Dignity/Washington News for May

Dignity/Washington Presence at US Supreme Court Rallies

By Tom Bower, Dignity/Washington Board member

Several members of Dignity/Washington had the honor of being present at the very large demonstrations in support of same sex marriage rights at the U. S. Supreme Court on March 26 and 27.  Notable aspects of the events were the broad age range, from students and interns in their early twenties to individuals in their sixties and seventies, and the very positive vibe among the attendees. That it was a pleasant, crisp spring day did not hurt the mood. Security was heavy, but friendly, and there were no physical clashes among different groups. 

On March 26, the Court was slated to hear arguments in the California Proposition 8 case. The day began with an Interfaith Service held at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, located just a few blocks from the Supreme Court building. Called “A Prayer for Love & Justice,” members of all faiths attended in the spirit of love, hope, and equality. Several Dignity/Washington members participated, including Allen Rose, Dan Barutta, Eddie Weingart, Sr. Jeannine Gramick, Fr. Joseph Palacios, and Fr. Tim MacGeorge. The service concluded with a march to the Supreme Court building where worshipers joined approximately 2,000 very positive LGBT individuals and allies with many creative, hand-made signs. At 10:00 there was a parade along the street in front of the Supreme Court building of approximately 1,000 opponents of marriage equality, most of whom had been bused down from New York City carrying printed signs.  The two groups largely ignored each other.  Once the parade was over, the LGBT presence continued until noon.

On March 27, the Justices heard arguments to determine whether the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is constitutional. There was a somewhat smaller, but equally enthusiastic, LGBT crowd of approximately 1,000, and very few individuals in support of the restrictive law.  The crowd remained for a few hours until after the case was heard, and the attorneys/proponents for each side addressed the press and crowd.   

Decisions on the cases are anticipated to be published in June.

Farewell Mass for Joseph Palacios, Dignity/Washington presider/member

By Henry Huot, Dignity/Washington Board member

Sunday, April 14, 2013, Father Joseph Palacios was presider and homilist at a Farewell Mass with Dignity/Washington, held at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. Many of his friends and associates in his multi-faceted ministry to the DC area LGBT community participated and extended their well wishes, including those from Georgetown University, and Catholics for Equality, which he helped to found. Joe will assume a new ministry with the Spiritual Care Department of Clinical Services at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California (just outside of Palm Springs) later this spring, primarily running groups, doing individual assessments, giving lectures, and undertaking strategic planning regarding US Latinos and Latin Americans. “The job integrates much of my past,” writes Joe, “and provides some great opportunities for research and innovative thinking regarding addiction and recovery.” The Mass was followed by a special social in the parish hall. Godspeed, Joe, and best wishes. You will be sorely missed.

Country Western Spring Fling Has Dignity/Washington Stomping

By Henry Huot, Dignity/Washington Board member

The Dignity/Washington community was treated to a superb evening through the generous efforts and hospitality of member Mike Malik at his home near Logan Circle on Saturday, April 20. The neighborhood resounded with the music of Country Western instructor and DJ Mary Anne who led the diverse crowd of young and old, beginning and advanced, in the Texas Two-Step and Country Western line dances. Everyone kicked up their heels, had fun, and enjoyed meeting new friends well into the night. Drinks and refreshments were also provided by Mike to the grateful partiers. The lessons of DJ Mary Anne were given in a spirit of fun, with ample but gentle humorous persuasion, much appreciated by even the most timid to get onto the dance floor.