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What hope is there for the future?

Our best hope is not to be afraid to love one another. To love sums up the Law and the Prophets, according to Jesus. Christian love covers a multitude of sins, according to St. Peter. And human love cannot be separated from the honest affections of the heart. So Dignity's mission is to help lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to follow the ideal of Christians throughout the centuries: to be prayerful, respectful, honest, fair, forgiving, compassionate, and joyful — like the gay abbot, St. Aelred of Rievaulx, and like the martyr for conscience who dressed like a man, St. Joan of Arc.

There is encouragement in numerous signs of the times. The gay liberation movement is gradually fostering an understanding of homosexuality and securing the civil rights of lesbian and gay people. The tragic AIDS epidemic has had the positive effect of forcing an awareness of homosexuality and of letting people witness the deep love and care among lesbian and gay "family" members. According to a 1992 Gallup study, half of American Catholics believe a lesbian or gay committed relationship may be a morally acceptable choice. And 78%, up from 58% in 1977, believe gay and lesbian people should have equal rights in terms of job opportunities. In fact, compared to people in other Christian denominations, Catholics are the most accepting of homosexuality. Besides, many Catholic priests, religious, and lay ministers are sensitive to the needs of homosexual people, and good-willed American bishops are quietly doing what they can to provide ministry to lesbian and gay Catholics.

The hope is that one day the wide array of differences within the human family will be everywhere accepted and celebrated, and all peoples, praising God, will live together in peace.