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Highlights of DignityUSA's History: 2001

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.
  • On January 1, President Mary Louise Cervone and Executive Director Marianne Duddy go to Rome to represent DignityUSA in collaboration with Soulforce to bring attention to the Catholic hierarchy's demeaning attitude toward GLBT Catholics.

  • DignityUSA is the subject of a study which appears in the most recent edition of the Social Psychology Quarterly, 2001 Volume 64 No. 4. Dr. James C. Cavendish and Dr. Donileen R. Loseke, assistant professor and professor of sociology at the University of South Florida, co-authored the study entitled "Producing Institutional Selves: Rhetorically Constructing the Dignity of Sexually Marginalized Catholics." Drs. Cavendish and Loseke explore how apparently contradictory identities can be reconciled rhetorically. The source materials for the study are DignityUSA Journals published between 1997 and 2000.
  • The Council of Religious AIDS Networks, including DignityUSA, meets in February in Florida and calls upon the people and the US government to continue a comprehensive and inclusive response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
  • During the March Board of Directors Meeting in Chicago, a special reception is held to honor Jim Green and Bill Diederich "In Appreciation of Faithful and Generous Support." In addition to dedicating themselves over the years to the mission of Dignity, they gave to DignityUSA the largest single donation to date, $52,000. To thank them for their dedication and commitment as well as their generous financial support, Mary Louise Cervone presents Jim & Bill with a beautiful etched glass plaque declaring them "Perpetual Members of DignityUSA."
  • On April 2-4, DignityUSA co-sponsors a conference on "The Progressive, Faith-Based Agenda: A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr." in Washington, DC.
  • DignityUSA is awarded $1,000 from the School Sisters of Notre Dame Fund for Gay and Lesbian Ministry. The funding is to support proactive outreach to facilitate participation in Solidarity Sunday™.
  • The Gill Foundation, the preeminent GLBT philanthropic organization, announces a grant of $7,500 to DignityUSA for mobilizing pro-GLBT Catholic support in a state civil rights initiative, where Catholic input can make a difference in the outcome of the bill.
  • At the request of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, DignityUSA signs onto an amicus brief to be presented to the Massachusetts Attorney General's office in an effort to prevent an anti-gay constitutional amendment from coming before the state's voters. The amendment, sponsored by the Massachusetts Citizens for Marriage, seeks to add language to the state constitution limiting marriage to one man/one woman, and denying the benefits of marriage to any other relationship.
  • Following the attacks of September 11, DignityUSA issues a statement extending sympathy to all of those who have lost people they love, including the loved ones of Fr. Mychal Judge, NY Fire Department Chaplain, who was a longtime member of Dignity. DignityUSA also expresses outrage by the comments of Rev. Jerry Falwell and Rev. Pat Robertson, who blamed gay men and lesbians for helping to cause this terrorism.

  • DignityUSA's Fr. Tom is named co-chair of the National Council of Religious AIDS Network.

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