Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, a Catholic who is currently the junior Virginia senator, said on Saturday that he thinks the Church will eventually drop its opposition to same-sex marriage.
“I think it’s going to change because my church also teaches me about a creator who, in the first chapter of Genesis, surveyed the entire world, including mankind, and said, ‘It is very good’,” Kaine said Sept. 10, according to the Associated Press.
His comments came during his keynote address at the national dinner for Human Rights Campaign, an influential LGBT advocacy group.
Kaine cited Pope Francis’ “who am I to judge” comment, and then said: “I want to add: Who am I to challenge God for the beautiful diversity of the human family? I think we’re supposed to celebrate it, not challenge it.”
When Human Rights Campaign announced Kaine would be delivering the keynote at their national dinner, the group’s president stated that “As part of the most pro-equality presidential ticket in American history, Tim Kaine will help ensure another four years of unprecedented progress for LGBTQ equality in this country and around the world.”
Kaine is a parishioner at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in the Diocese of Richmond, but he has drawn controversy for his public policy positions. While he has said he is “personally opposed” to abortion, he received a 100 percent rating in 2016 from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the political arm of the nation’s largest abortion provider, and a perfect rating in 2015 from NARAL Pro-Choice America.
More recently, it was reported that he privately told Hillary Clinton he would support overturning the Hyde Amendment, a 40 year-old policy that prevents federal dollars from directly funding most abortions.
Just before Pope Francis’ United States visit last September, Kaine voted against bringing a 20-week abortion ban to a vote on the Senate floor.
As Governor of Virginia, Kaine also personally opposed the death penalty, but his term saw 11 executions with only one commuted death sentence.