Post submitted by Jeremy Hooper, special guest contributor
In a strongly worded letter to San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both a Catholic and a Bay Area resident herself, has noted the obvious role that animus will play in "march for marriage" that NOM is hosting this Thursday (6/16) in the nation's capital. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
Pelosi, who is one of the country's most powerful Catholic politicians, made a passionate appeal to the archbishop in a letter obtained by The Chronicle not to participate in the National Organization for Marriage's June 19 march on the Supreme Court in Washington.
Cordileone, who is one of the featured speakers at the event, was a leader in the campaign for Proposition 8, the 2008 California anti-gay-marriage initiative.
"We share our love of the Catholic faith and our city of San Francisco," Pelosi wrote to Cordileone, who, as head of the 560,000-member Archdiocese of San Francisco, has become the Catholic bishops' point man against gay marriage. She urged him to abandon an event in which some of the participants show "disdain and hate towards LGBT persons."
FULL: Nancy Pelosi urges S.F. archbishop to exit marriage march [SF Chronicle]
Let's get something clear right out of the gate: This is not going to work on Archbishop Cordileone. The man is known as "the father of Proposition 8" for a reason. He has spent a great deal of time fighting for discrimination against gay people, not only pushing very hard for California's discriminatory marriage ban and similar measures in other states, but he has even advocated against basic employment protections for LGBT people. Archbishop Cordileone is a hero to NOM, a thoroughly Catholic organization, precisely because he has chosen to take marriage and related inequality and imprint it into a top priority, if not the top priority, among Catholic leadership. In fact, just last week he quite literally told a room of America's most prominent Catholic bishops that this is the top fight. So no, I do not think Leader Pelosi's letter is going to work.
But it should work, because she is very right. The NOM march will feature speakers who have described marriage equality as a "satanic plot to destroy our seed," speakers who have equated kids of same-sex parents to kids who lost their parents on 9/11, speakers who have claimed that "homosexuality spreads because somebody abused children," and multiple speakers who have directly compared homosexuality to bestiality and incest (see more here).
Heck, even NOM's own president, Brian Brown, has admitted that he believes homosexuality to be a sin that is both "not logical" and "degrading to the human soul," according to his version of the bible, which is likely why Brian has advocated for "ex-gay" programs and marched in the streets against an openly gay religious figure. He even took the extraordinary step of traveling to Russia so that he could speak in favor of a ban on same-sex adoption. Who does that?!
Brian does. NOM does. And this march will only be as anti-gay as its speakers. There is simply no way one can take an objective and thorough look at the list of speakers and deny that they are against more than just equal marriage rights. This is to be a march filled with people who have made it clear that they want to undermine the rights, worth, and dignity of what it means to be an LGBT person.
Archbishop Cordileone should spend his Thursday fostering peace and bettering the kingdom. Lord knows Washington could use some good mojo! But fostering division and discrimination among a lineup that includes multiple men who have compared same-sex marriage to sleeping with a dog? I'm thinking that's less the role of a Catholic bishop and more the role of a political activist from history's wrong side.