On June 7, Philadelphia Mayor Edward G. Rendell signed an executive order extending city-paid health benefits to the domestic partners of gay city officials. Criticism of the mayor was quickly forthcoming from many sources, including Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia, City Council President John Street and Arthur J. Delaney, President of the Greater Philadelphia-South Jersey Chapter of the Catholic League.
Cardinal Bevilacqua wrote to Mayor Rendell on June 7 expressing his objections. “This action is destructive to the traditional family, which is rooted in a loving marriage between a man and a woman,” he said. “Our Catholic teaching,” the Cardinal added, “calls us to love and respect all human beings–homosexual and heterosexual. Still, this call in faith to love everyone as a brother or a sister does not include endorsing as public policy that which will erode the very fabric of society.”
City Council President John Street also criticized the mayor and asked that he withdraw his executive order and allow the voters of Philadelphia to decide the issue themselves in a referendum in November.
Printed here is an ad placed by the Greater Philadelphia-South Jersey Chapter of the Catholic League. It appeared in the June 13 edition of the Catholic Standard and Times, the newspaper of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.