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Collection #74

Dignity/New York Records

Record:74
Date:1966 - 1997
Size:5 feet 5 inches

Provenance

These records were donated on behalf of Dignity/New York in February, 2003.

Scope and Content

The records contain the minutes from committee and general meetings (note: some pages missing) and various attachments. Newsletters, weekly calendars, worship programs, copies of court proceedings regarding demonstrating at St. Patrick’s Cathedral during LGBT Pride Marches and activities of The Cathedral Project are included as well. These documents are dated from 1972 to 1997 (the corporation’s 25th anniversary).

In addition, there are newsletters from Dignity USA and other Dignity Chapters; “concern” newsletters by the Southern California Council on Religion and the Homophile (1966-1969); and issues of the newsletter Insight: A Quarterly of Gay Catholic Opinion.

See also: Collection 39, Records of Dignity/New York President Michael J. Olivieri.

History or Bio

Dignity/New York is a community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Catholics and friends. They banded together in 1972 as a chapter of Dignity, Inc. (later called Dignity/USA), an organization founded in Los Angeles in 1969, then moving to Washington DC in 1980. Father John McNeill, S. J., noted theologian and author of “The Church and the Homosexual,” helped convene Dignity/NY’s Formation meeting on July 11, 1972. The first minutes of the organization are dated September 5, 1972. The first public meeting was October 25, 1972, with over 200 in attendance.

In October, 1976 Dignity/NY published the first edition of Insight: A Quarterly of Gay Catholic Opinion. It would later change its name to Insight: A Quarterly of Lesbian/Gay Christian Opinion in the summer of 1979.

From 1979 to 1987, Dignity/NY met at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church on West 16th Street. On October 30, 1986 the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released “Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons,” stating, “Although the particular inclination of the homosexual person is not a sin, it is a more or less strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil; and thus the inclination itself must be seen as an objective disorder.” In November 1986, John McNeill, S.J. was silenced regarding any public ministry to gay people. Other Dignity chapters were informed by their bishops that they could no longer use church property. The last Mass at St. Francis Xavier was held on March 7, 1987.

In December 1987, Dignity/NY started the Cathedral Project, consisting of monthly protests inside St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Arrests and various lawsuits followed.

In 1991, Dignity/NY restructured, moving from a Board of Directors to a Steering Committee.

Folder List

Box 1

1. 1972 Minutes
2. 1973 Minutes
3. 1974 Minutes
4. 1975 Minutes
5. 1976 Minutes
6. 1977 Minutes
7. 1978 Minutes
8. 1979 Minutes
9. 1980 Minutes
10. January to June 1981 Minutes
11. July to December 1981 Minutes
12. January to June 1982 Minutes
13. July to December 1982 Minutes
14. January to April 1983 Minutes
15. July to September 1983 Minutes
16. October to December 1983 Minutes
17. January to March 1984 Minutes
18. April to June 1984 Minutes
19. July to September 1984 Minutes
20. October to December 1984 Minutes

Box 2

21. January to March 1985 Minutes
22. April to June 1985 Minutes
23. July to September 1985 Minutes
24. October to December 1985 Minutes
25. January to March 1986 Minutes
26. April to June 1986 Minutes
27. July to September 1986 Minutes
28. October to December 1986 Minutes
29. January to June 1987 Minutes
30. July to December 1987 Minutes
31. January to June 1988 Minutes
32. July to December 1988 Minutes
33. January to June 1989 Minutes
34. July to November 1989
35. 1990 Minutes
36. 1991 Minutes
37. 1992 Minutes
38. 1993 Minutes
39. 1994 Minutes
40. 1995 Minutes
41. 1997 Minutes
42. November 2004 to February 2007 Steering Committee Minutes (2008 addition included)
43. Constitution and By-Laws 1985, 1981, 1992
44. Dignity/NY AIDS Ministry
45. Catholic Italian-American Outreach
46. CSLDC 1984 Certificate
47. Statement of Position and Purpose
48. Certificate of Appreciation
49. Intro 386 CLGR
50. Stonewall 25
51. Dignity Conventions (First Annual, 1972; First Biennial 1973)
52. National Convention 1989
53. Statement of Purpose Constitution and By Laws
54. Membership Database & Applications
55. Membership applications A to Z 1988
56. Membership list 1992
57. “Concern” Newsletter of the Southern California Council on Religion and the Homophile (1966-1969)
58. Dignity/NY “Weekly Bulletin” 1983-1985 and 1987 (3 issues)
59. Dignity/NY Newsletters, February 1973-February 1974

Box 3

60. Dignity/NY Newsletters, May 1974 – March 1975 (published under the title, “Insight”)
61. Dignity/NY Newsletters, April 1975 – December 19758 [Calendar]
62. Dignity/NY Newsletters, January 1976 – December 1976
63. Dignity/NY Newsletters, February 1977 – January 1978
64. Dignity/NY Newsletters, February 1978 – January 1979
65. Dignity/NY Newsletters, February 1979 – January 1980
66. Dignity/NY Newsletters, February 1980 – January 1981
67. Dignity/NY Newsletters, February 1981 – December 1981
68. Dignity/NY Newsletters, February 1982 – September 1983
69. Dignity/NY Newsletters, October 1984 – June 1990 (various issues)
70. Newsletter, Insight: A Quarterly of Gay Catholic Opinion (1976-1982)
71. Dignity, Inc. Newsletters (1971-1989) [published from L.A., Boston, San Diego, & D.C.]
72. Dignity USA Newsletters (1980-1997, incomplete)
73. Other chapters, Newsletters
74. Speakers Bureau
75. Correspondence with Cardinal O’Connor 1987
76. Correspondence 1984-1985
77. Correspondence General 1988-1989
78. Social Action Committee-1982
79. Father Robert Carter File
80. Father Bernard Lynch (defense on subject of child molestation) 1987-1988
81. Subject – Oppression
82. Flyers
83. Worship Services
84. Memorial Mass
85. Spiritual Development Committee c. 1984
86. Election Guidelines
87. St. Francis Xavier (meeting space)
88. Subject – Meeting Space
89. St. John’s in the Village
90. Dignity Social Justice Exhibit
91. Founding
92. Worship and Spiritual Life
93. Organization and Structure
94. Service and Outreach
95. Dignity Fan
96. Social Life and People
97. Steering Committee
98. Weekly Bulletin

Box 4

99. Dignity USA Dateline
100. Photos of People
101. Photos at Baily House Christmas Party
102. “25 Years of Faith and Activism”
103. Photos Dinner event (no date)
104. Newspaper Clippings
105. Photos Gay Pride March (no year)
106. Photos AIDS Quilt
107. Photos 22nd Dinner 1994
108. Proof Sheets
109. Non-Exhibit items, 25 year booklet
110. Proclamation The Council of the City of New York, October 25, 1997
111. Dignity T-Shirt
112. Publications
113. Articles 1 of 2
114. Articles 2 of 2
115. Cathedral Project
116. Cathedral Project Clippings
117. The Defenders
118. Donahue Interview Transcript (Father John O’Neal, etc.)
119. Dignity/NY Banner (cloth)
120. United State Court of Appeals, June 28, 1985 [Decided that Dignity/NY could have a “reasonable” number of demonstrators (25 persons) in front of St. Patrick’s for 30 minutes during the June 30, 1985 parade.]
121. Supreme Court of US 1986/1987 confirming Court of appeals
122. Brief of Amicus Curiae Executive Order 50 [prohibiting City contractors from discrimination based on “sexual orientation.”]
123. Lawsuit Catholic War Veterans vs. City of New York 1983 [Petition to prevent the City of NY from issuing a parade permit for CSLDC for Gay Pride March – lists detailed complaints about 1980, 1981, and 1982 Marches]
124. Discovery document from St. Patrick’s 1981-1986
125. Trustees of St. Patrick’s vs. Dignity NY 1987 [Injunction to prevent interruption of Service.]
126. People of State of NY vs. Individuals of Dignity & ACT-UP arrested in 1988
127. Lawsuits 1987 St. Patrick’s vs. Dignity (individuals)
128. Heritage of Pride Application 1986
129. Police Department File 1976 Gay Pride Parade
130. Police Department File 1983 Gay Pride Parade
131. Police Department Deposition Outline
132. Police Department Response to Police Department 1986
133. Police Department Response to Mayor 1986

Box 5

134. Police Department Production of Document 1986
135. Police Department Report of Gay Pride March 1978
136. Police Department Report of Gay Pride March
137. October 2001 to September 2002 Steering Committee Minutes
138. October 2002 to September 2003 Steering Committee Minutes
139. October 2003 to October 2004 Steering Committee Minutes
140. Docket 85 Civ. 3269  [United States District Court: Michael Olivieri (Dignity/NY) vs. Benjamin Ward, Police Commissioner. Dignity/NY appealed to be allowed, under the US Constitution right to freedom of speech, to hold a peaceful demonstration in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Gay Pride Sunday.] (Folder 1 of 8, of motions and depositions)
141. Docket 85 Civ. 3269 (Folder 2 of 8)
142. Docket 85 Civ. 3269 (Folder 3 of 8)
143. Docket 85 Civ. 3269 (Folder 4 of 8)
144. Docket 85 Civ. 3269 (Folder 5 of 8)
145. Docket 85 Civ. 3269 (Folder 6 of 8)
146. Docket 85 Civ. 3269 (Folder 7 of 8)
147. Docket 85 Civ. 3269 (Folder 8 of 8)

For a detailed list of folder contents (including minutes and newsletter issues), contact the archivist for an extended document on the Dignity/NY collection.