Candidates for Dignity/Washington Board of Directors

Dignity/Washington has six candidates running for open seats on the chapter’s Board of Directors. Please see the candidates photos and a brief statement from each below. You must be a member of Dignity/Washington in order to vote. The vote will be on Sunday, May 10.

Dan B
Daniel Barutta, Chapter President
With great appreciation for all the wonderful support Dignity/Washington members have given me during my three years as Chapter President, I humbly ask for your support for a fourth term as your President.
You all have helped me grow by leaps and bounds in my Catholic faith and have helped expand my leadership skills. In return I would greatly enjoy showing my gratitude by focusing on these three major areas: expanding our diversity efforts, ensuring the upkeep and renovation of our wonderful Dignity Center and working on improving our community infrastructure as a non-profit organization.
As for my qualifications for the position, an old song comes to mind with the lyrics: “if you don’t know me by now….”. Seriously for those of you new to the community please don’t hesitate to speak with at mass or whenever you see me.
Again, Thank You all so much – I have been truly blessed to be your President!


Tom Bower
Tom Bower
I have been a member of Dignity/Washington since 1977, was on the board during the early years of the organization and rejoined the board ten years ago. I have served as Secretary, Vice President, helped organize Anniversary dinners, and am a lector, Eucharistic Minister, and member of the Liturgy Committee. My continuing thought on rejoining the board was that I would offer historical observations to current plans, not as a statement of this is what we have done, but as insights that could help instruct current opportunities. We are now more forward looking than at any time in the past and that is a good thing.

Several years ago the D/W board decided to put our future in the hands of the Holy Spirit and place renewing the community physically and fiscally as our primary goal. By the grace of God and a generous unafraid membership we have put ourselves in a sound financial position and are now attracting new, younger, and more diverse individuals (sexual and racial minorities) to our services and organizational processes. A good idea and enthusiasm are the needed credentials for activities and leadership, not just experience which is used as leavening to provide structure for growth. There is still much to do for us to be seen as a force for good by the Church hierarchy and for us to be a valued voice for Christ’s teachings by the LGBT community, but, with your vote, I will continue to work as hard as possible to make both of those goals reality.


Jake H
Jake Hudson
It has been an honor and a pleasure to serve on the Dignity/Washington board of directors. I continue to be enriched by the activities of the community and the work of many devoted people. The past year has seen much work to reaching out to women, youth, and people of color and I hope to continue those efforts. I will also continue in my role as treasurer to maintain the sound fiscal policies that have served the community well.


Dave Lamdin head shot
David Lamdin
I have been a member of Dignity Washington and Dignity USA since 1975. I have also been a member of Dignity Northern Virginia since its founding in 1992. I have served as the Treasurer of D/NoVA since 2006, and I have been the DW Bookkeeper since 2011. I have been on the DW Liturgy Committee and in charge of scheduling the presiders and other ministers for many years. I am pleased to have the opportunity to offer my services to my DW faith community.


Jim S Oct 2013
James Sweeney
1) Dignity Washington has unique opportunities in 2015 to be a voice on GLBT issues in the American Catholic Church. There will be a papal visit to DC and Philadelphia in September, a worldwide Synod on the Family in Rome in October and an annual gathering of all American Catholic bishops in Baltimore in November. As the largest local chapter in the USA located at the center of the action, we at Dignity Washington should engage the American Catholic bishops this year on both a local and national level. Our first goal should the elimination of “inherently disordered”.

2) We should develop new programs to address the changing spiritual and material needs of the numerous aging members of our congregation

3) We have done an impressive job of attracting younger men and have given them opportunities to develop leadership and organizational skills. Many of these young men relocate out of DC and will carry these skills to other local chapters of Dignity and perhaps even found new ones. We should continue to develop and encourage these young men; they are the future.

4) Our efforts to encourage the participation of women in Dignity Washington have not been as fruitful and remain the great weakness of our congregation. We should redouble our efforts to recruit female participation and offer women the same opportunities to develop their leadership and organizational skills that we offer to young men.


KTH photo
Kevin Hennessy
Mark and I have been Dignity Washington members since 1998. I have had the privilege of serving on the Board for two terms already, including as Treasurer during the second term. I currently serve as a lector. I look forward to re-joining the Board and serving in a more in-depth manner again.

Dignity Celebrates Paschal Triduum with Solemnity and Joy

Holy Thursday

Dignity Washington celebrated an ecumenical service with St. Margaret’s Episcopal church. Fr. Jeff co-celebrated Eucharist with Rev. Kym Lucas, Rector of St. Margaret’s Church. The liturgy began with a wonderful agape meal prepared by St. Margaret’s parishioners. The guests were treated to unleavened bread, hummus, Lamb stew and vegetarian kale and potato soup. The liturgy featured the washing of feet and ended with a procession of the Blessed Sacrament to the alter of repose in the side chapel. Parishioners from both St. Margaret’s and Dignity kept a vigil throughout the night.
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Good Friday

The Church paused to commemorate the Lord Jesus’ supreme sacrifice on the Cross with rites that are both ancient and ever new. The Service, co-led by Jake Hudson of Dignity/Washington and Monika Ruppert of Dignity/Northern Virginia, was highlighted by The Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ: A Narrative in Nine Voices, written and directed by Silvio Menzano Weisner, that stirred our minds and hearts and prepared us for compassionate Prayers of the Faithful for believers and unbelievers, for church and civil authorities, and for all the downtrodden and suffering.

Then, the Cross, draped in red cloth, that Roman implement of capital punishment, was carried in our midst and elevated in honor. All were invited to approach it, with profound gratitude and humility, and to venerate it as the implement of our redemption through Jesus’ blood.

Communion was served and the Service concluded in silence as the Blessed Sacrament was carried in procession to the side Altar of Repose for adoration and continual prayer until the dawn. Thus ended the first full day of the Sacred Three Days that had begun the evening of Holy Thursday and would conclude on Easter morning.


Easter Vigil

Dignity/Washington met for the Great Vigil of Easter at the Universalist Church at 16th & S streets. The beautiful, romanesque sanctuary was darkened for the Liturgy of the Word, except for the light of the Pascal candle and individual vigil candles.

The Liturgy of the Word featured seven readings from the Hebrew scripture and the New Testament, and each reading was followed by a Psalm. The many talents of Dignity/Washington’s choir made the vigil a solemn and sacred liturgy. Our Dignity chapter is truly blessed with many talented musicians and vocalists; their music made the Easter Vigil a night that everyone who attended will remember.

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Easter Day

The Easter day liturgy was a fitting end to a beautiful spring day, which as the celebrant said in his homily, “reeked of resurrection”. The church was beautifully decorated with spring flowers. The liturgy included Fr. Jeff’s innovative homily that interspersed verses from the hymn “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” with reflections and the death and resurrection of Jesus.

During the liturgy, the congregation renewed the vows of Baptism and was sprinkled with holy water. It was a fitting end to an eventful Easter Triduum. Many thanks to the Liturgy Committee, choir, celebrants, and all who helped Dignity/Washington celebrate the Easter season.


Homosexuals and the Church in the 21st Century

Homosexuals and the Church in the 21st Century: How to Transcend Two Thousand Years of Mutual Incomprehension


On Saturday April 25 at 3:00 PM, Dr. Gilles Herrada will present a talk entitled: “Homosexuals and the Church in the 21st Century: How to Transcend Two Thousand Years of Mutual Incomprehension”. The event will take place at at The Dignity Center (721 – 8th Street SE, Washington, DC 20003). Refreshments will be served following the presentation and QA dialogue. The event is free and open to the general public. Please let us know a week in advance if you will need ASL interpretation, by emailing We look forward to sharing Dr. Herrada’s unique vision and conversation with you!

The Missing Myth

The Missing Myth

Gilles Herrada, Ph.D., is a research molecular biologist, an independent scholar, and a life coach . His work in the fields of reproductive biology and neuroscience at Columbia and Harvard Universities has been published in top scientific journals.

He is the author of the award winning book “The Missing Myth: A New Vision of Same-Sex Love”. Gilles Herrada currently contributes articles on the evolution of sexuality, science, and myths, and pursues his trans-disciplinary research project, applying integral philosophy to understanding human sexuality and the evolution of symbolic realities in human cultures. For more information, please visit The Missing Myth.

The Book Club Meets On Thursday Night

Dignity?Washington Book Club

Dignity/Washington Book Club

The Dignity/Washington Book Club was organized and began to meet in April 2004 at the Dignity Center on Barracks Row, 8th Street Southeast. The book club meets every Thursday at 7:30 PM at the Dignity Center. The next books that the Book Club will read are:

  • Korelitz, Jean Hanff. You Should Have Known. NY, Grand Central Pub., 2014. 464 pp.
  • Bram, Christopher. Eminent Outlaws: The Gay Writers Who Changed America. NY, Twelve, 2012. 372 pp.
  • Porter, Darwin and Danforth Prince. Pink Triangle: The Feuds and Private Lives of Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, and Famous Members of Their Entourages. NY, Blood Moon Productions, 2014. 700 pp.
Book Club Meeting at the Dignity Center

Book Club Meeting at the Dignity Center

With the 8th Street renaissance came the opening of a variety of restaurants which members of the Book Club were eager to try. Some of its members then began gathering regularly for dinner before the book discussion.

Although the Book Club has some thirty-four members on its mailing list, the number of active members fluctuates between eight and twelve. Three or four current members have been with the Book Club from the very beginning while an additional three or four members have been with it for some eight years.


The active members of the Book Club determine the titles the Book Club members read. Periodically, each of these members recommends two titles: one of a serious nature and the other of a light, fictional or entertaining nature. The group then votes for the top two titles from each category, and then reads alternately from each list the four titles that receive the most votes. To add variety to its program, the Book Club views a film after completing the reading of each book. Here is a list of books that the Book Club has read in the past:


Book Club dinner prior to Thursday night meeting

Book Club dinner prior to Thursday night meeting

Gay Passion of Christ Envisioned in Art


Kittredge Cherry writes about her new book “The Passion of Christ: a Gay Vision” which is based on the controversial paintings of New York artist Doug Blanchard in the HuffingtonPost. Blanchard re-imagines Christ’s passion set in the 21st century with Jesus as a Gay man. Cherry, a Lesbian Christian author and art historian, writes that:

“LGBT Christian visions are important now because conservatives are using religion to justify discrimination against queer people. Whenever anyone commits violence against another, Christ is crucified again — including when LGBT people are attacked or killed because of who they are”.

Follow the link below to view more of Doug Blanchard’s paintings and to read the whole article.

The Gay Passion of Christ Envisioned and Attacked

An Inspirational Evening with Bishop Gene Robinson


Bishop Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire and a pioneer in the LGBT rights movement, spoke at Dignity/Washington on March 22 after the 6:00 Eucharist.  Gene Robinson  was elected Bishop of his Diocese in 2003 and served until 2013 when he retired and moved to Washington, DC where he now lives in Logan Circle.  He is currently serving as a fellow at the Center for American Progress, based in Washington, where he works with the LGBT team.



Bishop Robinson’s current interest lies in promoting an omnibus civil rights bill for LGBT Americans who still face discrimination in many sectors of our society.  He is committed to helping the development of a theology of gender identity which he sees as gravely needed.  In addressing the question of the intersection of sexuality and spirituality, he stated that he was convinced that, by virtue of their life journeys, many LGBT persons were spiritual but that many would not join a faith community because of their past experiences that made these communities appear dangerous to them.


“Homophobia is but one room in the larger hotel of misogyny” — Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson


Bishop Robinson maintained that it was beneficial for everyone to examine their sexuality, whether gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or straight, since there was an infinite number of sexualities, depending on the individual, and it was not helpful to rigidly identify oneself in one or the other group and fail to see our common humanity.  He challenged us to ponder the question:  “once the oppression against LGBT persons is over, will we still be a tribe?”  He answered his own question by venturing to say yes, only if we identify the oppression of other groups, join in their struggle for justice and make it our own.


“Courage is fear that has said its prayers” –Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson

Bishop Robinson shared stories about his own consecration, the reaction of other Churches in the Anglican Communion, and how he adjusted to living in the spotlight.  It was an inspirational evening that Dignity/Washington will remember fondly. Check for announcements for more programs coming soon in the Dignity/Washington Lecture Series.





Rt. Rev Gene Robinson at Dignity Washington

Rt. Rev Gene Robinson at Dignity Washington

Join Us at DignityUSA’s Convention in Seattle



DignityUSA’s biennial convention will be held July 2 – 5, in Seattle.  Click on the link above for more information and to register.  DignityUSA’s convention will page will give your information on speakers, the convention program, hotel information, and more. The convention will feature three keynote speakers:

  • Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK
  • Dan Savage, writer, TV personality and gay activist
  • Paul Coutinho, author and speaker

Reserve your place using the Convention 2015 All in One Registration form.

Join Dignity/Washington for Movie Night

Dignity Washington hosts movie night on the first and third Mondays of the month. Movies start at 7:30 PM at the Dignity Center 721 8th Street, SE Washington, DC 20003

Check out the schedule below or click on the link to download the complete schedule for Winter 2015.

All Movies-Winter2015

Winter 2015

January 12, 2015
The Wind Rises [Kase tachinu]
Dir. Hayao Miyazaki
The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biopic of Jiro Horikoshi (1903–1982), designer of the Mitsubishi A5M fighter aircraft and its successor, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, used by the Empire of Japan during World War II.
(2013) 2:06 in Japanese
dubbed English (color)

January 26, 2015
Foolish Wives
Dir. Gavin Hood
When released in 1922, the film was the most expensive film made at that time, and billed by Universal Studios as the “first million-dollar movie” to come out of Hollywood. Originally, von Stroheim intended the film to run anywhere between 6 and 10 hours.
(1922) 1:57 silent with
English subtitles (b&w)

February 9, 2015
Zero Kelvin [Kjaerlighetens kjotere]
Dir. Hans Peter Moland
In 1920s Oslo, an aspiring poet, leaves his girlfriend to spend a year as a trapper in Greenland, where he is teamed with a sailor and a scientist. Trapped in a tiny hut, as the arctic winter sets in, and an intense love/hate relationship develops between the poet and the sailor.
(1995) 1:58
in Norwegian English subtitles (color)

February 23, 2015
The Bandwagon
Dir. Vincente Minnelli
1953 musical comedy film that many critics rank, along with Singin’ in the Rain, as the finest of the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals. It tells the story of an aging musical star who hopes a Broadway play will restart his career.
(1953) 1:52 in English (color)

March 9, 2015
Ashes & Diamonds [Popiol i diament]
Dir. Andrzej Wajda
Based on the 1948 novel by Polish writer Jerzy Andrzejewski, this is considered by film critics to be one of the great masterpieces of Polish cinema and arguably the finest Polish realist film.
(1958) 1:43
in Polish with English subtitles (b&w)

March 23, 2015
Chungking Express
Dir. Kar Wai Wong
1994 Hong Kong drama film, consisting of two stories told in sequence, each about a lovesick Hong Kong policeman mulling over his relationship with a woman.
(1994) 1:38 in Cantonese with
English subtitles (color)

April 6, 2015
Dir. William Wyler
American drama film starring Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor. Sidney Howard based the screenplay on his 1934 stage adaptation of the 1929 novel of the same name by Sinclair Lewis. Huston reprised his stage role.
(1936) 1:41 in English (B&W)

April 20, 2015
When the Wind Blows
Dir. Jimmy Murakami
British animated drama film directed by Jimmy Murakami based on Raymond Briggs’ graphic novel of the same name. The film stars the voices of John Mills and Peggy Ashcroft as the two main characters. When the Wind Blows is a hybrid of drawn animation and stop-motion
(1986) 1:20 in English (B&W)
All Movies start at 7:30 pm at the Dignity/Washington Center

Confessions of a Gay Jesuit


The article below is the story of how a brave Gay man committed himself to service in the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) and encountered many other closeted Gay men within the Jesuit order. A similar article appeared in the Washington Post, but this article tells his first hand account of the spiritual journey of an LGBT Christian and his struggle to live an integrated, authentic life.

Confessions of a Gay Jesuit

Dignity/Washington Welcomes 2015 in Style

NewYear-08Dignity/Washington welcomes 2015 at The Dignity Center


Dignity/Washington hosted a New Year’s Eve dinner at the Dignity Center. The evening began with appetizers and cocktails, followed by a full buffet dinner, and a midnight toast. The Dignity Center Board Room was transformed into a cozy and elegant dining room.
Special thanks to Mark and Craig for preparing the food, which received rave reviews from all who attended. The event was an excellent way to start 2015.


New Year’s Eve at the Dignity Center

Pre-Dinner drinks on New Year’s Eve at the Dignity Center

Mark and Craig delighted guests with their New Year’s Eve dinner buffet and transformed board room.

New Year's Eve at the Dignity Center

New Year’s Eve at the Dignity Center

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