As millions celebrate today the Supreme Court's striking down of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), many will be giving thanks to Edie Windsor, the 83-year-old plaintiff in the case, and her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan.
What most people will not know, however, is the instrumental role that a few members of the New York City chapter of DignityUSA played in this historic moment.
DignityUSA is an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Catholics that was formally expelled by the Roman Catholic church in 1986 by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Among the NYC chapter's many members is Brendan Fay, an Irish-born activist and filmmaker who lives in Queens with his husband, Tom Moulton.
After DOMA was signed into law in 1996, Fay and his friend and fellow activist Jesus Lebron began working for marriage equality, organizing a rally on the steps of Manhattan's City Hall in February 1998. They continued to organize and participate in rallies, discussions, and sit-ins at the NYC Marriage Bureau, and in Albany and Washington, DC, in the years following.
The whole article goes into more detail as to what was done by some of these Catholic activists to further "Marriage Equality". Just to be clear, we can't really call them representative of the Catholic Church as their group was formally expelled by Pope Benedict Emeritus when he was still a Cardinal. So their group is a heretic group.
Other prominent, so called Catholic gay activists are Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan have done an incredible amount of damage promoting "Marriage Equality" as well. I wonder if they are also members of DignityUSA.
It's made me think about why some Catholics have been at the forefront of the redefinition of marriage. It must have something to do with the consciences of the people, where certain things are denied (ie sinfulness of same-sex activity) and they instead seek to recreate reality so that everything else around them shifts so that the internal discord is matched by the external. Most people would just discard their beliefs rather than force everything around them to change.
Related link: The Catholic Activists Behind Edie Windsor's DOMA Victory ~ Huffington Post