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Washington, D.C. October 17, 2006 —Dignity/Washington issued an open letter to Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington and Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo of Richmond that accuses the bishops of hurting, misleading and creating division among their church members by their recent pastoral letter against the proposed Virginia constitutional amendment to ban same gender marriages.

"Shame on you!" the Dignity/Washington letter begins. "Your recent letter is not as Christ teaches, nor we believe as Christ intends for pastors." The letter continues, "We offer an opposing gospel message on this issue, and issue a word of prophecy to you in your role as our bishops."

The bishops' pastoral letter calls on Catholic citizens to inform themselves on the issue, but the Dignity/Washington letter highlights that the proposed amendment prohibits benefits for all unmarried couples, gay and heterosexual alike. The Dignity/Washington letter inventories the increasing list of organizations and media outlets that oppose the legislation, including the NAACP, the League of Women Voters, the VA Association of Social Workers, The Washington Post, the Virginian Pilot, and the Roanoke Times.

"We are confident that fair minded Catholics in Virginia will follow the moral values of love and justice taught by our Catholic faith and will vote "NO" on Ballot Question No. 1 on November 7," the Dignity/Washington letter concludes.

The full text of the Dignity/Washington letter is available from Dignity/Washington. For the position of the Catholic bishops on this issue see

Dignity/Washington is a D.C. Metro Area Chapter of the national organization Dignity/USA that serves gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, and their families and friends. For further information contact Dignity/Washington at 202-546-2235 or