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Signed “Friend of the Court” Brief

November 18, 2003 — Leaders of DignityUSA, the organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics and their supporters, expressed their joy about today's decision in Massachusetts' highest court ruling that same-sex couples are legally entitled to marry under the state constitution. Both DignityUSA and Dignity/Boston signed onto a "friend of the court" brief in this case.

"This only highlights the fact that same-sex couples should not be denied their right to marry and live in a loving relationship no matter where in this country they reside," stated Matthew Gallagher, DignityUSA's Executive Director. "Two individuals, in a committed relationship should not be denied the legal rights and benefits afforded heterosexual couples."

Gallagher continued, "We are delighted that this court saw through efforts to claim religion supports having different laws for lesbian and gay people. The right of inheritance and hospital visitation rights for gay couples and the hundreds of other benefits that accompany marriage are not special rights, but equal rights. We are happy that the voice of gay Catholics was heard in this case, alongside the brave couples who brought the suit and their many supporters in the legal community."

"We believe that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people have the right to full expression of their sexuality in ways that are consistent with Catholic/Christian values, including the right to enter into committed relationships," stated Sam Sinnett, DignityUSA's President. "It is exciting to see this court affirm this right."

DignityUSA is the only national Catholic organization that offers a multifaceted program of support for same-sex couples and blesses their commitments in chapters across the country. DignityUSA maintains a national couples registry to recognize and record these unions.

DignityUSA is the foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered 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 transgendered people in the life of the Church and Society. For more information, please visit .