U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has joined a high-profile lobbying effort to pressure San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to skip the upcoming “March for Marriage” event, calling it “venom masquerading as virtue.”
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Pelosi — one of the country’s most powerful Catholic politicians — has sent a letter urging Cordileone not to participate in the June 19 event in Washington, being organized by the National Organization for Marriage.
“We share our love of the Catholic faith and our city of San Francisco,” Pelosi wrote to Cordileone, urging him to abandon an event in which some of the participants show “disdain and hate towards LGBT persons.”
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Cordileone, as head of the 560,000-member Archdiocese of San Francisco, has become one of the most vocal Catholic bishops against same-sex marriage.
He chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ subcommittee on the promotion and defense of marriage and is one of the scheduled speakers at Thursday’s march and rally, along with former Republican presidential candidates Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum.
Cordileone was also a leader in the campaign for Proposition 8, the 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage in California.
The archbishop said in a letter his office made public Monday that it’s his duty to uphold traditional views of marriage even if such views are unpopular.
Last week, a number of top California and San Francisco officials — including Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, State Sen. Mark Leno, State Assembly member Tom Ammiano, and San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee — signed on to an open letter with faith and community leaders calling on Cordileone to cancel his participation in the event.
At the planned event on Thursday, marriage equality opponents plan to “march” from the U.S Capitol to the Supreme Court in an event the NOM hopes will attract thousands, and ignite new efforts to reverse shifting public acceptance of same-sex marriage, a loss at the ballot box in four states in November 2012, and a year-long losing streak in the federal courts.
Article continues belowNOM president Brian Brown said his best-case scenario hinged on a future ruling by the Supreme Court upholding the right of states to set their own marriage laws, rather than imposing same-sex marriage nationwide.
Such a ruling would strengthen the position of the 31 states that currently ban same-sex marriage and Brown hopes that would be a catalyst for other states to reimpose bans.
NOM’s march comes just days before the one year anniversary of the Supreme Court decisions that cleared the way for same-sex marriage to resume in California, and struck down a section of the Defense of Marriage Act.
The most recent Gallup poll shows public support for same-sex marriage at 55 percent, an all-time high.