WASHINGTON (CNN) - New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd, both Catholics and Democratic presidential candidates, defended their positions on abortion and civil unions for gay couples to CNN's Paula Zahn in a special program on faith and politics Monday night.
The Catholic Church is adamantly against abortion, but Richardson said that despite his pro-choice stance, he is a good Catholic and is "comfortable with that decision."
"I believe this is a matter between a woman and her God," Richardson said. "It's not a matter for politicians to decide. I respect the leadership of the Pope and my archbishop, who disagrees with me. But I think he is tolerant of my view, as long as I continue to - to advance policies of social justice as a human being."
Richardson said he did not think homosexuality was a sin and he believed in civil unions for gay couples.
Dodd said that he believes abortion should be "rare, safe, and legal." But even though he is a Catholic, as a senator, he said it's his obligation to "uphold what the law of the land is." And on civil unions for gay couples, he said that if either of his two young daughters turned out to be homosexual, he would want them to be treated equally.
"I don't necessarily believe in the long run that that's an act of faith and morals, in a sense," Dodd said. "I think it's a question of how you treat people. How should people be accepted or not accepted? And I don't think my faith believes that people ought to be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation."
– CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich