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 Las Vegas, August 10, 2003 — In the midst of the international debate on same-sex marriage, the nation's largest group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics have affirmed their commitment to work for full inclusion of same sex couples in society and call on their church to bless same-sex unions.

The board of directors of DignityUSA and the membership assembled for the biennial convention adopted a resolution, saying:

"As Americans, we remind our fellow citizens of a foundational principle of our form of government: all are created equal. Consistent with the pursuit of liberty and justice for all, same-sex couples should have full and equal access to the rights and responsibilities bestowed by civil marriage.

"As Catholics, we remind our Church of a foundational conviction of our faith: God is love and all who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them. The love that brings and binds two people of the same, or opposite sex, together has a divine source. It is therefore sacramental in nature and should be celebrated as such by our Church."

Couples Blessing in Las Vegas

In celebration of the love and commitment of same-sex couples, DignityUSA offered a special Blessing of Couples on the closing day of the convention in Las Vegas. Over 40 couples participated.

"While we hope and work for the day when our unions will be recognized by society and blessed by our Church, we choose to live out the message of love and inclusion that our faith teaches, so we are celebrating the sanctity of our commitments now" said Marianne Duddy, executive director of DignityUSA.

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.