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Gay Catholics rejoice at passage of marriage equality in New York

Members of the nation’s largest and oldest organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Catholics, DignityUSA, and its four New York state chapters rejoiced today at the passage of Marriage Equality legislation in New York State.  Jeff Stone, a spokesperson for Dignity/New York, said:  “We rejoice in this tremendous victory for equality, justice, and human dignity.  We believe that this bill will provide vital protection and support for families headed by spouses of the same sex, including families with children, and help to promote stable relationships and communities.  We are especially gratified by the rapid increase in support for marriage equality among Catholics, who represent a quarter of the nation’s population.  Recent national polls have shown that a majority of Catholics now support marriage equality, and that Catholics are more supportive of marriage equality than any other Christian denomination.”

Stone continued:  “Unfortunately, the public campaign of our bishops against marriage equality does not reflect this reality.  This saddens us deeply, because we believe it misuses precious resources, represents a narrow view of Catholic teaching, and needlessly delays the achievement of a just goal.  We call on the bishops to embrace the best of our church’s social justice tradition, which requires equal protection under the law for all people, and to support rather than oppose marriage equality legislation across the nation.”

DignityUSA Executive Director Marianne Duddy-Burke said: “It is important to recognize that New York’s marriage equality legislation applies only to civil marriage and the laws of the state, and that extensive exemptions for religious organizations are included within it.  No church will ever be required to sanction marriages that are not in accord with its rules.  However, as Catholics, we will continue to work and pray for the day that our whole church recognizes that God’s divine love is reflected in same-sex relationships, just as it is in opposite-sex relationships.”

Duddy-Burke continued: “We are extremely proud of our work over more than four decades to change Catholic views on marriage equality.  We celebrate this great victory in New York and will work to ensure that it brings new energy to the quest for marriage equality across the nation.  In addition, we hold in prayer and remembrance today all our many members who worked and prayed so hard for marriage equality, but did not live to see it.  Thanks to them, today’s young LGBT people and generations to come will enjoy a future of amazing new possibilities and hope.”

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