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Catholics Affirm the Call for Equal Civil Rights For Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Citizens

As legislatures meet across the country and address the issue of civil rights protections for GLBT people and our relationships, we want you to know that DignityUSA is involved, supporting local efforts and adding the GLBT Catholic faith dimension to the equality argument. Following is a statement to members of the Wisconsin Legislature that was shared with the legislators as DignityUSA members, other people of faith and other concerned GLBT citizens participated in a lobbying day sponsored by Christians for Equality in Wisconsin. We applaud their efforts and are honored to have participated. Keep the faith!

— Sam

DignityUSA, the foremost organization for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) Catholics along with our families, friends, straight  allies, and other supportive people of faith, supports the efforts of Christians for Equality as they seek to educate Wisconsin's legislators on Tuesday, 22 February 2005.  We understand that the constitutional amendment passed by the Wisconsin legislature last year would, if passed  a second time and approved by the people of Wisconsin, ban civil unions, domestic partnerships, and marriage for same-sex couples.

In the midst of the international debate on same-sex marriage, DignityUSA the nation's largest group of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics affirms our commitment to work for full inclusion of same sex couples in society and the end of unjust discrimination against our GLBT citizens.   Same-gender marriage in no way is an attack on opposite-gender marriage.   Society should affirm and support all loving families in the great diversity found in God‚s creation and particularly in the United States.

In August of 2003, the board of directors of DignityUSA and our membership assembled for our biennial national convention adopted a  resolution, saying:

"As Americans, we remind our fellow citizens of a foundational principle of our form of government: all are created equal. Consistent with the pursuit of liberty and justice for all, same-sex couples should have full and equal access to the rights and responsibilities bestowed by  civil marriage.

"As Catholics, we remind our Church of a foundational conviction of our faith: God is love and all who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them. The love that brings and binds two people of the same, or opposite sex, together has a divine source. It is therefore sacramental  in nature and should be celebrated as such by our Church."

In celebration of the love and commitment of same-sex couples, DignityUSA offered a special Blessing of Couples on the closing day of  that 2003 biennial convention.  Over 40 couples participated. 

"While we hope and work for the day when our unions will be recognized by society and blessed by our Church, we choose to live out the message of love and inclusion that our faith teaches, so we are celebrating the sanctity of our commitments now" said Marianne Duddy, then Executive Director of DignityUSA.

DignityUSA is the only national Catholic organization that offers a multifaceted program of support for same-sex couples and blesses their  commitments in chapters across the country. DignityUSA maintains a national couples registry to recognize and record these unions.

— Sam Sinnett President, DignityUSA

DignityUSA is the foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics, their families, friends and supporters. Founded  in 1969, it is an independent nonprofit organization with members and Chapters across the country.