San Francisco’s supervisors are prolific resolution makers. And their symbolic stances on some issues, like the war in Iraq, have attracted criticism — particularly from the other side of the ideological spectrum. But rarely do the supes have to endure more than verbal jabs.
One resolution they passed in March, though, could hit the city’s purse. An offended Catholic-rights group has upped the ante with a federal lawsuit, in which the plaintiffs — two local residents as well as the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, which claims 6,000 San Francisco members — want a judge to declare that one of the city’s proclamations violated the federal Constitution’s Establishment Clause.
“This is not something where an apology would suffice, in this situation. Not that they’re offering one,” said Kiera McCaffrey, director of communications for the Catholic League.
The two-page resolution in question arose after a cardinal at the Vatican told the San Francisco archdiocese that children shouldn’t be placed for adoption in gay households, something a local charitable arm of the church here had occasionally done. The city’s 11 supervisors passed a resolution urging the Vatican to allow such adoptions at Catholic Charities, encouraging the local archbishop to “defy all discriminatory directives” from the Vatican, and calling statements that had been made by the cardinal and the Vatican “unacceptable to the citizenry of San Francisco,” as well as hateful, discriminatory, insulting, callous, insensitive and ignorant.