Apr172014
The work of DignityUSA on April 17, 2014 could have been sponsored by you. Click here for more information.

Highlights of DignityUSA's History: 1975

The following history is based on the commemorative booklet entitled DignityUSA at 25: A Chronology, 1969-1994 compiled by former DignityUSA President Pat Roche. Copies are available from the Dignity national office and were also printed in the Dignity Journal 27:2-3 (Autumn 1995). Highlights from 1995-Present compiled by former Dignity Vice President Pat McArron.
  • In January, representatives from Acceptance, including the national coordinator, Gary Pye, meet with Dignity’s national officers in Boston and issue a joint proclamation pledging "solidarity, oneness of purpose and affiliation in the work of making Christ’s love better known to all men and women."
  • In January, the national newsletter announces that "by a near unanimous vote of the Dignity chapters, a revised schedule of dues is effective immediately: Individual Members $15; Lovers = $25. Renewals will be at these fees when present membership expires."
  • The May newsletter announces that "the National Office has gathered and printed a group of articles on homosexuality, written from a Catholic perspective." Called Theological/Pastoral Resources, the packet is available for $1.00 to cover printing and postage.
  • In May, Dignity also publishes Homosexuality: A Worksheet for Catholics by Father Robert Nugent.

  • In June, a new Constitution for Dignity is forwarded to the membership for approval after having been reviewed by the leadership of all of the chapters and overwhelmingly approved for submission to the entire membership for a vote. It calls for the formation of a "Board of Consultors which would advise and direct the National Officers in all matters of national concern." The proposed Board of Consultors would be "composed of the chief executive officer(s) of all the local chapters of Dignity as defined by the individual chapter’s by-laws."
  • From June 16-20, the Second Annual Conference on Gay Ministry is held at Bergamo Center in Dayton, Ohio.
  • On June 17, Paul Diederich and Father Tom Oddo along with Hal Maloney of Dignity/Washington meet with the Liaison Committee of the National Conference of Bishops (NCCB) under Bishop Warren Boudreaux at the Conference Headquarters in Washington DC. The meeting is the outcome of months of planning by the National Officers and the National Chairperson for Social Action, Brian McNaught, in cooperation with concerned people within the NCCB and the U.S. Catholic Conference. The Dignity delegation spends about an hour and a half reviewing a presentation which Bishop Boudreaux will give to all of the Bishops at their November meeting. The presentation outlines Dignity’s mission and encourages the Bishops to condemn discrimination, support civil rights and assist Dignity in our pastoral outreach to gays and lesbians.
  • On June 29, the proposed Constitution is adopted by a vote of 92% in favor; 8% opposed.
  • The September 8 edition of Time magazine has a cover story on homosexuality which mentions Dignity and has a picture of Dignity/Boston celebrating Eucharist.

  • On November 16, Dignity, the Salvatorian Gay Ministry Task Force and Catholics for Gay Rights hold a National Day of Reconciliation of Gay Catholics with their Church. It is a day of prayer and fasting and includes a pilgrimage to Washington DC and attendance at the annual NCCB meeting during which Dignity representatives meet informally with Archbishop Joseph Bernardin and Bishop James Rausch, the President and General Secretary of the NCCB; and formally with the Bishops’ Liaison Committee.

Pages