As Pope Francis takes proactive stance of inclusion, Cordileone to march with extremists promoting hate at rally put on by beleaguered National Organization for Marriage
WASHINGTON -- On Thursday, June 19, the so-called National Organization for Marriage (NOM) will host a march on the U.S. Supreme Court and a rally that will feature remarks from a cast of characters, many of whom have made a career spewing hate and vitriol about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across America and around the world. A featured speaker at the rally will be Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, head of the Archdiocese of San Francisco and architect of the now-defunct Proposition 8. Cordileone, in his official capacity as overseer of one of the largest ecclesiastical provinces of the Roman Catholic Church, will be sharing NOM’s stage with speakers who have compared homosexuality with bestiality, same-sex marriages with “Frankenstein creatures,” and LGBT advocates with Nazis. His association with these individuals is completely at odds with the tone set by Pope Francis, who has been publicly steering the Roman Catholic Church in a new direction, preaching a message of love and acceptance toward gay people.
In a September 2013 interview, Pope Francis was quoted as saying; "A person once asked me, in a provocative manner, if I approved of homosexuality. I replied with another question: ‘Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?’ We must always consider the person.”
“I doubt His Holiness would give his blessing to some of these speakers’ revolting characterizations of LGBT people,” said Fred Sainz, vice president for communications at HRC. “At a time when the Pope is asking, ‘Who am I to judge?’ Archbishop Cordileone and his cohorts continue relentlessly searching for bigger stages and louder megaphones from which to spew their judgments.”
Take a look at a few of the greatest hits from the anticipated speakers at NOM’s rally:
Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr. – Founder & President, High Impact Leadership Coalition
Dr. Jim Garlow – Senior Pastor, Skyline Wesleyan Church
Ryan Anderson – Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
Gary Bauer – Author and politician
Rev. Bill Owens, Sr. – Founder & President, Coalition of African-American Pastors
The planned events are billed as “a clarion call to the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress, as well as the mainstream media, that America stands for marriage as the union of one man and one woman,” even though poll after poll from the last few years shows a strong majority of Americans support marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples.
Last month the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices voted unanimously to impose record civil penalties against the NOM totaling $50,250 and directed the organization to file disclosure reports with the Commission after a four-year investigation exposed “a significant violation of law” by the national anti-LGBT organization. The penalties are reportedly the largest ever imposed for a campaign finance violation in Maine history. The bipartisan five member commission approved a staff report that concluded that NOM intentionally violated Maine law by failing to register or report its activities despite playing a central role in co-managing and funding a $3 million marriage referendum campaign in 2009.
In October 2013 it was revealed that NOM president Brian Brown had traveled to Moscow in support of a bill – now law – that bans the adoption of Russian children by gay couples, unmarried couples and single people in countries where same-sex marriage is legal. People For the American Way reported and shared a video from an interview Brown gave to a local television station, where he told the reporters that prohibiting adoptions by gay and lesbian couples was a way of halting a slippery slope of “very negative developments all over the world.” In a speech before the Russian Duma’s committee on family, women and children, he stated, “Every child should have the right to have normal parents: a father and a mother.”
Earlier this month a new poll by the Washington Post and ABC News indicated that 50 percent of Americans believe that gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution’s Equal Protection clause. Additionally, 56 percent of Americans and 77 percent of those under the age of thirty support marriage rights for same-sex couples. Other recent polls show rising support for marriage equality among various demographic groups. A March 2014 poll shows 61 percent of Republicans and Republican leaners under the age of thirty support marriage rights for gay and lesbian couples. One month earlier, the New York Times and CBS News released polling that puts marriage equality support among Catholics at 62 percent. More recent polling info is available online here.
There are at least 70 court cases challenging discriminatory marriage bans across the country in 31 states and Puerto Rico. So far five federal appeals courts are presiding over 11 marriage equality cases over the coming weeks and months. Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic marriage rulings last year, no state marriage ban has survived a federal court challenge.
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