DignityUSA, the nation's largest organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, as well as families, friends, and allies, expresses condolences to the family of Senator Edward Kennedy, and honors the late Senator as a Catholic voice for equality and justice. The group noted his work for racial and gender equality, living wages, immigration reform, people with physical and mental disabilities and many other issues.
"Senator Kennedy was tireless in working on behalf of those who faced injustice and discrimination throughout his decades of public service," said Marianne Duddy, DignityUSA's Executive Director. "His profound commitment to social justice, a cornerstone of his deep Catholic faith, made him a leader in striving for equality for gay, lesbian and transgender people, and for those affected by HIV/AIDS. From employment to hate crimes to health care access to marriage equality, Senator Kennedy was a tremendous ally to the gay community. His leadership on our issues will be sorely missed."
Duddy-Burke noted that Senator Kennedy's positions, although often contrary to those espoused by Catholic church leaders, were consistent with the views of large numbers of Catholics throughout the country. "Senator Kennedy gave hope to many Catholics who felt conflicted when their political values did not agree with what they heard from their bishops," she said. "Ted Kennedy demonstrated deep conviction about his beliefs as well as a sincere faith, modeling the way the majority of Catholics in the US live. His integrity and the way his faith clearly drove his work on behalf of the marginalized provided a magnificent reflection on the Gospel of Jesus."