Dignity, New Ways Ministry, Forunate Families Questions of Integrity

Letter to the Editor

The “2012 Tracking Report: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Grantmaking by U.S. Foundations” lists foundations by the total amounts granted in support of LGBTQ Issues. The same report lists the Arcus Foundation as the second highest giver and the Gill Foundation as the third highest supporter of LGBTQ issues.


The Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) has opted not to apply for this type of grant money because we feel outside organizations who are not Catholic are trying to affect the internal decision making of the Catholic Church. In our opinion, this is a slippery sloop and we should not fool ourselves about that.


We also recognize that Dignity, New Ways Ministry, and Fortunate Families all have been recipients of this money. Our vision of working for change in the Church is different we come from a faith based perspective, and believe the discussion needs to brought openly and honestly into the pews of our Church.


After speaking with the current president of Dignity and a Board member of Fortunate Families I became aware that Dignity’s local chapters where not aware of the reception of these funds, and that Fortunate Families Board members would really rather not talk about it.


THE ARCUS FOUNDATION founded in 2000 by Jon Stryker, focuses on gay rights and “conservation of the great apes.” Since 2010 it has given about $1.5 million to self-identified Catholic groups such as Dignity’s Equally Blessed Coalition.


THE GILL FOUNDATION: awarded $100,000 to Catholics United Education Fund in 2012 – That single grant covered most of Catholic United Education Fund’s annual budget of $111,819, as Catholic News Agency’s Kevin Jones found by examining the organization’s tax return.


In 2004, the Gill Foundation gave Dignity USA a grant of $10,000, following a $7,500 grant to Dignity in 2003.


THE E. RHODES AND LEONA B. CARPENTER FUND: In 2012 made grants to three organizations that, according to its tax return were Dignity USA, a recipient of $20,000; Fortunate Families, which received $25,000; and New Ways Ministry, given a grant of $30,000. 


We are concerned that the reception of such funds have strings attached, which are not based on Catholic Social Teaching. Furthermore, it is the RSM’s opinion that these funds have been funneled to these organizations in a manner that challenges a culture ethics. Just because our Bishops might engage in such unethical behavior as they have done throughout the sexual abuse of children scandal we should not engage in the same deceptive practices.


Our hope is not to curse the darkness, rather to light a candle.


Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement




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