Deacon John Azalli and Father Dennis Couture of the Saints Sergius and Bacchus Catholic Church march in the fourth annual 'Inclusive St. Patrick's Day Parade' March 2, 2003 in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo: Monika Graff/Getty Images)
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Cardinal Timothy Dolan: Roman Catholic Church 'outmarketed' on gay marriage issue

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NEW YORK (AP) -- New York's Cardinal Timothy Dolan says the Roman Catholic Church has been "outmarketed" on the issue of gay marriage and has been "caricatured as being anti-gay."

Dolan discussed the church's positions opposing same-sex marriage and abortion in an interview with "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory that will air Sunday on NBC.

Gregory noted that Illinois just became the latest U.S. state to legalize gay marriage and asked, "Regardless of the church teachings, do you think this is evolving in such a way that it's ultimately going to be legal everywhere?"

Or, he asked, will there be "a backlash" against gay marriage?

"I think I'd be a Pollyanna to say that there doesn't seem to be kind of a stampede to do this," Dolan said. "I regret that."

Asked why the church is losing the argument on gay marriage, Dolan responded, "Well, I think maybe we've been outmarketed sometimes. We've been caricatured as being anti-gay."

He said the church supports "traditional marriage and is not "anti-anybody," adding, "When you have forces like Hollywood, when you have forces like politicians, when you have forces like some opinion-molders that are behind it, it's a tough battle."

But, he said the church will not give up on the gay marriage issue.

On another divisive issue, Dolan said the Catholic Church has long championed comprehensive health care, but he said U.S. Catholic bishops cannot support the Affordable Care Act as long as it includes coverage for abortion.

He said the bishops started "bristling" at the legislation pushed by President Barack Obama because "it's excluding the undocumented immigrant and it's excluding the unborn baby."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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