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Happy New Year!

Fireworks for 2014By Lewis Speaks-Tanner, DignityUSA Vice President 

We look forward to 2014 with all its possibilities and challenges while we make our New Year’s resolutions.

We celebrated when DOMA was declared unconstitutional during Gay Pride Month 2013!   At year’s end, we have 18 states and the District of Columbia that have adopted full state-level marriage equality. According to the Marriage Equality USA website, that means only 39% of US citizens live in jurisdictions with marriage equality. Much work is being done to overturn state laws and constitutional amendments that prevent marriage equality throughout our country. 

In March 2013, Jose Bergoglio became Pope Francis, who has been continually in the news since his election. Francis’ now famous quote, “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” has perplexed many of us.  Will the hierarchy back away from their multimillion dollar anti-marriage equality campaigns? Will the hierarchy and Catholic employers stop firing LGBT church workers for obtaining legal marriages?  Much work is being done by many organizations including DignityUSA so that in 2014, LGBT church workers will not experience discrimination that is illegal in civil workplaces in many states.  As Pope Francis focuses on the life of the family later in 2014, you can be sure that DignityUSA will continue to speak out to make sure LGBT families are an integral group of the people of God.

As many of us are making New Year’s resolutions, I re-commit myself to the work of DignityUSA, where we envision and work “for a time when Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Catholics are affirmed and experience dignity through the integration of the their spirituality with their sexuality, and as beloved persons of God participate fully in all aspects of life within the Church and Society.” We continue to look for many volunteers who have talents in fundraising, human resources, marketing, technology, finance for non-profits, and convention planning, to name a few. Later in January, we begin our search for candidates to be nominated for four Board of Directors positions. Elections will be held in the spring. 

With your help, we can meet the challenges and create new opportunities for LGBT Catholics and friends. The year 2014 is poised to be a fabulous year!