TWO Appalled Cardinal Dolan Would Express “Love” For LGBT People While Stating They Are Only Entitled To “Friendship”

Burlington, Vt. — Truth Wins Out condemned comments made by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan on ABC News This Week, where he expressed a desire to “do better” and be more welcoming to gay people, while simultaneously suggesting that the only relationship they are entitled to is “friendship.” The remarks were made in the following exchange with host George Stephanopoulos:

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: [W]hat do you say as a minister, as a pastor – to a gay couple that comes to you and say, “We love God. We love the Church. But we also love each other, and we want to raise a family in faith.”

What do you say to them?

CARDINAL DOLAN: Well, the first thing I’d say to them is, “I love you, too. And God loves you. And you are made in God’s image and likeness. And – and we – we want your happiness. But – and you’re entitled to friendship.” But we also know that God has told us that the way to happiness, that – especially when it comes to sexual love – that is intended only for a man and woman in marriage, where children can come about naturally.

We gotta be – we gotta do better to see that our defense of marriage is not reduced to an attack on gay people. And I admit, we haven’t been too good at that. We try our darndest to make sure we’re not an anti-anybody. We’re in the defense of what God has taught us about – about marriage. And it’s one man, one woman, forever, to bring about new life. We gotta do better to try to dis – take that away from being anti-anybody.

LGBT couples and families don’t need a “skim milk” serving of love and support from Cardinal Dolan and the Catholic Church; they need religious institutions to stop pretending that LGBT people’s happiness is dictated by the rules of their churches, and to stop fighting against the basic rights all Americans deserve.

“It is dismissive and disrespectful to reduce our families to mere friendships,” said Truth Wins Out Executive Director Wayne Besen. “We want policies to protect our families, not patronizing public relations stunts that falsely portray the Roman Catholic Church as moderate on social issues.”

Cardinal Dolan is correct to note that the Church is failing to connect with people, as a majority of American Catholics view their Church and bishops as “out of touch” with society. However, the Church will make no inroads on that front by attempting to frame the same old discriminatory policies which push people away in a more “loving” way.

According to Truth Wins Out Associate Director Evan Hurst, “Americans aren’t dumb and this is not 1980. Most people have LGBT family, friends and associates, and the fact that a clear majority of Americans support equal marriage rights shows that they’ve connected the dots on this issue and no longer will be swayed by milquetoast declarations of ‘love’ and ‘support’ from institutions which work on a daily basis to deny simple equal rights to LGBT people. Cardinal Dolan doesn’t need to be nicer. He needs to get on the right side of history.”

Cardinal Dolan was one of the strongest and most vocal opponents of marriage equality in New York state, despite the fact that a majority of Catholics in that state stood on the side of fairness and equality. Statements such as his ring especially hollow with informed Americans, considering the fact that the Church has still yet to take any meaningful action to put a stop to the constant flow of sexual abuse cases perpetrated by many of their own clergy. The opinions of Dolan and other religious leaders who share his view will only become more irrelevant to the people they consider parishioners, unless they search their souls and begin to truly preach a message of inclusion for all people, clean up their own house, stop trying to adjudicate people’s love lives and support policies which benefit all American families.

Truth Wins Out is a nonprofit organization that fights anti-LGBT extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.