As we approach Pride 2017, the LGBTQI community faces unexpected threats. That Gospel parable of the thief in the night feels very relevant. We had been enjoying what has felt like steady progress in greater social and spiritual inclusion and legal protection for our communities. And suddenly we—like many others—now find this advancement in jeopardy.
May 5, 2017. Boston, MA. The Executive Order on Religious Freedom signed by President Donald Trump did not contain the explicitly anti-LGBTQI provisions that were part of leaked early drafts of the Order. However, leaders of DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics working for equality, justice and full inclusion of LGBTQI people in the Church and society, are warning that there are ominous signals that hard-won rights could soon be rolled back.
February 23, 2017. DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics committed to justice and full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex people joins countless others in decrying the Trump adminstration's reversal of former President Obama's guidance to schools on allowing transgender students to use facilities that match the gender with which they identify.
This letter to the editor from DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke appeared in the January 13, 2017 print issue of National Catholic Reporter. It was written in response to an article by Thomas Reese, SJ entitled “Time to Compromise on Gay Rights and Religious Freedom.”
Well-intentioned but Problematic
Boston, MA. January 30, 2017. DignityUSA, the organization of Catholics committed to equality in the church and society for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, has expressed deep concern about Executive Orders issued by President Trump. The organization is especially alarmed by plans to build a wall across the border between the US and Mexico, and the order prohibiting travel to the US by people from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
From Maine to Maui, from Washington, DC to Washington state, Dignity members stood up for the rights of LGBTQI people, women, immigrants, those needing access to health care, sex assault victims, Muslims, in the Women's Marches that took place on Saturday, January 21, 2017. This is just one example of our ongoing commitment to the work of justice. Here are a few images and stories from our Marches.
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy is releasing a new document (dated December 8, 2016) entitled “The Gift of the Priestly Vocation,” which is a set of guidelines for priestly formation. The document notes, “The Holy Father Francis has approved the present General Executive Decree and has ordered its publication.”
By Lewis Speaks-Tanner, DignityUSA President
We are into another Advent season. Let it be an opportunity to reflect and recharge ourselves.
After such a long election season, the electoral outcome does not bode well for LGBTQI people. I, along with many LGBTQI leaders, hope we are wrong. In 2017, we will need continued collaboration with many different organizations to prevent our hard-won rights from being chipped away or reversed nationally and by individual states. As we continue to share our stories, more people get to know our struggles and lives.
By Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA Executive Director
In Rome and at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting, DignityUSA marked November’s spirit of remembrance to draw attention to the failure of most Catholic officials to explicitly condemn anti-LGBTQI violence, even in the wake of the Pulse massacre in Orlando, and the largest number of murders of transgender people on record in 2016.
During the week of November 14-20, individuals and organizations around the country participated in Transgender Awareness Week to help raise the visibility of transgender and gender non-conforming people and address the issues these communities face. The Dignity/New York community commemorated Transgender Day of Remembrance by honoring the memory of those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence at our community liturgies.