To the Editor,
The presenting of the San Francisco city seal by Police Commissioner Joe Veronese-Alioto to homophobic Archbishop (now Cardinal) William Levada is a grave insult to LGBT people everywhere.
Not only has Levada attacked queers by opposing adoption by queer couples, but he is part of a church that for two thousand years has oppressed and even slaughtered us. In fact, the term “faggot” comes from that tradition: It was literally a bundle of human sticks (gay men) that were used as kindling for the fire that burned the witches.
For Veronese-Alioto to say “We now have a friend in the Vatican who understands San Francisco’s values” is nonsense. If Levada understood San Francisco values, he would support adoption by gay couples. He would be helping Catholic LGBT teens deal with being proud of who they are. He would be fighting homophobia within his church.
Unfortunately, I was raised Catholic. I will never forget the incredible pain the church’s teachings caused me after I realized I was queer. For years I struggled against suicidal feelings (even once cutting my wrists with a razor blade) until I just simply broke away from it all. I am now an out and proud atheist.
Veronese-Alioto would do well to speak with some of us who have gone through the pain of being queer in a church that at best would like to see us dead and at worst struggling all our lives against our natural and very beautiful human feelings.
Cardinal Levada does not deserve the seal of San Francisco.
Tommi Avicolli Mecca San Francisco
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