An anti-gay Catholic Archbishop has claimed that homophobia doesn’t count as “truly unjust discrimination” because it is based on “sexual behaviour”.

The Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has come under increased scrutiny after speaking at the National Organisation for Marriage’s failed ‘March for Marriage’ rally in June.

It was reported last month that he is part of the secret Princeton Group, an anti-gay lobbying network which claims to be “developing and deploying an action plan to protect marriage and preserve religious liberties”.

This week Cordileone attacked President Barack Obama’s plans to sign an executive order similar to the stalled Employment Non-Discrimination Act, banning homophobic discrimination.

The Archbishop wrote: “Instead of protecting persons, ENDA uses the force of the law to coerce everyone to accept a deeply problematic understanding of human sexuality and sexual behaviour and to condone such behaviour.

“The current proposed ENDA legislation is not about protecting persons, but behaviour. Churches, businesses and individuals should not be punished in any way for living by their religious and moral convictions concerning sexual activity.

“Eliminating truly unjust discrimination – based on personal characteristics, not sexual behaviour – and protecting religious freedom are goals that we all should share.”

Last year, Cordileone claimed that same-sex marriage “is like legalising male breastfeeding”.