A top Roman Catholic cardinal says he regrets that the church is portrayed as “anti-gay” for supporting traditional marriage between a man and a woman.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, told NBC News that the church has been “out-marketed” on the issue by an array of people, including politicians.
“We’ve been caricatured as being anti-gay,” Dolan said in an interview airing Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. “And as much as we’d say, ‘Wait a minute, we’re pro marriage, we’re pro traditional marriage, we’re not anti anybody,’ I don’t know.
“When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion-molders that are behind it, it’s a tough battle,” he said.
Illinois recently became the 16th state to legalize same-sex marriage, with the new state law set to take effect on June 1, 2014.
Comments by Pope Francis apparently had an impact on Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and other legislators when the state House of Representatives voted earlier this month to pass legislation allowing gay marriage, according to theChicago Tribune.
“If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge him,” Pope Francis said in July.
Dolan, known for his outspokenness, earlier this year called for Catholics to be more conciliatory toward gays and lesbians who may feel left behind by the church’s opposition to homosexuality and same-sex marriage.
The legal battle over same-sex marriage has moved to states, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down a tenet of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
“I think I’d be a Pollyanna to say that there doesn’t seem to be kind of a stampede to do this,” Dolan told David Gregory of Meet the Press. “I regret that. I wish that were not the case for the states.”
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