On June 1, Catholic League President William Donohue wrote to Vice President Al Gore asking him to intervene in the World Gay Pride Event that is scheduled to take place in Rome, July 1-July 9. The Vatican has asked that the event either be postponed or moved to another city so that its Jubilee 2000 celebrations could proceed without undue problems. Because the vice president is the most senior American official to endorse the gay pride event, the Catholic League appealed to him to ask the leaders of the event to accede to the Vatican’s modest request.
It is now clear that the vice president is not going to act. Accordingly, Donohue outlined the league’s new strategy:
“Not only has the vice president not responded to my letter, no one in his staff has chosen to do so either. Over the course of the last two weeks, Patrick Scully, the Catholic League’s director of communications, called the White House on six occasions asking for a response. After speaking to persons in the press office and correspondence office, he finally was able to reach staff in the domestic policy office (this is where the matter is under study). He was assured as late as yesterday that a response would be forthcoming. But with the exception of Melissa Radcliffe in the press department, no one has ever gotten back to him.
“We are not going to take this lightly. As I explained in our news release just two weeks ago, the Italian community in New York has agreed to Jewish requests to reroute this year’s Columbus Day Parade so that the march would not interfere with synagogue services on Yom Kippur. That is what reasonable people do—they practice tolerance. Because the vice president is not prepared to respect the rights of Catholics, we are embarking on a campaign today, via our website and other means, to have Catholics contact his office and express their outrage. Phone: (202) 456-1414; Fax: (202) 456-6231; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We will make sure that the vice president’s unwillingness to support the Vatican in this instance gets good distribution.”