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 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. Are all frequently-asked questions answered in this FAQs section of this website?
    A. Not all frequently-asked questions are even asked, let alone answered, on this website; but we do invite you to submit your questions for possible inclusion on this website. Some questions (including regarding sexuality or morality) are addressed in detail -- but elsewhere, on this website. Click here to go to treatment of the topic of sexuality on this website. As you will see stated and explained in detail: We believe that we can express our sexuality in a loving, life-affirming manner that is in keeping with the teachings of Christ.

Q. Are donations to Dignity/Palm Springs deductible for tax purposes?
    A. Yes. It is a non-profit organization; and it holds an IRS 501(c)(3) certificate that attests to the deductibility of such donations, to the extent permitted by law. Each year, all of the donors (who identify themselves when contributing) are issued a statement, as required by the IRS as proof of the donations. Dignity/USA is also a non-profit organization, and it also has such a certificate.

Q. Is a receipt needed to deduct a donation?
    A. Yes. Starting for tax year 2007, IRS has updated its rules governing deductions for contributions to charitable groups, such as Dignity. A contribution is deductible only if the taxpayer has a receipt (when the tax return claiming a deduction is filed), regardless of the amount; but your cancelled check can serve as a receipt. For any gift to a donee over $250, one must have an acknowledgement of the gift by the donee; but this may be one for each gift over $250 or an overall one that lists all such gifts for the year, showing date and amount of each. The chapter each year acknowledges the total of verified gifts made by an individual when the total for the year is in excess of $250, specifying the date and amount of each gift that is in excess of $250. No amounts given in an unverifiable manner (such as in loose cash in the collection basket at a liturgy) can be included. Those who want the ability to deduct their total donations should consider the annual pledge drive as the way to donate and then satisfying the pledge by check, so that the chapter can easily compute a verifiable total and acknowledge the total and each gift in excess of $250 promptly after the end of the tax year, in time for the tax-return season and meeting IRS rules.

Q. Does someone have to be a gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender (GLBT) person to be eligible to be a member of Dignity?
    A. No. We welcome all family, friends, and allies supportive of the GLBT cause to become Dignity members (or if you prefer, just a donor). While donations are accepted from supporters regardless of status as a member, you can help to add strength to our voice when we call for reform of the Church by joining our roles, as a member.

Q. Do you have a short statement of the Dignity stand on the issues of concern to it?
    A. Yes, we do. We call it our Statement of Position and Purpose (or our "SP&P" for short); please click here (or on "SP&P" in a Link line in the banner at the very top of every page of this website) to read our Statement of Position & Purpose (para leerlo en español, click aquí). The Vision Statement of Dignity also encapsulates our objectives in short form, as follows:
         Dignity envisions and works toward a time when GLBT Catholics are affirmed and experience dignity through the integration of their spirituality with their sexuality and, as beloved persons of God, participate fully in all aspects of life within the Church and Society.

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Q. I cannot afford the dues to become a member (or to renew my membership); does that mean that I can not be a member?
    A. No. We urge all to contribute, in accordance with their means, even if the amount is quite small; but no one is ever denied membership or participation for financial inability.

Q. How does the chapter support itself?
    A. Financially, our income is mainly from the following sources: membership dues, Sunday collection baskets, fund raisers, annual pledge drive, special donations from members (or even others), bequests from decedents, and income from investments (even though they are very small).

Q. Where are you located?
    A. Dignity Center is located at 758 Vella Road, Palm Springs. It is just south of Ramon Road on Vella Road, which in turn is just opposite the Kirk Douglas entry road to Palm Springs airport. For a map (with a zoom in/out features to help you, from nearby or from a distance), click here (or on "Map" in the Link lines found just below the banner at the top of each page of this website). Also, detailed directions are available from the "Directions" link that is found on the maps themselves or by clicking on Contact Us (here or in the Link lines found just below the banner at the top of each page of this website).

Q. Do you own your own building?
    A. Not yet; but the Los Angeles chapter reached this goal several years ago, so who knows what the future may hold for this chapter as well.

Q. Does this website have info on other opportunities for activism?
    A. Consideration is being given to having a page on this website for events that are sponsored by others but are related to the chapter's mission (but access to such a page would probably be limited to chapter members).

Q. Do you have social activities as well?
    A. We do. Some are at Dignity Center, such as the social after each Mass on Sundays, followed by brunch or dinner on the town, for those who may be interested

in doing that. Others are excursions to -- you name it.

Q. Who decides on and organizes social activities?
    A. There is a Social Committee. So some activities are organized by that Committee and its own Chairperson. Others, however, are simply a groundswell of interest by members, who undertake to propose (and organize) an excursion (or other event) under chapter auspices.

Q. Do you use inclusive language in your liturgies?
    A. Yes, we do, to reflect the very nature and purpose of our community.

Q. Who presides at the celebration of Mass?
    A. A priest.

Q. Are they really priests?
     A. Yes. All those who preside regularly at our Masses were ordained in and by the institutional Roman Catholic Church -- although not all are still active as priests in the institutional Church. On occasion, we do have a presider ordained in another church; but all are priests ordained in churches recognized by the institutional Church as having bishops validly consecrated in the apostolic tradition. On occasion, no priest is available; and thus a lay-led liturgy, with pre-consecrated communion hosts, is substituted for the Mass.

Q. Have any of your presiders ever been involved in the clerical sexual abuse scandal?
    A. No. Dignity has a national policy that prevents such priests from serving as presider at any of our services.

Q. Do you now have (or ever had) any association with a North American Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) or any group favoring sex with minors?
    A. No, never. In its Statement of Position And Purpose (SP&P), and otherwise also, Dignity is firmly committed to the principles "that all sexuality should be exercised in an ethical and unselfish manner." To have sex with any underaged (or otherwise vulnerable) person or to take advantage of any position of trust to procure any sexual activity would be in clear violation of those principles.

Q. Does a person have to be (or want to be) a Roman Catholic in order to be a Dignity member?
    A. No; but we do have a course of initiation very similar to that of the institutional Church for persons interested in learning more.

Q. Is the chapter a part of the institutional Church?
    A. No. The chapter is an independent, self-governing corporation that is a lay, not ecclesiastical, organization; and it is not subject to ecclesiastical regulation.

Q. Are all members Catholics?
    A. Not all are Roman Catholics. However, it would be safe to assume that all are Catholics in the sense that the Nicene Creed (that is recited during Mass) uses the term "catholic .. church," meaning "universal" or "all-inclusive" church, since virtually all mainstream Christians adhere to the Nicene Creed as adopted by one of the very earliest ecumenical councils (i.e. a Council of Nicaea (convened first in Nicaea, Greece, early in the 4th Century)).

Q. Is the chapter the only place where GLBTs who are Catholic can meet as a faith community?
    A. Some faith communities are more welcoming to a GLBT who seeks to associate with that faith community than others would be. Some Roman Catholic parishes, and other Christian churches also, are in this category. Indeed, some Dignity members retain an association with a parish, as well as take an active part in Dignity itself; but since a parish is a part of the institutional Roman Catholic Church, some restrictions are likely to be encountered in even the most welcoming parish. There is, however, an online organization called Gay Church that lists Christian faith communities that its website states are reported (though not verified by it) to be welcoming communities, with a geographical Church Directory to assist people in locating welcoming communities, area by area; click here to go to its website.

Q. Do you have funds to assist those who are suffering from HIV/AIDS?
    A. Yes, we do have an AIDS Fund. Click here for more info.

Q. Is this website protected by copyright or subject to conditions of use?
    A. Yes. Contact us for more information if you have an issue on which you need it.

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