For years we have been noting how Rev. Samuel Rodriguez has somehow managed to craft a reputation as a moderate and nonpartisan religious leader while simultaneously serving as a leading anti-gay Religious Right activist.
Nothing better illustrates this duality than the fact that Rodriguez was among those who have signed the right-wing pledge never to accept any Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage and today announced that the board of his organization, the National Hispanic Leadership Council, has unanimously signed it as well:
Today, the board of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Counsel-CONEL [sic] unanimously voted to sign the Marriage Pledge. NHCLC-CONEL represents 40,118 Evangelical Hispanic churches in America and about 500,000 in Latin America and Spain. The unanimous vote occurred at the board meeting in Houston while the Supreme Court was hearing oral arguments on the marriage case. NHCLC-CONEL’s board is comprised of 140 members.
NHCLC-CONEL is headed by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez. CNN, Fox News, NBC/Telemundo, Time magazine, and The Wall Street Journal have identified Rodriguez as one of the most influential Hispanic evangelical leaders in America.
Elsewhere today, Rodriguez was quoted in a Time magazine piece saying that he does not think that conservatives will react to such a Supreme Court ruling by demanding that it be overturned:
A longtime opponent of same-sex marriage, Pastor Samuel Rodriguez gave a benediction at the last Republican National Convention, sits on the executive board of the National Association of Evangelicals and will host two likely presidential candidates, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee, at a gathering of 1,000 Hispanic leaders in Texas on Wednesday.
But if you ask the founder of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference how Republicans should react if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to legalize gay marriage nationwide this year, he doesn’t toe a very hard line. “The Republican position will not be, ‘We will fight arduously to turn back what the Supreme Court has ruled,’ ” he said. “I don’t think you will hear that at all, as a matter of fact.”
Rodriguez and his organization have both signed on to a pledge vowing never to accept such a ruling because “redefining marriage is so fundamental to the natural order and the common good that this is the line we must draw and one we cannot and will not cross” while, at the same time, he is telling Time that fighting against the legalization of gay marriage will not really be an important issue for conservatives.