San Francisco

Activists Stage Protest Against Archdiocese of San Francisco on International Women's Day

Local activists have staged a protest against the Archdiocese of San Francisco Sunday afternoon demanding gender equality, as the world celebrated International Women's Day.

The protesters said they are not happy with the controversial morality clause Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone is pushing. Some see that as an attack on women, so they voiced their concerns at St. Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco.

The archbishop included the clause in a new handbook and proposed its inclusion in the labor contract for teachers at four Bay Area High Schools. The clause includes language against homosexuality, same sex marriage, abortion and contraception -- issues that touch women’s lives.

At one point, the protesters and supporters of the conservative church leader clashed, making emotional arguments for each of their sides.

“We’re saying that sexuality is not immoral," protester Maya Malika said. "Abortion is not immoral. Women need to have the right to choice. Abortion or not. It’s our body.”

But some members of the church disagree with Malika.

“If teachers are unable and unwilling to teach doctrine, they are welcome to leave because if they don’t leave and don’t uphold it, then they damaging the church from within,” parish member Carolyn Ekstedt said.

The morality clause has caused quite a backlash. A petition was started opposing it. The San Francisco Board of Supervisors told the archbishop the clause is unwanted in this city, and even state lawmakers are contemplating how they can stop it.

International Women’s Day commemorates the day more than a century ago when thousands of women marched in New York city demanding shorter hours, better pay, and voting rights.

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