|NY Cardinal Timothy Dolan|
By Brody Levesque | WASHINGTON -- New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan, one of the Catholic Church’s leading voices against same-sex marriage equality, has been slated to deliver the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week. Dolan was also asked to deliver the closing prayer at the Republican National Convention this week in Tampa.
Dolan – who also serves as President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – said the day after President Obama’s historic endorsement of marriage equality that he prayed for the President and would continue to pray that Obama would “uphold and protect marriage as the union of one man and one woman."
This year's Democratic convention is being labeled a "historic" gathering for LGBT people by some analysts – the party’s platform embraces both full marriage equality and federal workplace protections, and there will be more openly LGBT delegates and participants than ever before.
"What an amazing and inspiring convention this will be," said Jerame Davis, Executive Director of National Stonewall Democrats. "With over 530 LGBT participants identified for this year's convention, we not only set a new record for LGBT participation in a national convention, we have sent the clearest message possible that the Democratic Party is the party of inclusion."
Dolan's statement earlier this year isn't the first time the cardinal took on the President Obama regarding marriage equality and a host of other LGBT equality issues. In September 2011, the Cardinal fired off a letter to Obama criticizing his position on DOMA and also targeting the administration’s positions on policies relating to adoption rights for same-sex couples; an LGBT cultural competency training that originated in the Department of Agriculture; and same-sex weddings on military bases.
Dolan also was a leading voice against marriage equality in New York. In June 2011, he called marriage for loving, committed same-sex couples “a violation of what we consider the natural law that’s embedded in every man and woman,” as well as “immoral” and “detrimental to the common good.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue said, "Over the past week, Cardinal Dolan has been hammered by liberals for accepting an invitation to give benediction at the Republican National Convention (RNC). Now that he will close both conventions, they look even more foolish."
Dan Rafter, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign noted:
"There are a plethora of faith leaders who embody the Golden Rule in their daily work – striving to serve those on the margins of society; working to bring comfort to those lacking it; and advocating for faith communities that welcome their LGBT sisters and brothers.
While Cardinal Dolan has a respected tracked record in the ministry, his work to undercut the dignity of LGBT people cannot be overlooked. There are many faith leaders who would be an ideal fit to close out the Democratic National Convention – but Cardinal Timothy Dolan is not that leader."