WASHINGTON, DC, October 3, 1997 — DignityUSA denounces the demonization of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons promoted by the Promise Keepers, the evangelical men's movement that will hold its "Stand in the Gap" rally on the Washington Mall tomorrow.
The very public homophobic statements made by members of the Promise Keepers stands in stark contrast to the pastoral letter released on Wednesday, October 1, by the Administrative Board of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops. The letter, though not perfect, offered an "outstretched hand" of support to parents of gay children urging them to accept and love their gay and lesbian sons and daughters.
Promise Keeper leaders and key allies have taken a very different public stance. Promise Keeper Founder Bill McCartney has called homosexuality "an abomination" and helped lead the effort to sanction legal discrimination against lesbians and gay men by amending the Colorado State constitution. Several Religious Right organizations with strong links to the Promise Keepers -- including the Rev. James Dobson's Focus on the Family and Gary Bauer's Family Research Council -- actively promote intolerance of lesbians and gay men through published materials, direct mail appeals, lawsuits, and other means.
"If the leaders of the Promise Keepers have their way, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender persons would be outlaws," said Robert Miailovich, President of DignityUSA. Charles Cox, Executive Director of DignityUSA went on to say, "The rhetoric of the Promise Keepers reminds all of us, regardless of orientation, that we must take seriously issues of diversity within our communities and challenge the Promise Keepers basic message: if you are anything but straight and a particular kind of fundamentalist and charismatic Christian, you simply do not belong. This is divisive and dangerous."
The Promise Keeper's rally scheduled for tomorrow serves as a reminder of why it is important for all women and men of conscience to participate in Solidarity Sunday on October 5, 1997. On that day Dignity urges all people to wear a rainbow ribbon marking their solidarity with each other, rejoicing in our diversity and praying that all persons, regardless of gender or sexual orientation may experience justice, peace and love.
DignityUSA is the largest organization of Catholic lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender individuals and their families and friends.