July 29, 2003 — DignityUSA, the organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics and their supporters, is strongly denouncing anticipated Vatican instructions to Catholic politicians and the public on opposing legal protections for same-sex couples. A document entitled "Considerations Regarding Proposals to Give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons'' is expected to be released July 31.
"Everything we've seen about this document so far leads us to believe it is an absolute perversion of the Catholic social justice tradition," said Marianne Duddy, DignityUSA's Executive Director. "It starts from the premise that all people are not created equal, and that laws should reinforce that inequality."
Duddy added, "The Vatican has poured out increasingly harsh rhetoric against equal civil protections for committed gay and lesbian couples and our families in recent years. This new document is intended to intimidate public officials across the globe into doing what the Vatican has not been able to do on its own — stem the growing tide for justice. It is a tremendous shame that the leaders of our Church are becoming the vocal proponents for intolerance and continuing discrimination."
Duddy went on to say, "Lay Catholics and politicians will resent the Vatican's unwarranted intrusion into our civil lives. It demonstrates a profound disregard for the basic principles of democracy and respect for individuals."
Finally, Duddy noted the growing support for legal recognition of same-sex relationships among American Catholics. "Most Catholics understand that ensuring that same-sex partners have the right to visit each other in the hospital, make health care decisions for an incapacitated partner, and decide where their beloved will be buried is a matter of basic fairness. This document widens the gulf between the people of our Church and its leadership and runs counter to the Gospel values our faith teaches."
DignityUSA is the nation's foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and supporters. Founded in 1969 it is an independent nonprofit organization with members and Chapters across the country.