Catholics, others protest approval of same-sex marriage in San Diego
On Tuesday, Sept. 25, nearly 70 people attended a noon Mass at Our Lady of the Rosary parish in San Diego, followed by a rosary procession in reparation for the city council’s and mayor’s endorsement of same-sex marriage the previous week. Behind a large missionary image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and a large banner that read, “We are praying to protect marriage,” people of all ages, including several families who brought very young children, joined in the procession from the church to the city administration complex on C Street downtown. There they prayed all of the mysteries of the rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and sang hymns for approximately an hour. “It was a very moving and powerful prayer experience for us all -- giving public witness of our faith while praying for reparation and conversion,” said Sue Lopez, who organized the event. “One beautiful thing about giving public witness is that those who see us may be inspired to do the same some day. After witnessing so many miracles at abortion mills through public rosaries, I am convinced that this is a most powerful weapon in healing our culture. Some problems are too far gone for human solutions and Mary will solve them through the praying of the Rosary. We plan to do this on at least a monthly basis in the hopes that she will intercede bringing a heavenly solution to this one.” Chris Morales of the Goretti Group (www.thegorettigroup.org), a group “established to foster pure and healthy lifestyles through education and support networks,” remarked, “We pray that the initiative to raise same-sex unions to the social equivalent of marriage fails in the judiciary in the state of California. Same-sex unions do not promote the common good. We gave public witness today in downtown San Diego to the sanctity of marriage and prayed in an area that is dedicated to culture, industry and good government. We have to ask the question 'What kind of culture are we creating?' Is it a culture of life? Is industry served when our tax dollars will go to supporting same-sex unions? Is it good government when the will of the majority and reason is ignored? Pray that the challenge to marriage, defined as between one man and one woman, along with its right, duties, and benefits are kept safe in the state of California. We ask our Lord Jesus to protect the institution he created so that we can all continue to contemplate the image and reality of the Bridegroom and his Bride the Church mirrored in human love.” “Betrayal of trust” While the rosary group was praying at the city administration complex, San Diego city attorney Michael Aguirre walked by. On Sept. 4, Aguirre, a self-described Catholic, had spoken before the city council to declare his support for the same-sex marriage resolution. Allyson Smith, one of the rosary procession participants, approached Aguirre and asked him how he could support same-sex marriage. “I wasn’t nice about it,” said Smith. “I told him flat-out that he has brought a great evil upon the city of San Diego by supporting this resolution. He got right back in my face and told me that I wasn’t acting like Jesus and that I should not speak to an elected official that way. I then asked him how as a Catholic he could justify supporting the amicus brief. He told me not to question his Catholicism. He said he had to go to an office to drop off some papers and would come back to speak to our group, but by the time we finished praying about 20 minutes later, he still hadn’t re-appeared.” The same day as the rosary procession downtown, approximately 25 elected officials and community leaders from the eastern part of San Diego County gathered in front of the El Cajon courthouse to express their disagreement with San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders’ decision to sign a resolution supporting same-sex marriage. Sanders, who had said earlier that he would veto the resolution, changed his mind last week in a tearful speech in which he revealed that his own daughter suffers from same-sex attraction, using his family situation as an excuse to renege on his promise. Led by Sylvia Sullivan, president of the East County chapter of the California Republican Assembly, the press conference included California state assembly member Joel Anderson; Santee city council member Brian Jones; Alpine school board member Mark Price; Grossmont Union High School board member Jim Kelly; El Cajon city councilmember Bob McClellan; and La Mesa-Spring Valley school board member Bill Baber. Representing pro-traditional family concerns were James Lee Lambert of the American Family Association; attorney Gary Kreep of the United States Justice Foundation; Theresa Ellis, San Diego facilitator for Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays (PFOX); Allyson Smith of Americans for Truth about Homosexuality (AFTAH); D.R. Clark, county chairman of the American Independent Party; and Margaret Hunter representing the Duncan D. Hunter for Congress campaign. Other elected officials who could not attend but gave their support for traditional marriage and Proposition 22 were California state senator Dennis Hollingsworth; El Cajon mayor Mark Lewis and city council member Gary Kendrick; Grossmont Union High School board member Larry Urdahl; and La Mesa-Spring Valley school board member Rick Winet. Sullivan opened the press conference saying, “We have all felt the betrayal of trust by the San Diego city council and mayor in their support of same-sex marriage, completely disregarding the vote of the people as expressed overwhelmingly in the vote of Prop. 22, which defined marriage only as one man and one woman. We are here to make it loud and clear that they do not speak for us. We will not allow them to invalidate the meaning of marriage, our votes, or our foundational family principles. The powerful, radical gay and lesbian special interest groups are very good in framing the issues by twisting the language. It is not about civil rights. It is about the welfare of society, families and especially our children. One does not have the civil right to every whim or passing fancy, any more than a super model does not have the civil right to demand to be an NFL linebacker.” Jones, who is also a District 52 congressional candidate, announced he is forming a new political action committee, Californians for Judicial Integrity, to serve as a watchdog for Proposition 22 and track activist judges and legislators. “If we get folks in the legislature and the judiciary who are going to overturn [Proposition 22], we will put together an action committee to overturn those people and remove them from office, whether they be judges that are up for confirmation or elected officials that are re-running for re-election,” he told reporters.