Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, an outspoken Catholic, has sparked controversy with a letter she penned pressuring the archbishop of San Francisco to cancel his appearance at this week’s March for Marriage in Washington.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle,
Pelosi invoked the words of Pope Francis in the letter to Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone – one of the event’s featured speakers – in which she wrote: "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has goodwill, then who am I to judge him?"
Thursday’s second annual March for Marriage
is sponsored by a host of conservative groups seeking to send a message that "Americans still stand for marriage as it has been traditionally and historically defined and handed down through the centuries," according to its website.
In addition to Cordileone, whose leads a diocese of 560,000 Catholics in San Francisco, other featured speakers include former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Cordileone was instrumental in California’s 2008 ballot initiative known as Proposition 8, banning same-sex marriage in California. Though voters passed Prop 8, it was ultimately ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.
"We share our love of the Catholic faith and our city of San Francisco," Pelosi wrote before urging Cordileone not to associate himself with people who harbor "disdain and hate towards LGBT persons."
The March for Marriage is "venom masquerading as virtue," according to Pelosi.
In addition to Pelosi, the Chronicle reports that San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, as well as numerous Bay Area religious leaders, sent a letter to Cordileone protesting his plans to attend the march, and an online petition organized by Faithful America has received 20,000 signatures.
On its website, March for Marriage said "liberal politicians and a group of radical activists who call themselves Christians" are trying to shame the archbishop into pulling out by distorting teachings of the faith.
The "Catholic Church, which has always and will always teach that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, a Sacrament ordered toward bringing the sexes together to create new life," March for Marriage writes. "Furthermore, there is unity among faithful Catholics and Christians in regard to marriage — there is agreement that it is quite possible to protect marriage, and the basic human truths it reflects, without being 'hateful' toward anyone."
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