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Weird, I walk past St Patrick's all the time and have no desire to hurt it

by Jeremy Hooper

We've been busy tracking the Catholic influence in Maine, where the Catholic-dominated National Organization For Marriage and the influential Portland diocese (and its head, Bishop Malone) are wielding considerable influence in the unrighteous fight to roll back CIVIL equality. But while we're doing that holy work, East Bay Express is looking back at California's Prop 8 and the major role that Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone played in hurting gays there. And as you will see if you read EBE's full piece, the ties between Maggie Gallagher, the Catholic church, Carrie Prejean's Catholic lawyer Charles Limandri, and the "protect marriage" fight are just as frighteningly connected as we've been confessing.

Here's a snippet and a link to the full (and frustrating) article:

What almost no one knows is that without [Oakland Bishop Salvatore Cordileone], gay men and lesbians would almost surely still be able to get married today. As an auxiliary bishop in San Diego, Cordileone played an indispensable role in conceiving, funding, organizing, and ultimately winning the campaign to pass Proposition 8. It was Bishop Sal and a small group of Catholic leaders who decided that they had to amend the state constitution. It was Bishop Sal who found the first major donor and flushed the fledgling campaign with cash. It was Bishop Sal who personally brought in the organization that took the lead on the petition drive. And it was Bishop Sal who coordinated the Catholic effort with evangelical churches around the state. Bishop Sal even helped craft the campaign's rhetorical strategy, sitting in on focus groups to hone the message of Proposition 8.

We know all this because as homosexuals and their supporters were wondering how this all came about, Cordileone gloated about his work in an interview with an obscure Catholic radio network. He bragged about how gay men and lesbians never saw him coming and called gay marriage a Satanic plot by "the Evil One" to destroy morality in the modern world.
Fortunately, Bishop Sal had a little more than God on his side. Cordileone had been strategizing with ecumenical opponents of gay marriage for years, and a shadow network known as "Protect Marriage" was already in place. The National Organization for Marriage, a New Jersey nonprofit dedicated to fighting same-sex marriage around the country, had what Cordileone called both the intellectual arguments and the "practical know-how" to run the campaign. On December 23, 2007, Cordileone called organization president Maggie Gallagher and asked her group to come to California and get to work. Within weeks, the organization was helping to collect signatures.

FULL PIECE: The Father of Proposition 8 [East Bay Express]

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Your thoughts

I read this article, and alternated between boiling blood and a soothing, quiet derision for this man. If anyone has read Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett, this man's shaven head and attitudes put me in mind of the demented Deacon Vorbis.

So, thank you, Bishop Sal - you've assisted an atheist in visualizing a character in a novel that scathingly examines the difference between structured religion and real faith.

Posted by: DN | Sep 22, 2009 9:03:10 PM

Catholics had to keep their heads low in 2008 in California, on the heals of bankruptcy related to their child molestation. Even with the current Montana bankruptcy, due again to settlements in child molestation cases, they seem to be feeling somewhat bolder in Maine. But, where are the Mormons? They seem to be maintaining a lower profile this time .. maybe for fear of losing their tax exempt status??

Posted by: Dick Mills | Sep 22, 2009 9:13:03 PM

Add Providence Bishop Tobin to that mix and RI would have marriage equality by now.

The church has the political leadership in pocket.

Posted by: Tony P | Sep 24, 2009 8:21:25 PM

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