Opponents of Proposition 8 vandalized Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, in the heart of San Francisco’s gay Castro community, during the first weekend of the year; the California resolution passed by voters last November rejected the legalization of gay marriage. Swastikas were painted on the church and the names Ratzinger (referring to Pope Benedict XVI) and Niederauer (referring to the San Francisco Archbishop George Niederauer) were scrawled besides the Nazi symbol.
We noted that following the passing of Proposition 8, innocent persons were assaulted, a substance resembling anthrax was sent to the Knights of Columbus and to Mormon temples, cars and homes were trashed and African Americans were referred to as the “N-word.” Unfortunately, after these events and the vandalism of Holy Redeemer, the gay community was silent.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Board of Advisors are partially to blame for the attack on Catholicism at Holy Redeemer. Both Newsom and the Board have shown nothing but contempt for the First Amendment rights of Catholics. Neither say anything when crucifixes are sold as sex toys and Catholic sensibilities are assaulted by naked men at the annual Folsom Street Fair. Nor did they say anything when gay men dressed as nuns to attend Mass—at Holy Redeemer nonetheless. But the Board was quite vocal about condemning the Church in 2006, which led to a lawsuit triggered by the Catholic League and the Thomas More Law Center.
We commented to the media saying, “For those who love to write about ‘root causes,’ let them ponder the guilt of these public officials. Moreover, leaders in the gay community show no leadership when it comes to denouncing incivility committed in the name of gay rights. This has got to end.”
We urged our members to contact Mayor Gavin Newsom and asked that he finally condemn gay assaults on Catholics and other people of faith.