Installed as Archbishop of San Francisco in the same week as he pleads guilty to reckless driving avoids DUI plea
By Melanie Nathan, Oct 05, 2012.
While outspoken anti-gay Catholic activist Salvatore Cordileone swished his way into St. Mary’s Cathedral to be installed as the new San Francisco Archbishop, gay activists stood on a cool Geary side-walk and roared for equality.
Dozens of San Francisco police circled St. Mary’s Cathedral, as roaring Blue Angels Jets took wing between city buildings. I wondered who out-maneuvered who. The elaborate figure stepped out of the limousine and onto the concourse below the cathedral entrance. He swaggered toward the lofty doors, so tawdrily adorned in bright red shining gold cloak, covered in jewels. A long line of hapless homeless flanked an adjacent soup kitchen. Nonetheless, for me, the most profound out-maneuver is the one where our right to equal treatment under the civil law is usurped by the likes of Cordileone, who attacks LGBT parity in the name of his religion.
A large group of LGBT protestors clustered alongside the praying supporters of the new Archbishop, and while the equality crowd waved rainbow flags and held placards, “How does my marriage hurt yours,” bullhorns made the case for equality to the rumbling of Rosary prayers ‘Santa Maria…..’
Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone was one of the major voices in the campaign to pass the discriminatory Proposition 8 in California. He is the head of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for the Defense of Marriage, whose purpose has been to “defend” marriage from inclusion of loving and committed gay couples. He is not only a man of the cloth as he boasts a connection to radical-right political partners such as the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and Focus on the Family. The Catholic Bishops have also provided testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging Congress to exclude binational same-sex couples from their rights to green cards.
GetEQUAL had initiated the protests, to urge Catholics to stand up for the dignity of all California families, noting that the appointment of Cordileone to Archbishop “is a slap in the face to the San Francisco LGBT population and an affront to all equality-minded Catholics in the Bay Area.”
Billy Bradford, a local organizer with GetEQUAL said that “Despite a vast majority of American Catholics affirming the true social justice teachings of Jesus and of the church, Cordileone continues to use right-wing political action to climb the ranks of church hierarchy. The harm caused to our community — especially to our youth — is irreparable. This man has blood on his hands, and his installation in one of the few communities fully welcoming of LGBT Americans cannot go unchallenged.”|
As it happens Cordileone was due to face DUI charges next week, in San Diego, but instead this week entered a guilty plea for reckless driving . He had been arrested last month and booked into San Diego County jail after being stopped and was released on $2,500 bond. He is likely to receive a fine and community service.
It goes to show that no amount of glittery pomp and ceremony, nor any lofty claims on the rung to God, nor the reverberations of the ‘holier than thou’ pretentiousness fight against citizen parity, could derogate from the simple fact that Cordileone is just another human being whose religion should not have to matter to my politics.