SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Bay Area church and community leaders were delivering thousands petition signatures to San Francisco’s Catholic archbishop Tuesday, demanding that he skip an event celebrating traditional marriage later this week.

Nearly 30,000 signatures have been gathered requesting that Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone not attend the March for Marriage event in Washington, D.C., on Thursday.

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Organization for Marriage planned the rally and Cordileone is scheduled to appear as one of the speakers, along with former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

On Monday, Cordileone responded to a similar request from Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and other community leaders by reaffirming his commitment to the event.

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“The March for Marriage is not “anti-LGBT” (as some have described it); it is not anti-anyone or anti-anything. Rather, it is a pro-marriage march. The latter does not imply the former,” wrote Cordileone, who called upon opponents of his appearance to “get to know” those supporting the March for Marriage before passing judgement.

The event is described online as a march that “sends a clear message to every level of society that a majority of Americans still stand for marriage as it has been traditionally and historically defined and handed down through the centuries.

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