Actor Gary Sinise, best known for his TV role in "CSI" and playing Lt. Dan in the film "Forrest Gump," has decided to cancel his appearance at a Catholic group that held strong anti-gay views.
The Academy Award-nominated actor was going to speak at Legatus, a Catholic organization that encouraged homosexuals to "seek a cure" according to Jenn Selby of The Independent. Legatus asked him to speak at an upcoming event at the Ritz-Carlton in Florida.
"For me, faith has been a catalyst for my mission to honor the men and women who serve in our nation's military," Sinise said in a statement.
Sinise added that he initially accepted the invitation to the conference to talk about "veterans' issues" and share his story. However, he maintained that he was "unaware" of some of the conference participants' "views on personal matters."
"I don't want my mission-which is designed to be unifying-to be disrupted by these, or any controversies, and therefore have decided to withdraw," Sinise said.
Another person who has declined to attend the Legatus conference was Fox News anchor Bret Baier. According to Matt Wilstein of Mediaite, he also canceled his appearance due to the organization's strong anti-gay views.
"Bret Baier has withdrawn his participation as a speaker at the upcoming Legatus Summit due to the controversy surrounding some editorial stances in the organization's magazine," a Fox News spokesperson said. "Bret accepted the invitation to speak about his book, his faith, and his son's congenital heart disease. He was unaware of these articles or the controversy surrounding them."
However, other important people have decided to proceed with appearances at the Catholic organization's conference. According to the Legatus website on the upcoming summit, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), and Coors Chairman Peter Coors are expected to make appearances.
Legatus, which is a membership organization for high-ranking Catholic business leaders, has taken a strong stance on the issue of homosexuality. Friar John Trigilio of Legatus Magazine elaborated on the organization's views.
"It's impossible to see homosexual unions as being in line with God's intentions for marriage since the product of intercourse is not fruitful," Trigilio wrote. "Along with masturbation, fornication, and adultery, homosexuality is a selfish act that cannot fulfill the divinely ordained purpose of the reproductive powers."
Trigilio also added that "it is sinful to engage in homosexual behavior," describing same-sex attraction as a "disorder" that can lead to "culpable sin."
"Any and all human sexual activity, whether heterosexual or homosexual, outside of marriage (between one man and one woman) is considered seriously and gravely sinful," Trigilio wrote.
According to the Legatus official website, Tom Monaghan, the founder and owner of Domino's Pizza and owner of the Detroit Tigers, founded the organization after he met Pope John Paul II in 1987. Its mission was "to study, live and spread the Catholic faith in our business, professional and personal lives."
"They spread the faith through good works, good ideas, and high ethical standards," the mission statement of Legatus read.