Most Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, in the heart of San Francisco’s gay Castro community, was vandalized over the weekend by opponents of Proposition 8, the California resolution passed by voters in November that rejected gay marriage. Swastikas were painted on the church and the names Ratzinger (referring to Pope Benedict XVI) and Niederauer (the San Francisco Archbishop) were scrawled besides the Nazi symbol.
In the wake of Proposition 8, innocent persons have been assaulted, churches have been vandalized, a white substance resembling anthrax was sent to the Knights of Columbus and to Mormon temples, supporters of traditional marriage have been branded Nazis, African-Americans have been called the ‘N-word,’ houses and cars have been trashed, etc. Unfortunately, most of those in the gay community have been silent about these acts.
Part of the blame for the latest attack goes to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Both Newsom and the Board have shown nothing but contempt for the First Amendment rights of Catholics. When crucifixes are sold as sex toys and Catholic sensibilities are assaulted by naked men in the street at the annual Folsom Street Fair, they say nothing. When gay men dressed as nuns show up at Mass—at the same church—they say nothing. But the Board was quite vocal about condemning the Catholic Church in 2006, something which led to a lawsuit triggered by the Catholic League and the Thomas More Law Center.
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.