A news release from a group calling itself the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL) says "U.S. Hispanics suffered another blow last week when President Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage," while describing itself as the only national Hispanic Catholic lay leadership organization in the country.
Speaking to the May 9 television interview in which the chief executive said “same-sex couples should be able to get married,” Robert Aguirre, CALL president and CEO stated, “I am shocked, but not surprised, that this president has the temerity to attempt to lead this great nation down a path void of morality and Christian values."
CALL's board of directors includes Bishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles CA (a Mexican native and a member of Opus Dei), Bishop William Olmsted of Phoenix AZ, and Bishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia PA.
Aguirre opined that Hispanics have been hit harder than any other group in terms of unemployment - rising from 6.3% to 11%1, overall poverty rate - rising from 20.6% to 26.6%2, during Obama's term in office. He also said that Latino childhood poverty increased from 27.4% to an astounding 36.3%3. "Hispanics are worse off under this
president than any of his predecessors. Must we now have to face yet another attack on what makes up the very heart of our homes – marriage and family?” Aguirre added.
Speaking for CALL, Aguirre also spoke to the Catholic Church's opposition to same-sex marriage in the United States, which has also been rejected by voters in states such as California and North Carolina. “Once again this president has ignored the calculus of religious identity politics and the potential voting power of Catholics, Latinos, and all people of faith in favor of a public policy that weakens us as a society and a nation under the supposed banner of justice and individual rights,” Aguirre emphasized. “This must be a call to all Hispanics to wake up and realize the gravity of the situation and the quiet strength of our collective Latino voice.”
Even so, Aguirre said that his organization is opposed to discrimination against persons "who experience same-sex attraction. However, protecting marriage between a man and a woman has nothing to do with denying basic rights to anyone -- though that is the ploy being used by President Obama in his attack. Protecting the institution of marriage means safeguarding the rights of the most dependent and vulnerable among us—our children--who deserve to be welcomed as a result of the love between a mother and a father and not deprived of that love by legislation or policy,” Aguirre stressed.
CALL describes itself as a "national voice for Hispanics on social justice issues and to impact the national dialogue and its outcome in favor of improving our nation’s policies affecting Latinos."