WASHINGTON (KCBS) — The Roman Catholic archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, joined opponents of same-sex marriage at a rally outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington Thursday, ignoring the pleas of San Francisco officials and same-sex marriage supporters for Cordileone to skip the invitation.

Despite requests from prominent California lawmakers not to go to Washington, D.C., Cordileone was a featured speaker at the rally. Other speakers at the event included former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, and the Rev. Bill Owens of the Coalition of African American Pastors.

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Archbishop Cordileone had been under increased pressure in recent weeks to not take part in the event, put on in part by the Family Research Council, which has historically condemned same-sex marriage and gay rights.

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Cordileone, who was a big fundraiser and campaigner for Proposition 8, never mentioned same-sex marriage or homosexuality in his speech, but instead focused on upholding the family.

“Every child comes from a man and a woman. Every child has a right, a natural human right, to know and be known by, to love and be loved by their own mother and father,” he said. “This is the great public good that marriage orients us toward. The question then is, does society need an institution that unites children to the mothers and fathers who bring them into the world, or doesn’t it?”

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San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi all signed letters urging Archbishop Cordileone not to attend, saying it was organized by some of the nation’s most fervent anti-gay organizations.