Boston, MA. January 11, 2012. Leaders of the largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Catholics are reaching out to fellow Catholics who are hurt and angered by Pope Benedict XVI’s latest attack on the LGBT community. In a New Year’s speech to diplomats from approximately 180 countries on the importance of children, the Pope said policies allowing same-sex marriage “threaten human dignity and the future of humanity itself.”
DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke said, “Catholics across the world clearly recognize what the Pope does not. LGBT people demonstrate their commitment to a better future for children every day. We serve as teachers, social workers, food bank staffers and volunteers, peace activists, pediatricians, coaches, Peace Corps volunteers, principals, nurses, researchers, counselors, youth ministers, foster care providers, mentors, housing advocates, public policy makers, and more. We are loving aunts, uncles, and godparents. And yes, many of us are parents and grandparents. In all of these roles, LGBT people have the same goals as our heterosexual brothers and sisters. We work to keep children safe, healthy, well-nourished, and well-educated. We want children to learn the values of empathy, respect, honesty, and integrity. We want a world that is peaceful and where all children have the chance to have a full, happy life.
“The Pope is not speaking for Catholics, in the U.S. or across the world, in his continuing attacks on same-sex marriage. Polls consistently show that a majority of Catholics in the U.S. and many other countries now support legal recognition of same-sex relationships. If the Pope is really serious about putting children first, he should use his moral authority to enlist all people—including LGBT people—to work together to end war, poverty, exploitation, sexual abuse, sexual trafficking, and other conditions that create real risks to the health and safety of our children. These are what truly ‘threaten human dignity and the future of humanity.’”
DignityUSA is the nation’s oldest and largest organization of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics. It works for full inclusion of LGBT people in the Catholic Church and society.