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News Archive (2010)

All Are Welcome to Witness the Board in Action

DignityUSA’s Board of Directors will meet Friday through Sunday, July 9–11, 2010, at the Embassy Suites Columbus-Airport Hotel, 2886 Airport Drive, Columbus, OH 43219. (614-536- 0500).

The Board meets Friday evening for about 3 hours; Saturday 9:00 a.m. until about 6:00 p.m.; Sunday, beginning with a liturgy, the Board wraps up its work in a 3-hour session ending at 12:00 noon.

DignityUSA members desiring to see a copy of the agenda please contact Lewis Tanner (secretary@dignityusa.org).

Dignity/Honolulu Celebrates Anniversary & LGBT Pride

On Sunday, May 23, 2010, Dignity/Honolulu celebrated its 34th Anniversary with a special Mass and potluck supper at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Honolulu, their weekly liturgy site. The theme “Victory” was proclaimed by Tim Earhart, Chapter President, congratulating the chapter for achieving 34 years of ministry to the Catholic LGBT community in Hawaii, and also for the passage of the civil unions bill by the Hawaii State Legislature. The community is awaiting the Governor’s action on the bill. Editor’s note: Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle has until July 6, 2010, to decide how to respond to the bill.

Critique of USCCB Letter to U.S. Congresspersons Regarding Employment Non-Discrimination Act Bills

On May 19, 2010, a letter from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was sent to the public on the topic of the Employment Non-Discriminiation Act.  Fortunate Families has published an open letter to U.S. Senators and Congressmen along with a copy of the original letter annotated with their analysis.  

Dateline readers, their loved one, families, and friends can contact their senators and House representatives. Roman Catholics can identify themselves as such and say that the bishops of the USCCB do not speak for them, and encourage their congresspersons to favorably pass the ENDA bills (H.R. 3017 and Senate S.1584).

Contact information for your elected members in Congress may be obtained by typing in your zip code at http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml.

Action Alert: The Pilot in Boston article by Michael Pakaluk

The June 4, 2010 issue of "The Pilot", *the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Boston*, contains an article on the “danger” of allowing children of same-sex couples to attend Catholic schools. The offensive and irresponsible language of this article have no place in a Catholic paper. We urge you to write or call the Pilot’s leadership, (phone: (617) 746-5889 ext. 5) and demand an apology for this article, request that they run a piece supportive of enrolling gay and lesbian couples’ children, and also to let them know that Michael Pakaluk should no longer be provided a platform for his consistently hateful writings. Marianne Duddy-Burke would appreciate getting copies of any letters. You can send them to her at executivedirector@dignityusa.org.

In the Boston Globe, Marianne Duddy-Burke was quoted as saying,   “I think this is an absolutely appalling piece. I think it’s incredibly irresponsible for a Catholic newspaper to allow such hateful and insupportable claims to be made in their paper.’’

Sue O'Connell, co-Publisher of Bay Windows, New England's largest LGBT newspaper, stated "What he wrote is vile. That it was published by The Pilot is hurtful to all children."

Since the article appeared, controversy has been building and the story is breaking in Boston-area TV stations. On June 9th, the Pilot's editor, Antonio M. Enrique, issued this statement in response to building criticism, saying, "The tone of the piece was strong and we apologize if anyone felt offended by it....Mr. Pakaluk’s column, as is the case with other opinion pieces, does not necessarily represent a specific position or endorsement of The Pilot or the Archdiocese."  

WBZ Talk Radio in Boston has these audio clips with Marianne Duddy-Burke and Michael Pakaluk discussing the column's implications, and WCVB (The Boston Channel) featured Marianne Duddy-Burke and her partner Becky discussing the column's reception in this clip from 9 June news.

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Meet Our Summer Intern

Lauren's PictureHello DignityUSA members! My name is Lauren Frances Price, and I am interning for you this summer. I am currently a junior at Boston University, where I am studying English and International Relations. The reasons I am pursuing these fields relate to why I want to work with Dignity. I am studying International Relations because I want to work in non-profits, mostly in economic development fields, and I'm studying English because, quite simply, it is what I love. Dignity appeals to me for several reasons.First of all, I am inspired by your efforts to affect change and gain recognition and acknowledgement. Beyond basic justice, I am also emotionally connected to this struggle, as my mother is a member of the gay Catholic community. I am so excited to be working for you and with you for an effort in which I believe and that means so much to me. I hope that my rational and thoughtful approach, balanced with my passionate beliefs, will help me, help you, and support the mission of DignityUSA.

During her internship, Lauren will assist DignityUSA in developing and implementing our social media strategy, expand our media contact list to include relevant blogs, and help with outreach to partner organizations. Lauren will receive a small stipend for successful completion of her summer internship. If you would like to contribute to this stipend, please click here to make a donation. Please put "Intern stipend" in the "Notes" block. Thank you for your support!

Fortunate Families Gathering - Joining Hands... Reaching Out!

Fortunate Families, Inc. is sponsoring Joining Hands …Reaching Out! — a weekend gathering for Catholic Parents of LGBT Daughters and Sons — Friday to Sunday, October 22-24, 2010, at Techny Towers Conference Center, 2001 Waukegan Road, Techny, IL 60082.

The conference center is located on Chicago’s North Shore, 30 minutes from the city or from O’Hare airport.

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US Catholic Church 'scapegoating' gay priests

Pink News LogoApplicants are also tested for HIV and screened for conditions such as depression, paranoia and 'gender confusion'.

Marianne Duddy-Burke, the executive director of DignityUSA, a Catholic gay rights group, said it was "impossible in this atmosphere" for celibate gay men to apply to the priesthood.

Marianne Duddy-Burke"The bishops have scapegoated gay priests because gays are an acceptable scapegoat in this society, particularly among weekly churchgoers," she said.

The church has never estimated how many of its priests are gay. Some Catholic scholars say that between 25 and 50 per cent of priests are gay, although other studies have found lower rates of homosexuality.

Prospective Catholic Priests Face Sexuality Hurdles

New York Times LogoIt is difficult to gauge reaction to the recent guidelines among seminary students and gay priests. Priests who once defended the work of gay men in the priesthood have become reluctant to speak publicly.

“It is impossible for them to come forward in this atmosphere,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, the executive director of DignityUSA, an advocacy group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics. “The bishops have scapegoated gay priests because gays are still an acceptable scapegoat in this society, particularly among weekly churchgoers.”