(CNSNews.com) - The Catholic League has asked that Vice President Al Gore use his political clout in persuading "World Gay Pride 2000" organizers to reschedule or reroute their July 1-9 gathering in Rome so that it does not conflict with the Catholic Church's "Jubilee 2000" celebration.
Gore had endorsed the Roman homosexual celebration via a letter dated March 23 in which he sent his "warmest regards" to the event leaders and expressed his intent to "stand ready to ensure gay and lesbian Americans have the opportunity to participate fully in a nation and a world that is united in those goals of importance to us all."
The Jubilee event is held once every 50 or 100 years, depending on the Roman Catholic Church's preference, said Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute in New York. Holy celebrations extend for the entire year and draw the participation of millions worldwide, many of whom make pilgrimages to the Vatican to walk through one of two doors that remain locked except during times of Jubilee.
"The Pope opens two doors right in the center of Saint Peter's Basilica," Ruse said. "The two center doors are always closed except in the Jubilee. For homosexuals to have a gay pride parade then is unconscionable."
Gore Campaign 2000 officials in Nashville, TN did not return a telephone call for comment on whether the presidential candidate would withdraw his endorsement of the homosexual activist event and whether his support was dependent upon constituent approval.
Neither the Pew Research Center nor Zogby International maintained records specifying whether Gore's approval rating among the homosexual community had increased since his March endorsement. A June 1 Zobgy poll did, however, indicate Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate George W Bush led Gore by more than 50 percent in the area of morality.
"Finally, while Gore leads among those who said education and health are the top national issues, Bush leads 68 percent to 17 percent among those (respondents) who listed morality as the top issue," the Zogby poll outlined.
"Moral issues" and "family breakdown" was the category listed third as the nation's top issues, according to the poll, behind concerns related to education and the economy.
Regardless of poll statistics, Gore already has garnered the support of Human Rights Campaign, the nation's "leading gay and lesbian organization," according to William Donohue, president of The Catholic League. Donohue referred to the Campaign's activist march in Washington DC several weeks ago when Executive Director Elizabeth Birch addressed the crowd and emphasized the need to "get Gore elected."
Donohue said the homosexual activist event in Rome was purposely scheduled to coincide with the Jubilee in order to make an "in your face" statement, and it would likely commence regardless of Roman political officials' recent denial of funding.
"Rome won't give them any money, but they'll come up with their own private sources," Donohue said. "But we can at least put them on record ... that they don't practice the same degree of (tolerance)" as the New York Italians who recently rerouted their Columbus Day parade around a synagogue so that Jewish Yom Kipper participants would not be disturbed.