The Archdiocese of New York has invited President Obama and Mitt Romney to speak at a charity dinner in October, despite the fact that the Archdiocese is one of 40 Catholic organizations suing the administration over its stance n contraception, USA Today reports.
The Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner on Oct. 18 is a traditional stop for candidates on the campaign trail, but the political climate could make this year's event awkward for Cardinal Timothy Dolan. An online petition has begun, urging Dolan to withdraw his invitation to Obama. As of Wednesday, more than 1,200 people signed it.
The suit challenges the administration's mandate requiring employers to provide contraception through their health plans. Dolan has also been critical of Obama's support for same-sex marriage.
In 1996, Presidential Bill Clinton was not invited to speak because of his support of abortion rights. In 2004, John Kerry was also not invited.
Obama and Romney have both accepted their invitations.