DignityUSA will sponsor a series of public events and witnesses during Pope Benedict XVI’s pastoral visit to the United States April 15th to 20th.

Events will be held in both Washington, D.C. and New York City.

The oldest and most progressive organisation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics, DignityUSA has fifty chapters and local contacts in every state.

“All of our events are planned to be peaceful, prayerful and positive,” said Marianne Duddy-Burke, DignityUSA’s executive director.

“At the same time, we need to recognise the damage that this Pope’s attacks on our community have caused countless individuals and families. We witness on their behalf.”

On Thursday there will be a press conference at 10am.

LOCATION: Murrow Room, National Press Club (529 14th Street, NW; 13th floor, Washington D.C.)

“A Few Moments with the Pope: Lesbian/Gay Catholics Speak about their Church” – Speakers: Teresa DeCrescenzo, executive director of Gay Lesbian Adolescent Social Services (GLASS), Gregory Maguire, author of more than a dozen novels, most notably Wicked, which was the basis for the Tony-award winning Broadway Musical.

Heather Mizeur, delegate representing the 20th District in Maryland and a leader in the debate about legalizing gay and lesbian marriages.

Richard Rodriguez, social and cultural commentator, author and Peabody-award winning contributor to PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

SATURDAY, APRIL 12: (11:30 a.m. Press Conference – 12:00 Demonstration at UN)

LOCATION OF PRESS CONFERENCE AND DEMONSTRATION: Ralph J. Bunche Park (43rd Street and 1st Avenue, New York)

“The Global Impact of Pope Benedict’s Anti-Gay Campaign” – Speakers: Lourdes Rodriguez-Nogues, Cuban immigrant, lesbian Catholic activist, editor of Out in the Workplace.

Brendan Fay, Irish-born gay activist, filmmaker and cofounder of New York’s inclusive St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Currently involved in an international controversy regarding the unauthorised use of images from his marriage to Dr. Thomas Moulton by Polish President Lech Kaczynski. Jeff Stone, Dignity/New York Steering Committee. Marianne Duddy-Burke, executive director of DignityUSA.

TUESDAY, APRIL 15: Papal Motorcade Demonstrations

LOCATION AND TIME: Press advisory to follow when officials announce time and route.

Demonstrations will be along the Pope’s motorcade route through Washington D.C.

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16: (5:30 p.m.) Demonstration during Pope’s Meeting with U.S. Bishops

LOCATION: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (400 Michigan Ave. NE, Washington D.C.)

DignityUSA releases open letter to the Catholic Church on appropriate pastoral care for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Catholics and our families.

For more information, visit www.dignityusa.org.

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