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News Archive (2014)

2015: A Year of Big Events for DignityUSA

by Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director

As we hang fresh calendars and anticipate the 12 months of a new year, there is always a sense of wonder and questions about what lies ahead. We already know some of the major events that will make 2015 a very exciting and full year for DignityUSA. In just a few weeks, we will begin our next election cycle. Lourdes Rodriguez-Nogues and Lewis Speaks-Tanner will be finalizing their remarkable four years as President and Vice-President, respectively, so before the end of the year, we will have new Executives. We will also elect three Directors-at-Large in a process that ensures accountability to our members and supporters. Every time we go through this process, I am struck by how seamlessly we implement elections and mutual accountability in our communities, locally and nationally, and I wonder why the larger Church cannot offer similar mechanisms for shared authority.

Why I Joined the Board

by Lauren Carpenter

I admit that when someone first asked if I would consider running for the Board of DignityUSA, I was hesitant. The thought of being on the Board of Directors for a national non-profit was a little intimidating- what could I bring to a board that already had members with many more years of professional experience, as well as knowledge of the history of DignityUSA? But after talking and thinking more about it, I realized that what I can bring is my unique experience as a young adult, as well as my commitment and love for DignityUSA, which has been a very important part of my life for the past five years. I’ve made close friends, had satisfying experiences of advocating for LGBT people in the Church, and learned a lot about myself and the powerful life experiences of others. These experiences drove me to set aside my hesitation and take my participation in DignityUSA to the next level.

Transgender Equality Resources

The National Center for Transgender Equality has some excellent resources on their website. Below is a sample of what you will find:

Transgender People

Injustice at Every Turn: National Transgender Discrimination Survey (February 2011) Transgender and gender non-comforming people face shocking levels of discrimination in employment, education, health care, and other areas. The National Transgender Discrimination Survey is the first large-scale national study of discrimination against transgender and gender non-conforming Americans, and paints a more complete picture than any prior research to date.

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Catholic Groups Applaud Vatican Report as “First Step” in Reconciling with U.S. Sisters

Demand immediate removal of sanctions against LCWR leadership

Below is the statement from the Nun Justice Project: of which DignityUSA is a founding member, on the release of the Vatican report into the Visitation of US Women Religious congregations.

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LGBT Catholics Say New Vatican Document is “inadequate and alienating,” Call for “official input” into Synod on the Family

December 9, 2014. Boston, MA. Responding to today’s release of a document that will set the agenda for the second phase of the Vatican’s Synod on the Family, to be held in Rome October 4-25, 2015, leaders of DignityUSA said it was “inadequate and alienating” in its approach to the issues faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Catholics and their families.

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Advent is Upon Us

by Lewis Speaks-Tanner, Vice President, DignityUSA

Each year, December seems to go quicker than it did the year before. There are so many things to get done. The season is about preparing, from making gift lists to decorating the house, to making donations to favorite charities. It is important to take time out of the busy season to recharge spiritual batteries. This Advent, I will be reading Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Ann Lamott after hearing wonderful reviews about her previous and current books.

DignityUSA Tells Congress: “Religious Exemptions Harm People and Catholics Don’t Support Them”

DignityUSA has been involved in a number of recent efforts to alert Congress to significant problems with efforts by US Catholic bishops to expand the number of people covered by “religious exemptions.” These exemptions exclude certain faith-affiliated institutions from laws providing protection from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, and health care coverage.

DignityUSA Is Calling YOU…

By Lourdes Rodriguez-Nogues, DignityUSA President 

Yes, you. We know that you have skills that DignityUSA can put to good use. Thus, we are calling on anyone who feels called to serve as a member of the DignityUSA Board.

Nominations are open for four Directors and our President/Vice President. These individuals will be elected by July 2015 and serve for a period of 2 years starting on October 1, 2015.

What qualifications do you need, you might wonder. A few come to mind:

Our Savior, Pope Francis?

by Jim Smith, DignityUSA Associate Director

I hear a lot of hope these days from Dignity members across the country. Most of it is rooted in perceptions of Pope Francis. My fear is that those hopes will not be realized, and deep discouragement, cynicism, and separation from all things Catholic will take hold.

Why Religious Exemptions Hurt—and Why Catholics Oppose Them

November 17, 2014. 

“The bishops’ demands that the government allow them to discriminate against people who hold different religious beliefs about marriage, family life and health care are in stark contrast with Catholic values, and with what most Catholics in the US believe,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke of DignityUSA at a briefing on Capitol Hill convened by a coalition of progressive Catholic organizations.