Records of Dignity/USA, the oldest organization for Roman Catholic members of the GLBT community, from it's founding in 1969
until the early 1990s. The materials include correspondence, minutes, motions, and work papers of the organization's Board
of Directors and House of Delegates; records of Dignity's biennial National Conventions; correspondence files of Dignity officers,
including Joseph Killian (Joe Gilgamesh), the first elected president of Dignity; and extensive subject files, containing
correspondence, reports, press releases, notes, copies of magazine and newspaper articles, and other materials relating to
Dignity's day-to-day operations, its efforts to obtain recognition from the Roman Catholic hierarchy, both within the United
States and at the Vatican, of the spiritual needs of gays and lesbians, and its active participation in the secular movement
for the recognition of GLBT civil rights. Additional materials include records of the regions and chapters into which Dignity
is divided; the materials relating to the Los Angeles chapter, always the largest in the organization, are particularly extensive.
The collection also includes a collection of photographs and slides documenting the history of Dignity, and extensive files
of newsletters published by the national office and by each region and chapter.
Early in 1969, Father Patrick X. Nidorf, an Augustinian priest and psychologist in San Diego, began a ministry for gay and
lesbian Roman Catholics as an extension of his professional work. He chose the name "Dignity" to stress his basic goal: to
bring dignity into the spiritual and social lives of gay and lesbian Catholics. Word of Nidorf's ministry spread, first by
word of mouth, then through advertisements Nidorf placed in the Los Angeles Free Press and (beginning in January 1970) the
Advocate. To guard against the possibility of religious fanatics or homophobes disrupting or dominating meetings, Nidorf required
the return of a completed application form, and, when in doubt, a personal interview. The monthly gatherings were open only
to individuals over 21 years of age, with a membership card issued by Nidorf; annual dues were $5. Nidorf also issued a simple
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It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright