Marianne Duddy, 617-669-7810 (cell)
October 3, 2002 — DignityUSA has announced that this year’s commemoration of Solidarity Sunday will be dedicated to all victims of sexual abuse by priests, especially the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered victims. In addition, participants are asked to express their support for the many gay priests honorably serving God’s people. In a series of statements and releases, a number of US bishops and Vatican officials have questioned whether gay men are fit for Catholic priesthood.
"Solidarity Sunday is about ending the religious justification for violence against gay people," said C. Samuel Sinnett, Chair of DignityUSA’s Solidarity Sunday efforts. "It doesn’t matter whether that violence is physical, verbal, emotional or spiritual. It’s still dehumanizing. What we’ve seen from leaders of the Catholic Church this year definitely qualifies as spiritual violence against gay people. It must stop."
DignityUSA, the organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Catholics and their supporters, has sponsored Solidarity Sunday each October since 1995. It is described as a faith-based initiative to end antigay violence. Participants are asked to wear a length of rainbow colored ribbon throughout the day, to take a pledge to work for the end of homophobic violence, and, if comfortable, to say a "Solidarity Prayer."
Solidarity Sunday is observed by tens of thousands of people across the country each year. Church communities, schools and colleges are among the organizations sponsoring observances.
DignityUSA is the nation’s oldest and foremost organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics, their families, friends and supporters. Founded in 1969, it is a nonprofit organization with members and Chapters throughout the US.