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DignityUSA Responds to Comments by Senator Rick Santorum

 April 23, 2003

Senator Rick Santorum 
United States Senate 
511 Dirksen Senate Office Building 
Washington, D.C. 20510-3804

Dear Senator Santorum,

I am writing on behalf of the entire membership of DignityUSA, the nation's largest organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, our families, friends and supporters. We are outraged by your recent remarks concerning the sodomy case before the Supreme Court, and your labeling homosexuality a threat to families. It is totally inappropriate for you, a legislative leader with national leadership responsibilities, to make such discriminatory and inflammatory remarks.

We are further appalled by your characterization of the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal as "a basic homosexual relationship." The problems that scandal highlighted are child abuse and abuse of power, not homosexuality. It is of particular concern to us, as fellow Catholics, that your comments echo the kind of antigay rhetoric we hear too often from some Church officials. Such disparaging language does nothing to create unity among the citizens you serve. Rather, such language only alienates — even disenfranchises — a whole segment of the population.

We call on you to immediately retract your statements, and to apologize to all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and our families for your insensitivity.

Sincerely,

Marianne T. Duddy 
Executive Director