Alice Knowles, Dignity/Boston
Matthew Gallagher, DignityUSA
"We want to thank and honor all those who have brought us to this point in history — the same-gender couples who challenged the law, the attorneys and activists, and the public officials who supported us, amidst tremendous pressure from the Catholic Church and some members of the public," said Alice Knowles, president, Dignity/Boston. "We are especially grateful for the support of thousands of Catholics who stood for equality for same-gender couples in the face of an unprecedented and harsh campaign by Catholic leaders. So many fair-minded Catholics saw through the vociferous efforts of Catholic leaders to oppose civil rights from the pulpit."
Both Dignity/Boston and DignityUSA have worked for years for civil marriage in society and sacramental marriage in the church through a number of avenues, from the courts to letter-writing campaigns. Dignity leaders offer a Catholic counterpoint to efforts of the bishops and other church leaders who have attempted to paint same-sex marriage as a threat to heterosexual families.
This activism is matched by pastoral work — Dignity chapters across the country provide support and recognition for same-sex couples. DignityUSA is the only national Catholic organization to embrace same-sex couples. DignityUSA hosted a special blessing for couples at its national convention in Las Vegas in August 2003 and maintains a national registry of same-sex unions.
"Our work for equality for same-gender couples and families is rooted in the justice teachings of Jesus, and it will continue," said Matthew Gallagher, executive director, DignityUSA. "As we anticipate this joyous day in Massachusetts we are mindful of the road ahead of us and the challenges that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people face in our church and society. We are not deterred by the power and resources of those who oppose our goals, rather we are strengthened and inspired by the people we represent, and each incremental success that is won."
Dignity/Boston is a progressive and inclusive community of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics, our families, friends and supporters. The community gathers for liturgy every Sunday at the Church of St. John the Evangelist on Beacon Hill in Boston. Dignity/Boston celebrated its 30th year of service to the community and witness to the Catholic Church in 2002. For more information, please visit www.dignityboston.org
DignityUSA is the 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 full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the life of the Church and Society. www.dignityusa.org