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 The leadership of DignityUSA is appalled at the comments by Cardinal Joos of Belgium, who said that 90 percent of people who identify as gay or lesbian are actually sexual perverts.

"This is just another example of how the hierarchy of our Church is working to discredit gay and lesbian people", stated Matthew Gallagher, Executive Director of DignityUSA. "The hierarchy says that they reject homosexuality, not homosexuals. But how can we believe that with statements like this from someone in a position to become the next pope? This statement by the Cardinal indicates either ignorance of decades worth of respected social science research or a political agenda of scapegoating gays and lesbians. Either is deeply disturbing to us."

DignityUSA works for greater understanding of homosexuality in the Catholic Church and for change in church teaching on homosexuality. "Such statements like that of Cardinal Joos do nothing to clarify church teaching and only cause more pain to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics and increase alienation from the church," Gallagher continued.

During their Biennial Convention last August in Las Vegas, the DignityUSA membership released their declaration in favor of same-sex marriage. DignityUSA continues to work with local Dignity chapters to support gay and lesbian couples wishing to have their commitment of love and fidelity recognized and blessed by their communities and their church.

"Cardinal Joos' words highlight how the hierarchy is acting upon their pledge made last summer to work against same-sex marriage and adoption," stated Sam Sinnett, President of DignityUSA. "Their words, last summer, caused great pain and harm to GLBT Catholics and these words of this cardinal add salt to those wounds. It is unfortunate that people in positions of power such as Cardinal Joos would revert to hateful stereotyping when discussing a public policy matter."

According to Gallagher, "Such statements by this Cardinal and other bishops, just show how much they have moved away from being teachers of the love of Christ and towards political extremism."

DignityUSA is the 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. For more information, please visit .