House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that her Catholic faith "compels" her to support same-sex marriage, echoing President Barack Obama's similar statement earlier in the week, when he said his Protestant religion compels him to follow the Golden Rule to "treat others the way you'd want to be treated."
During her weekly Capitol press briefing, Pelosi congratulated President Obama on his May 9 official decision to support same sex marriage, calling it a "great day for America," and adding that she too feels the issue of same-sex marriage is an issue of anti-discrimination and equality for all.
"My religion has, compels me – and I love it for it – to be against discrimination of any kind in our country, and I consider this a form of discrimination. I think it's unconstitutional on top of that," Pelosi said.
The House Minority Leader added that she hopes Obama's announcement will help to unite Americans on the issue of same-sex marriage.
"It's a matter of time, it's all a matter of time," Pelosi said. "On these issues, what is inevitable to some of us is inconceivable to others. What we want to do is shorten the difference between the inevitable and the inconceivable and I think the president went a long way in doing that yesterday," she said.
On May 9, President Barack Obama said in an ABC interview with Robin Roberts that he officially supports same-sex marriage. He used his Protestant faith and his respect for the Golden Rule as among the reasons why he decided to throw his support behind same-sex couples getting married.
"In the end, the values that I care most deeply about, and she (Michelle Obama) cares most deeply about is how we treat other people. We're both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but when we think about our faith the thing at root that we think about is not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf but it's also the Golden Rule – treat others the way you'd want to be treated," Obama said, as previously reported by The Christian Post.
A recent Gallup poll finds that 51 percent of Catholics approve of the legalization of gay marriage, while only 38 percent of Protestants feel the same.
Prominent Christian leaders are rebuking Obama's claims, arguing that although Jesus does speak of the Golden Rule in the Bible, this does not overshadow or cancel out Jesus's clear definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman.
"The Golden Rule is in the Bible but it cannot be used to contradict God's marriage pattern reaffirmed by Jesus in Matthew 19:4-5," the Rev. Joel Hunter of Northland church, who is often referred to as Obama's spiritual adviser, told The Christian Post.
Similarly, Monseigneur Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington said in a recent blog post that Obama is practicing heresy as he is picking and choosing which Christian beliefs he chooses to abide by (the Golden Rule) and which ones he chooses to dismiss (homosexuality as sin).
"For the same Scripture which says, God is love, also contains these teachings forbidding extra-marital sex and a host of other moral teachings. The Biblical record sees no essential conflict in saying both 'God is love' and 'Fornication, Adultery, and Homosexual acts are sinfully wrong,'" Pope wrote in the Archdiocese of Washington blog.
"Thus neither should we have a problem. Orthodoxy says 'both.' Heresy says, 'there is tension here and I am going to resolve it by picking the concept I like and excluding the other,'" he added.
Although critics contend Pelosi's statement is somewhat expected as she tends to lean left on the social agenda, many argue that Obama's stance could prove pivotal in the eventual nationwide legalization and acceptance of same-sex marriage.