HRC Blog

Anti-LGBT Equality Cardinal Will Give Closing Prayer at Dem Convention

Cardinal DolanPost submitted by Dan Rafter, Former HRC Associate Director of Communications

New York’s archbishop and one of the Catholic Church’s leading voices against marriage equality, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, will be delivering the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week. Dolan also is giving the closing prayer later this week at the Republican National Convention.

This is a historic Democratic convention for LGBT people – the party’s platform embraces both full marriage equality and federal workplace protections, and there will be more openly LGBT delegates and participants than ever before. Despite these advances, the convention will close with words from Cardinal Dolan, an active opponent of LGBT equality.

Cardinal Dolan is a spiritual leader for a faith that embraces the Golden Rule – the principle that we all should treat one another the way we would like to be treated. He is a leader to American Catholics – 71 percent of whom support civil marriage for same-sex couples. Despite the call of Christianity to treat all with dignity and respect, and despite the values of the majority of Catholics in our country, Cardinal Dolan refuses to recognize the dignity of same-sex couples and LGBT families.

Dolan – who also serves as President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – said the day after President Obama’s historic endorsement of marriage equality that he prayed for the President and would continue to pray that Obama would “uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” according to BuzzFeed.

That wasn’t the first time Dolan took on the President regarding marriage equality and a host of other LGBT equality issues.  In September 2011, the Cardinal fired off a letter to Obama criticizing his position on DOMA and also targeting the administration’s positions on policies relating to adoption rights for same-sex couples; an LGBT cultural competency training that originated in the Department of Agriculture; and same-sex weddings on military bases.

Dolan also was a leading voice against marriage equality in New York. In June 2011, he called marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples “a violation of what we consider the natural law that’s embedded in every man and woman,” as well as “immoral” and “detrimental to the common good.”

There are a plethora of faith leaders who embody the Golden Rule in their daily work – striving to serve those on the margins of society; working to bring comfort to those lacking it; and advocating for faith communities that welcome their LGBT sisters and brothers. While Cardinal Dolan has a respected tracked record in the ministry, his work to undercut the dignity of LGBT people cannot be overlooked. There are many faith leaders who would be an ideal fit to close out the Democratic National Convention – but Cardinal Timothy Dolan is not that leader.

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