Archbishop Cordileone is often listed among the leading voices against legalizing gay marriage.
Next week's the nine justices of the United States Supreme Court are scheduled to hear arguments on an issue that has polarized the country in recent years.
They will hear two cases on the subject of gay marriage.
First up is California's Proposition 8 which bans same-sex marriage. The second case is the federal Defense of Marriage Act.
The federal law, known by the shorthand DOMA, defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman and therefore keeps legally married gay Americans from collecting a range of federal benefits that generally are available to married people.
Pundits on all sides of the issue have been making their case outside of the courtroom and that includes San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone.
Cordileone has often listed among the leading voices against legalizing gay marriage.
He sat down with NBC Bay Area Saturday and said he would rather be known for something he is for, which is traditional marriage, instead of being known for something that he is against.
"I am in favor of preserving traditional definition marriage in the law in order to affirm the principal that children deserve a mother and a father," Cordileone said.
He says he's misunderstood because of vocabulary, and says he has been labeled a bigot. He said he only has the label because of a consequence of something he is in favor of.
You can see a portion of the raw interview at the top of this page.
He will be among people who will be listening as the justices hear the cases Tuesday and Wednesday.
The justices might come out with rulings that are simple, clear and dramatic. Or they might opt for something narrow and legalistic. The court could strike down dozens of state laws that limit marriage to heterosexual couples, but it also could uphold gay marriage bans or say nothing meaningful about the issue at all.
Rulings are not likely before late June.