Prominent California Democrats, including House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, are urging San Francisco Catholic archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to skip his upcoming speech at a March for Marriage event. In a letter to Cordileone, Pelosi described the traditional-marriage march, arranged by the National Organization for Marriage, as promoting “disdain and hate towards LGBT persons.”
Pelosi hinted that Cordileone was not taking into consideration Pope Francis’s recent comments about gay people, asking, “If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?”
She was joined in the letter by San Francisco mayor Ed Lee and lieutenant governor Gavin Newsom (a former San Francisco mayor).
But the archbishop was unfazed by the political pressure and responded in his own letter that his faith compels him to speak on the matter.
“[The Church’s teachings] also requires me, as a bishop, to proclaim the truth — the whole truth — about the human person and God’s will for our flourishing,” he wrote. “I must do that in season and out of season, even when truths that it is my duty to uphold and teach are unpopular, including especially the truth about marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife. That is what we will be doing on June 19th.”
Cordileone rejected the notion that the March for Marriage is “‘anti-LGBT’ (as some have described it).”
“It is not anti-anyone or anti-anything. Rather, it is a pro-marriage March,” he wrote. Additionally, he argued that his high-ranking critics are hypocrites for ignoring the “harsh and hateful rhetoric” towards those with his beliefs:
It must be pointed out, though, that there is plenty of offensive rhetoric which flows in the opposite direction. In fact, for those who support the conjugal understanding of marriage, the attacks have not stopped at rhetoric. Simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence.
He offered to meet with Pelosi, Lee, Newsom, and others to help them understand his position and his reasons for speaking at the event.