The truth: Traditional family life cannot survive in a culture seeking to force normalization and moral approbation of homosexual behavior.
The reason: Homosexual behavior is wrong. It violates the natural law. To say two men or two women can marry one another is like saying two plus two is five: It is not the way God made things. To tell people, including children, that they must assent to the government claiming that two men or two women can marry one another is like telling them they must assent to the government telling them two plus two is five.
When a society insists that everyone must assent to the proposition that homosexual behavior is right and good and that everyone must recognize same-sex marriages are right and good, and everyone must assent to the right of same-sex couples to take custody of children who they could never, by nature, conceive, that society has declared war on the natural moral law that the Founding Fathers of this country and the founding fathers of San Francisco correctly understood to be the foundation of true human freedom.
This is not to say homosexuals should not be treated with charity. But their freedom, too, depends on society's fidelity to the truth.
Mission Dolores still stands today, but the church that built her stands forever.
And last week, Pope Benedict XVI sent a new pioneer to that frontier to stand in her defense.
His name is Salvatore J. Cordileone. He is a native Californian and a doctor of canon law, who now serves as bishop of Oakland and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Subcommittee on the Defense and Promotion of Marriage. On Oct. 4, he will become the new archbishop of San Francisco.
Cordileone's record shows him to be man of compassion, conviction and courage.
"In places where marriage's core meaning has been altered through legal action, officials are beginning to target for punishment those believers and churches that refuse to adapt," he said in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee last November. "Any nonconforming conduct and even expressions of disagreement, based simply on support for marriage as understood since time immemorial, are wrongly being treated as if they harmed society, and somehow constituted a form of evil equal to racism."
Involvement in the marriage issue, he said in a speech in May, led him to see "the erosion of the rights of religious institutions to serve the broader community in accord with their moral principles precisely because of this issue, as well the rights of individuals to have their freedom of conscience respected.
"When I saw what was happening and my eyes were opened," he said, "it made me fear that we could be starting to move in the direction of license and despotism."
The pope has struck a blow for freedom by sending this man to San Francisco.