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A Message from the Vice President

​By Lewis Speaks-Tanner, DignityUSA Vice President

February may have the fewest days in the year but plenty happens in this short month! Ash Wednesday ushers in the season of Lent, and the next day is Valentine’s Day. Work continues on marriage equality both at the federal and state levels. DignityUSA election nomination information and 2013 Biennial Convention registration have been posted on the DignityUSA website.

It seems we just finished the Christmas season. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Presidential Inauguration were less than two weeks ago.

Between the two celebrations, there was much to ponder. For instance, President Obama mentioned marriage equality in his inaugural address, saying: “It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. For if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”

With marriage equality being a reality this year in Maine, Maryland and Washington, there will be many more celebrating Valentine’s Day in a special way: married. And by the end of 2013, with the hard work of state marriage equality coalitions, there could be seven more states with marriage equality: Illinois, Rhode Island, Delaware, Hawaii, New Jersey, Minnesota, and California. Preparations continue for the upcoming Supreme Court oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

Our 2013 Biennial Convention in Minneapolis is now just five short months away. Registrations have started to take off. Our Convention theme, Let Justice Roll Like a River, will re-invigorate those of us who have been to other conventions; it will energize those of you who have never been to a DignityUSA convention. Our members have been speaking up to educate others and encouraging others to find their voice.

For a way to stay connected before the convention, DignityUSA hosts a Queer Catholic Faith (QCF) Conversation monthly using webinar technology. On February 26, Bob Pierson, a Benedictine priest from Collegeville, Minnesota, will be the next person interviewed. Bob Pierson emphasized the primacy of the informed conscience in respect to Minnesota’s proposed marriage amendment. He’ll join us to speak of another church teaching: the call to show respect, love, and compassion to our LGBT sisters and brothers. Be sure to register for this and future QCF Conversations.

We also continue our call to DignityUSA members to run for a position on the Board of Directors, President, or Vice President. DignityUSA needs your talents and skills to continue our vision to “work for a time when LGBT Catholics are affirmed and experience dignity through the integration of their spirituality with their sexuality, and as beloved persons of God participate fully in all aspects of life within the Church and Society.”

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your loved ones.