(CNSNews.com) - With "World Pride 2000," an international gathering of homosexuals in Rome, underway this week, Vice President and presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Al Gore, a supporter of the celebration in Italy, has told the Catholic League that he urges 'tolerance' of homosexuals.
On June 1, Catholic League president William Donohue, in a letter to Gore, asked him to support the Vatican's request that the World Pride 2000 march in Rome, scheduled for this Saturday, either be postponed or moved to another location so as not to interfere with the Roman Catholic Church's "Jubilee 2000" celebration.
Donohue told Gore in the letter that leaders of the World Pride 2000 event said they chose Rome as the venue for their homosexual celebration so they could offend the Vatican.
Gore responded to Donohue's letter on July 3 by saying that he respected the Catholic League for its work against intolerance and "all organizations that are committed to ridding our society of bias and prejudice.
"This is one issue where I will be unable to help," Gore stated. He went on to say, "I believe that the larger issue is one of tolerance. Just as I will stand by you whenever you are working to fight intolerance on religious grounds, I also believe we need to be tolerant when it comes to sexual orientation as well."
In response to Gore's fax received on Monday, Donohue said, "My letter to the vice president was occasioned by the expressed intolerance of Roman Catholicism by the leaders of the World Gay Pride march, and he writes back saying 'the larger issue here is one of tolerance' for sexual orientation!
"This is precisely the kind of spin that is deeply insulting," Donohue said. "So wedded is Gore to the politics of the radical gay agenda that he never bothered to comment on what Imma Battaglia, the principal organizer of the event, said of the pope; in the news release that accompanied my letter to Gore, Battaglia was quoted as saying, 'F--- you' to the pope."
According to Donohue, "Gore's letter demonstrates how selective his commitment to tolerance really is. If only his professed interest in combating gay bashing were matched by his interest in combating Catholic bashing, then there would be no issue."
"But his letter to me," Donohue said, "speaks volumes about both his ethics and his politics, and on both counts he bombs with Catholics."
World Pride 2000 began July 1 and will conclude it weeklong celebration in Rome on July 8. Organizers expect 200,000 people to participate in the full program of "cultural" and "advocacy" activities, including the culminating march this Saturday.
CNSNews.com senior staff writer Justin Torres is in Rome this week and will be filing a series of reports on the homosexual "World Pride 2000" celebration and any conflict it may have with the Vatican's "Jubilee 2000."