Salvatore Cordileone

Archbishop of San Francisco

—Known as “father of Proposition 8” for his outsized role in that fight.

Says, “The clear biological fact is that a human being is born either male or female....Yet now we have the idea gaining acceptance that biological sex and one’s personal gender identity can be at variance with each other, with more and more gender identities being invented.”

Advocated for the so-called “First Amendment Defense Act,” which would allow business owners and providers to cite religion as an acceptable reason to deny goods and services to LGBTQ people.

Cited homosexuality as one of the “living reflections of hell” on America’s streets: “And even in our own city of St. Francis, we see … the celebration and even exaltation of the vulgar and the blasphemous, mocking God’s beautiful plan in how He created us, in our very bodies, for communion with one another and Himself.... God is roundly mocked in our very streets, and it is met with approval and applause in our community—and yet, we remain silent.”

—Insists that homosexuality necessitates “behaviors and lifestyles that so often lead to self-destruction.”

—At National Organization for Marriage event in California in 2007, advocated for “support groups for people with same-sex attraction to support them in living a healthy and virtuous life so that they might avoid behaviors that so often end in self-destruction.” (begins at 1:09)

—On gay people and their supposed need to get help: “We love them too much to tell them a lie. But, rather, we love you so much that we are going to try to affirm you living in the way that God intended you to live; to affirm you in friendship, and especially try to encourage joining a support group.”

—Says of marriage equality: “the ultimate attack of the Evil One is the attack on marriage.

—Speaking on marriage equality (in this case in Minnesota), insisted that “sexual relationships outside of the marital context of husband and wife...are actually harmful to individuals and to society as a whole.”

—Opposes employment protections for LGBTQ people, stating in a joint letter that “homosexual conduct has no claim to any special protection by the state.”

—Insists that legalizing same-sex marriage is akin to legalizing male-breastfeeding.

—Opposes civil unions, saying it “promotes the crossing of moral boundaries“: Bishop Cordileone reaffirmed the remarks of Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, who after the civil union vote indicated that “a civil union can never be accepted as a legitimate alternative to holy matrimony” because it promotes an unacceptable lifestyle, undermines marriage, and causes confusion and scandal. “As pointed out by Bishop Tobin,” Bishop Cordileone said, “the legalization of civil unions in Rhode Island further erodes marriage’s unique status and meaning and promotes the crossing of moral boundaries. In no way can civil union measures be considered a permissible compromise or a step in advancing the common good; instead, they directly violate principles of justice and accelerate the push to redefine marriage itself.”

—Openly endorsed a piece of legislation that would ban same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution.


The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.