every one, and God’s delight in LGBTQI people.
The need for DignityUSA is clear. Now more than ever, the LGBTQI community needs a strong, vocal group of Catholics committed to justice, equality, and full inclusion. Now more than ever, we need Catholics who heal and nurture, advocate and speak out, Catholics who are willing to speak the truth of our faith to bishops and Cardinals, politicians and business leaders, to the media and to families with questions. Now more than ever, we need Catholics who will speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.
We have a lot of work ahead. As we approach Pride 2017, we rededicate ourselves to this work, and to our unchanging mission of justice, equality and full inclusion.
- We will continue to press Catholic leaders to end violence directed towards LGBTQI people, and to stop using rhetoric that is dehumanizing.
- We will keep strengthening and supporting our Chapters and Caucuses, where so many find support.
- We will remain in the forefront of efforts to protect real religious freedom, and not allow religious bigotry to be enshrined in law.
Together, we will triumph over the forces of fear and division.
May this Pride Month bring you a deeper sense of the blessing you are, and renew your commitment to liberty and justice for all.