San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone took part in a March for Marriage rally Thursday in Washington, DC, despite objections from Bay Area Catholics and local leaders.
Opponents of same-sex marriage held the rally outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, with some speakers suggesting civil disobedience to protest laws related to the continuing spread of gay marriage.
Hundreds rallied before marching to the Supreme Court.
Cordileone, along with former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and the Rev. Bill Owens of the Coalition of African-American Pastors, were among the speakers at this year's event.
Mike Huckabee says federal and state judges had exceeded their powers in recent rulings striking down state bans on gay marriage. He says "there's a time to stand up against laws that have become unjust."
“Have you seen any hate here?” Cordileone asked a reporter on Thursday. “I’ve only heard messages of love.”
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, and state Senator Mark Leno sent Cordileone letters, urging him not to attend.
Over 30,000 people signed a petition asking the Cordileone not to go.
"We're not asking him to totally change his mind," Rev. Dawn Roginski said Tuesday. "We're just asking that perhaps he would not attend a group that was really hateful."
The crowd appeared to number between 1,000 and 2,000; there was no official estimate.
The rally was sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage.