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News Archive (2014)

2015 Convention Seeking Volunteers

The National Convention in Seattle will be July 2-5, 2015, just 16 months away. We are getting geared up and ready for you to join us.

We are looking for people to help out on our committees. You do not need to be in the Great Northwest to work on the Convention: it is a national endeavor and we need people from all over the country. If you have special skills and interest in any of the aspects it takes to put on a convention- WE NEED YOU! We are looking for people to work on committees for advertising, programming, finance, registration, and many other areas. If interested, please contact

Diversity in the Ranks

By Jim Smith, DignityUSA Associate Director 

On a visit to Dignity/Houston, I had the pleasure to see their President, Tierra Ortiz-Rodriguez, in action. What is somewhat unique about this chapter President is that Tierra is not Catholic. Her deep interest in the work of justice and her sense that humans are made for community, among other reasons, are what drew Tierra to the Catholic community. Tierra is also straight, and a strong ally to LGBT persons and families. Dignity’s mission to call the Church and society to fully embrace the dignity and equality of LGBT persons and families attracted her to Dignity/Houston (and before that, Dignity/Honolulu). Tierra works as an organizer at Houston’s LGBT community hub, the Montrose Center.

Pope Expresses "Breathtaking" Openness to Possibility of Support for Same-Sex Civil Unions says Catholic Gay Group

~~Boston, MA. March 5, 2014. In an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, published March 5, Pope Francis made groundbreaking statements that suggest the possibility of support from the Vatican for civil unions between same-sex couples. In general, the Vatican and Catholic bishops around the world have previously attacked the notion of civil unions, along with same-sex marriage.

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16,000 U.S. Catholics Respond to Pope Francis' Call for Input on Family Issues

In November 2013 fifteen U.S. Catholic organizations responded to the Vatican’s call for bishops globally to survey Catholics on family issues.  While bishops’ conferences throughout Europe and Asia made their surveys public, the U.S. bishops put forth no unified effort to survey the laity. 

The online questionnaire was completed by more that 16,000 Catholics in English and Spanish, and inspired a similar survey used in Ireland.

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A Mystic In Our Midst

by Jim Smith

I was asked by Marianne Duddy-Burke to invite long-time Dignity member Joe Gentilini to be a guest on a Queer Catholic Faith webshow. I obliged, having no knowledge of this guy or his selection of his journal entries he organized into a book. In advance of the QCF webshow, I bought the book, and when it arrived, I cracked it open to read because this is what an interviewer does when an author is guest. Call it due diligence.

The Missing Myth – Review

​by José Luis Sánchez

The Missing Myth: A New Vision of Same Sex Love is one of the two best books I’ve ever read!!!  Author Gilles Herrada commands an encyclopedic breadth of academic knowledge spanning the natural and social sciences, social history, and Western thought, that significantly expanded my understanding and worldview. But far more valuable than the wealth of multidisciplinary factual knowledge itself, is Gilles Herrada’s integrated analysis and vision.

Third Dignity/Washington Community Meeting Held For Study And Discernment

On January 12, 2014 Dignity/Washington held its third Community event on what D/W means to its members. We are truly grateful to have an intentional, intimate community where we can integrate and celebrate our identities as both LGBT and Catholic. A panel of members was moderated by Denis Pringle, with assistance from Allen Rose. It was organized and sponsored by a D/W Board-appointed task force that is leading a year-long and community-wide discernment process on women presiders at its Sunday Masses.

Defenders LLC/Washington Celebrate 22nd Anniversary

By Tom Yates

The Defenders LLC/Washington DC celebrated their 22nd anniversary Mass with Dignity/Washington on January 19, 2014. In celebration, the Defenders thanked the Dignity/Washington community for their continuing support in fundraising, service, and community building. The Defenders gave out donations of $500 each to Dignity/Washington, Brother Help Thyself, and Damien Ministries.

And Miles to Go Before We Sleep

As each month goes by, I am more aware of the tremendous variability in the experience of LGBT Catholics and family members across our nation, as well as around the globe. The number of places where same-sex couples’ marriages are now legally recognized continues to grow. President Obama made a point of naming openly gay and lesbian athletes to the official US delegation to the Olympics. High school students in Washington have received international attention for their sustained activism in support of their vice-principal, fired after marrying his male partner. Increasingly, LGBT people who choose to be part of parishes report finding acceptance and welcome among both community members and parish staff. At the same time, recent reports continue to document disturbing rates of suicide, victimization, and homelessness among transgender people and LGBT youth.