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Highlights of DignityUSA's History: 1970

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 January, Dignity places its first ad in the Advocate:

    "Catholic Gays

    Join DIGNITY, a Catholic group of intelligent gay men and women. We share successful ways of bringing dignity into our lives. Honest talk/ sensitivity/sincere people. Applicants screened. Write: Fr. Pat, Box 4486, N. Park St., San Diego, CA 92104."

  • Dignity continues to advertise in the Los Angeles Free Press as well as the Advocate and membership steadily increases. Although located in Los Angeles, Dignity from the very beginning attracts members-at-large from around the country who join in response to the ads.

  • In May, Father Pat asks Bob Fourier to draw up a Constitution for Dignity. Bob writes the first draft of Dignity's Statement of Position and Purpose. The second paragraph of the original statement, which has played such a pivotal part in Dignity's evolution, read as follows:

    "We believe that homosexuality is a natural variation on the use of sex. It implies no sickness or immorality. Those with such sexual orientation have a natural right to use their power of sex in a way that is both responsible and fulfilling.... and should use it with a sense of pride."

  • In June, Bob Fourier is appointed by Father Nidorf as the first General Chairman of Dignity.

  • On September 26, Dignity's first meeting on Church property is held in the basement auditorium of St. Brendan's Parish in Los Angeles.

  • Throughout the year, three articles on homosexuality by Father John McNeill, S.J., New York City, appear in The Homiletic and Pastoral Review.