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Washington, DC  The leadership of DignityUSA, the foremost organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics and their families, calls upon the Roman Catholic Bishops in America to respect the separation of church and state during this election time.

“The Bishops have crossed the line from ministering to God’s people to improperly influencing the political outcome in our country”, stated Matthew Gallagher, Executive Director of DignityUSA "The Bishops are literally using the bully pulpit to force Roman Catholics to vote for an ideologically rigid government," continued Gallagher.

The Catechism of the Church instructs Catholics to make decisions through prayer and a properly formed conscience. The Bishops are taking away the right and privilege of American citizens when they tell the members of the Church how they must vote.

The leadership of DignityUSA is saddened to see the hierarchy show such disrespect, not only for the process this country uses to elect government leaders, but also for the individual American citizens who must cast those votes. Instead of unifying the Catholics in this country, the Bishops are working very hard to divide us.

The Bishops lost their credibility when they allowed our children to be abused and then covered it up. Now they are trying to regain that credibility, but they are not succeeding. The Catholic Church in this country is made up of intelligent people who know the importance of voting and how to separate the truth from misguided statements from some Bishops. The fact that the Bishops are opposed to the election of a life-long, church-going Catholic for the Presidency just shows how out of touch the heirarchy is from the majority of the faithful.

The leadership of DignityUSA calls on all the Bishops to respect the democracy of this country and the diversity of religious beliefs. DignityUSA also calls on all Americans to vote in this most important election.

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.