What is Dignity?
DignityUSA works for respect and justice for people of all sexual orientations, genders, and gender identities—especially gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons—in the Catholic Church and the world through education, advocacy, and support. (DignityUSA Mission Statement)
In local chapters across the United States, we worship openly with other LGBTQI and supportive Catholics, socialize, share personal and spiritual concerns, and work together on educational and justice issues.
We believe that God created us, Christ died for us, and the Holy Spirit sanctified us in Baptism. As LGBTQI Catholics, it is our right, our privilege, and our duty to live the sacramental life of the Church. We believe that we can express our sexuality and/or gender identities and expressions in a loving, life-affirming manner that is in keeping with Christ's teaching.
More Than 40 Years Uniting LGBTQI Catholics
Begun in 1969 in San Diego under the leadership of Fr. Patrick Nidorf, OSA, first as a counseling group and then a support group in Los Angeles, DignityUSA has been a national organization since 1973. An independent nonprofit organization, our national office is in Medford, MA, with chapters located throughout the United States. Members gather at periodic regional meetings and biennial national conventions.
On a nationwide basis and through our local chapters, Dignity:
- advocates for change in the Catholic Church's teaching on homosexuality and gender identity;
- provides educational materials, speakers, and other resources to Catholic parishes, gay ministries, and other interested groups;
- maintains ongoing dialogue with Catholic bishops and other Church leaders;
- represents gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics in the media;
- presents positive testimony from a Catholic perspective on civil rights legislation.
Dignity is a founding member of Catholic Organizations for Renewal (COR), a network of diverse groups seeking change within the Church. We network internationally with LGBTQI Catholic groups, including assisting in the development of new groups in countries such as South Africa, Poland, and Colombia.
Among our ongoing projects:
- Defenders of Dignity, an outreach to the leather spiritual community
- a National AIDS project
- Solidarity Sunday, a national anti-violence initiative.
DignityUSA envisions and works for a time when Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Catholics are affirmed and experience dignity through the integration of their spirituality with their sexuality, gender identity and gender expression, and as beloved persons of God participate fully in all aspects of life within the Church and Society. (DignityUSA Vision Statement)
DignityUSA is a not-for-profit religious corporation, organized under 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue code.