Sep162014
The work of DignityUSA on September 16, 2014 could have been sponsored by you. Click here for more information.

Highlights of DignityUSA's History: 1974

The following history is based on the commemorative booklet entitled DignityUSA at 25: A Chronology, 1969-1994 compiled by former DignityUSA President Pat Roche. Copies are available from the Dignity national office and were also printed in the Dignity Journal 27:2-3 (Autumn 1995). Highlights from 1995-Present compiled by former Dignity Vice President Pat McArron.
  • In the January issue of the national newsletter, it is reported that "the proposed Constitution has failed to be ratified by the required two-thirds of the votes cast." Concerns include lack of representation for "at large" members who don’t belong to an official Dignity chapter; the unwieldy size of the Board of Governors as chapter growth continues etc
  • In February, The National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Pastoral Research Committee publishes Principles to Guide Confessors in Questions of Homosexuality.
  • The February 15 issue of Commonweal carries an article by theologian Gregory Baum entitled "Catholic Homosexuals." The national newsletter calls the article "a milestone in the Gay Catholic movement."
  • In March, the National Federation of Priests Councils adopts a "Civil Rights of Homosexual Persons" resolution which reads:
    "BE IT RESOLVED that the NFPC hereby declares its opposition to all civil laws which make consensual homosexual acts between adults a crime and thus urges their repeal; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that NFPC also express its opposition to homosexuality as such being the basis of discrimination against homosexuals in employment, governmental services, housing and child rearing involving natural or adoptive parents."
  • On March 17, Our Sunday Visitor, a national Catholic weekly, recommends to a reader in its question and answer column that Dignity be contacted for information on ministry to homosexuals.
  • During the week of June 3-7, a Conference on Gay Ministry is held at Bergamo Center in Dayton, Ohio. Presenters include Father Tom Oddo (National Secretary) and Sister Jeannine Gramick, SSND (CO-Chaplain of Dignity/Baltimore.)

  • During the last weekend of June, some 150 Dignity members from around the country (led by the three national officers) march in New York’s Gay Pride Parade.
  • In July, Brian McNaught, President of Dignity/Detroit and a columnist for The Michigan Catholic has his weekly column dropped after an interview about him and Dignity/Detroit is published in the Detroit News.
  • In August, James Osbourne of New York founds Dignity’s National Prison Ministry.
  • Over Labor Day Weekend, the national officers and other gay religious leaders from around the country attend a conference in Detroit sponsored by Dignity/Detroit. The purpose of the conference is to provide input on a major report the Catholic Theological Association’s Committee on Sexuality plans to issue in June; to support Brian McNaught in his struggles with The Michigan Catholic and to meet with representatives of the Salvatorian Order who have formed a Gay Ministry Task Force within their Justice and Peace Commission. Concrete plans are laid to jointly edit a book on theological/pastoral resources for gays and lesbians. On Labor Day, some 250 people including representatives from seven Dignity chapters celebrate a "Mass of Solidarity" with Brian McNaught. The Mass is followed by a rally in front of the Chancery Office to continue the protest of Brian’s ill treatment.

Pages