Washington, D.C. —Today, DignityUSA, the nation's oldest and largest organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) Catholics, announced the "DignityUSA Calls It Love" campaign celebrating GLBT families. The campaign begins in observance of the one-year anniversary of the Vatican's release of Considerations Regarding Proposals to give Legal Recognition to Unions Between Homosexual Persons and includes national advertising in National Catholic Reporter and The Advocate as well as local and regional ads.
DignityUSA and Dignity chapters across the country will place an advertisement in newspapers and magazines across the country during the month of June, traditionally the month to celebrate Gay Pride. The ad features two Dignity members and their children in a family portrait with a caption that reads: "The Vatican calls this violence. DignityUSA calls it love."
The ad references the statement in the Vatican letter which said "Allowing children to be adopted by persons living in such [same-sex] unions would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense that their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment that is not conducive to their full human development."
"DignityUSA has celebrated and supported gay and lesbian families in all their diversity for thirty-five years." said Matthew Gallagher Executive Director of DignityUSA. "On this anniversary, which falls at the beginning of June Pride events, we want to publicly celebrate the great love that exists between GLBT parents and their children. To look at the picture of the family featured in this ad and say that these two mothers are doing anything but providing for the full human development of their children is scandalous."
Gallagher continued, "When one considers how many children are at risk of abuse and neglect in every part of society, we believe in affirming loving, responsible partnerships and families who can provide safe and nurturing homes as the best place for children, and that includes GLBT parents. "
At their biennial convention, Dignity members released a statement supporting same-gender marriage as a right not only as Catholics, but as American citizens. "We are now seeing the effects of the Vatican's attempts to influence the discussion of civil marriage for GLBT people in the efforts by some bishops to deny communion to politicians and voters who support this issue," said Gallagher. "It is sad that our efforts to grow and support families are being met by such angry and misguided opposition from our church leaders. At a time when GLBT families need the support of their faith communities — and have found support in many Catholic parishes — our bishops and the Vatican continue to work against us and perpetuate myths and lies about GLBT people."
Dignity chapters across the country will incorporate the ad campaign into their local GLBT Pride celebrations by using the ad image on postcards and flyers to be handed out at parades and other events. Among the many ways DignityUSA celebrates GLBT families is a couples registry hosted on its website where Dignity members can register their unions and receive a certificate of recognition. Dignity chapters acknowledge and support GLBT couples with blessings, unions and other liturgical celebrations.
"Our hope is that this campaign will put a real face on GLBT families for the many people who don't know that these families are in their very communities and neighborhoods," said Gallagher. "While some work hard to demonize our families we are working just as hard to show that it is all about love."
For more information on the "DignityUSA Calls It Love" campaign and Dignity's other work on behalf of GLBT Catholics visit www.dignityusa.org.
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.
DignityUSA works for full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the life of the Church and Society. www.dignityusa.org
Sam Sinnett — President
Margaret M. Burns — Vice President
Paula Lavellee — Secretary
Matthew J. Gallagher — Executive Director