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Gay Catholic Parent to Demonstrate During Pope's Visit

Contact Information: 

Marianne Duddy-Burke, Executive Director, 617-669-7810

Jeff Stone, Director of Media Relations, 212-662-9818

Group Will Call on Pope to End Anti-Gay Campaign, Celebrate Advances Made by Gay Catholics

Boston, MA—DignityUSA will sponsor a series of public events and witnesses during Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to the United States April 15-20. Events will be held in both Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Highlights of DignityUSA’s schedule include: an April 12 demonstration at the United Nations highlighting “The Global Impact of Pope Benedict’s Anti-Gay Campaign,”; demonstrations along the Papal Motorcade route in Washington, D.C.; a witness during the Pope’s prayer service and meeting with the U.S. Catholic Bishops; and supporting New Ways Ministry’s April 10 press conference “A Few Minutes with the Pope: Lesbian/Gay Catholics Speak about their Church.”

Speakers during these events include: Richard Rodriguez, Peabody-award winning contributor to PBS’ News Hour with Jim Lehrer; Gregory Maguire, author of dozens of novels, including Wicked; Lourdes Rodriguez-Nogues, Cuban immigrant and editor of Out in the Workplace; and Irish-born filmmaker Brendan Fay, who has been at the center of an international controversy due to an unauthorized use of images of his marriage by the president of Poland.

“All of our events are planned to be peaceful, prayerful and positive,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA’s executive director. “At the same time, we need to recognize the damage that this Pope’s attacks on our community have caused countless individuals and families. We witness on their behalf.”

DignityUSA, the nation’s oldest and most progressive organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, has 50 chapters and members in every state. For contact information in your region, please contact Marianne Duddy-Burke at 617-669-7810 (cell).

The following is DignityUSA’s official schedule:


(9 a.m. press conference):

“A Few Moments with the Pope:
Lesbian/Gay Catholics Speak about their Church”
(DignityUSA supports New Ways Ministry’s Press Conference)

In attendance will be:

  • Teresa DeCrescenzo, executive director of Gay Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS)
  • Gregory Maguire, author of more than a dozen novels, most notably Wicked, which was the basis for the Tony-award winning Broadway Musical.
  • Heather Mizeur, delegate representing the 20th District in Maryland and a leader in the debate about legalizing gay and lesbian marriages.
  • Richard Rodriguez, social and cultural commentator, author and Peabody-award winning contributor to PBS’ News Hour with Jim Lehrer

Murrow Room, National Press Club (529 14th Street, NW; 13th floor, Washington D.C.)


“The Global Impact of Pope Benedict’s Anti-Gay Campaign”
(Demonstration at United Nations)

(11:30 a.m. Press Conference)
In attendance will be:

  • Lourdes Rodríguez-Nogués, Cuban immigrant, lesbian Catholic activist, editor of Out in the Workplace. Read remarks…
  • Brendan Fay, Irish-born gay activist, filmmaker and cofounder of New York’s inclusive St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Currently involved in an international controversy regarding the unauthorized use of images from his marriage to Dr. Thomas Moulton by Polish President Lech Kaczynski.
  • Jeff Stone, Dignity/New York Steering Committee.
  • Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA. Read remarks…
  • Read Litany…

(12 Noon, Demonstration at United Nations)

View photos…

Ralph J. Bunche Park (43rd Street and 1st Avenue, New York)


Papal Motorcade Demonstrations

Demonstrations will be along the Pope’s motorcade route through Washington D.C.

(11 a.m.)

Dignity Washington members will be gathering at 23rd and P Street, and then walking to Rock Creek Park and P, where they will be stationed for the motorcade that begins at noon.

(From 2 p.m. on)

People will also be gathering in the Public Space on 4th Street south of Michigan Ave. Apparently there are some spaces in that stretch just for ticketholders, and some for public gathering. Just look for the Dignity/Washington banners. Marianne Duddy-Burke expects to join them around 2:30 with the DignityUSA banner, press packets, etc.

More information/updates can be obtained from the Dignity Center at 202-546-2235.

(5:30 p.m.)

Witness during Pope’s Prayer Service and Meeting with U.S. Bishops

DignityUSA focuses on what constitutes appropriate pastoral care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics and our families.

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (400 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington D.C.)

View photos…

DignityUSA is the nation's foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and supporters. Founded in 1969, it is an independent nonprofit organization with members and chapters across the country.DignityUSA works for the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the life of the Church and society. www.dignityusa.org