Thousands Pray Against Homosexual Marriage In ‘March for Marriage’ Rally

San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone addressed the crowd at the 2014 March for Marriage rally on June 19 in Washington, D.C. He attended the event despite protests from more than 80 organizations who objected to his presence. RNS photo by Heather Adams

San Francisco’s Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone addressed the crowd at the 2014 March for Marriage rally on June 19 in Washington, D.C. He attended the event despite protests from more than 80 organizations who objected to his presence. RNS photo by Heather Adams

Kneeling on the sidewalk across from the U.S. Supreme Court, San Francisco’s Roman Catholic archbishop led several thousand protesters Thursday in prayer against same-sex marriage.

Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone was the star attraction of a rally in Washington organized by National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown, the nation’s leading opponent of same-sex marriage. Brown tapped Cordileone as the first speaker at the event and had him lead the group in prayer after a march from the west front of the U.S. Capitol to the Supreme Court steps.

The archbishop’s attendance was controversial in San Francisco, where officials including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Ed Lee and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed letters urging Cordileone not to participate.

Cordileone told the crowd at Thursday’s March for Marriage that he has “the support of Pope Francis for what we are doing today,” citing approval by the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See to the United States, the Vatican’s diplomatic mission in Washington. Cordileone chairs the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops subcommittee for the promotion and defense of marriage.

The rally drew predominantly Latino and African American protesters from New York, New Jersey, Virginia and other nearby states, numbering in the low thousands at its peak. Throngs of couples and children spent several hours in sweltering heat listening to speakers, many of them pastors, declare that marriage should be limited to unions of one man and one woman for the sake of children.

Former Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee also addressed the protesters. Santorum argued that traditional marriage is good for the economy because “every marriage is a little business.”

Cordileone told demonstrators that “every child comes from a mother and a father, and to deliberately deprive a child of knowing and being loved” by them is “outright injustice.”

“This is our very nature; no law can change it,” he said.

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SOURCE: The San Francisco Chronicle
Carolyn Lochhead