Open Letter to Dignity/Chicago on the Closet Mentality of its Board of Directors

I have made it clear to the both current president of Dignity/Chicago who is a closeted individual, and the Chicago Dignity Board of Directors that such a situation flies in the face of what Harvey Milk said of the closet. Harvey Milk, the slain gay rights advocate, predicted in the ’70s, coming out makes all the difference. When they know us, he argued, they will no longer fear and hate us. Indeed, they will want us treated fairly.

I might add that Retired Detroit Auxiliary Catholic Bishop Thomas Gumbleton a friend of our community said of his brother’s death to AIDS/HIV that if you want to make change in the Church LGBT Catholics have to come out of the closet. In other words we must self identify in the pews of our Church, not in the pews of none Catholic Churches.

In my opinion, both Milk and Gumbelton’s view have been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. The sea change of opinions came about because many within the LGBT Community had fought this mentality, and found the courage to come out.

Currently there is no federal law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing. That is why we support amending the 1963 Civil Rights Act to include “sexual orientation.”
The Bishops by their actions have made it clear they will oppose such legislation. It is time we get serious about opposing these Bishops they have brought great harm to us, and we must find creative ways to further develop the conversation within the Church.

The Late Cardinal Francis George compared our LGBT Movement to the KKK. Cardinal Wuerl of the Archdiocese of Washington said of the Supreme Court’s decision on Gay Marriage ““The law of the land is the law of the land,”“We certainly follow what the law says. That doesn’t mean we change the word of God. That doesn’t mean we change the scriptures, or the church’s millennia-long tradition of what marriage is.”

Archbishop Cupich of Chicago tried to distance himself from the homophobic statements of other Bishops by a softer tone. While his brand of homophobia is gentler it is none the less homophobia.

If the Rainbow Sash Movement remained silent in this matter it would be tantamount to endorsement of hypocrisy.

Joe Murray
Executive Director
Rainbow Sash Movement

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