The 2012 Call To Action National Conference, the largest annual gathering of progressive Catholics, took place November 9-11 in Louisville, KY, just days after victories on all four state ballot measures regarding marriage equality. Many attendees sported “Catholics for Marriage Equality” t-shirts and buttons, and were enthusiastic about the votes. Whether they were from Michigan or Maryland, it felt like Catholics were taking ownership of these successes. It was amazing!
Prior to the official opening of the Conference, members of DignityUSA’s Young Adult Caucus joined young adults from Call To Action, Women’s Ordination Conference, and FutureChurch for a daylong retreat. This session provided an opportunity to reflect on their spiritual and activism journeys, as well as to build relationships across organizational lines.
DignityUSA hosted a well-attended reception following the opening keynote session. To celebrate the marriage equality votes, and to recommit to future equality initiatives for LGBT people, attendees were invited to view and sing along with the “For All the Children” video created as part of Catholics for Marriage Equality Minnesota’s organizing efforts.
DignityUSA’s Program Manager, Jim Smith, was one of four speakers to address the Equally Blessed Caucus. Each speaker was a leader in Catholic organizing efforts surrounding the marriage equality initiatives in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington. Speakers shared strategies they found effective in their states in order to inspire people who may face similar referenda in the future.
Dignity members also staffed an outreach booth throughout the weekend, connecting with many conference attendees who had questions, wanted to share stories, sought resources, or even wanted to renew their membership. Information on the DignityUSA’s Queer Catholic Faith webinar series was of particular interest to visitors from across the country.