SAN FRANCISCO - A letter to San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone signed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, state and city officials and other faith, LGBT and community leaders, asks the archbishop to cancel an upcoming trip to an anti-LGBT event in Washington, D.C.
Cordileone is scheduled to attend the March for Marriage on June 19 on the National Mall, which is organized by the National Organization for Marriage.
Cordileone is one of the noted speakers at the rally, along with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.
On the event website, organizers state, "The March for Marriage sends a clear message to every level of society that a majority of Americans still stand for marriage as it has been traditionally and historically defined and handed down through the centuries.
"In the face of elite and powerful special-interest groups bent on redefining this cherished institution, this March powerfully proclaims that marriage as the union of one man and one woman is our culture's best means of linking mothers and fathers to one another and to their children," the site continues.
In the letter dated Tuesday, Newsom and Lee are joined by state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, state Assemblymen Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, and Rich Gordon, D-Menlo Park, San Francisco Treasurer Jose Cisneros, San Francisco supervisors Scott Wiener, David Campos, Norman Yee and about 70 other leaders and organizations asking the archbishop to cancel his participation in the event, which opposes civil marriage for same-sex couples.
They write in the letter, "We respect freedom of religion and understand that you oppose civil marriage for same-sex couples. But the actions and rhetoric of NOM, and those of the event's speakers and co-sponsors, fundamentally contradict Christian belief in the fundamental human dignity of all people."
The letter ends, "Sadly, the actions of NOM and its invited speakers push us farther apart rather than bringing us together. We ask that you will reconsider your participation and join us in seeking to promote reconciliation rather than division and hatred."
An online petition has collected nearly 18,800 signatures requesting the archbishop cancel his appearance.
On the petition site through Faithful America it states, "We need to make it clear to Archbishop Cordileone that encouraging bigotry is unacceptable, regardless of his position on marriage for same-sex couples."
The petition is available online at http://act.faithfulamerica.org/sign/cordileonerally.
The Archdiocese of San Francisco declined to comment today on the letter and petition.
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