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Cardinal’s "Gay = KKK" Comment Sparks Street Protest

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Wednesday Jan 11, 2012

Even though Chicago Cardinal Francis George apologized for the comments he made in December for linking gays to the Ku Klux Klan, it did not satisfy some gay rights activists as they protested outside Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago last weekend, reported the Chicago Tribune in a Jan. 9 article.

"It is totally inadequate," Andy Thayer, co-founder of the Gay Liberation Network, said about George's apology on the archdiocese's website. "When it came time to issue an apology he chose the most passive manner to do it. ... I would say it to his face."

In late December, EDGE reported that George went on Chicago's Fox News station and complained about the 2012 Chicago Gay Pride Parade, which would pass by Our Lady of Mount Carmel on West Belmont Street due to a change in the parade's route.

"You know, you don't want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism," George said. "So I think if that's what's happening, and I don't know that it is, but I would respect the local pastor's, you know, position on that."

A few days after making the anti-gay comments, George defended his remarks in a statement, EDGE noted in a Dec. 2011, posting.

"The organizers invited an obvious comparison to other groups who have historically attempted to stifle the religious freedom of the Catholic Church," George said.

"One such organization is the Ku Klux Klan which, well into the 1940's, paraded through American cities not only to interfere with Catholic worship but also to demonstrate that Catholics stand outside of the American consensus. It is not a precedent anyone should want to emulate."

The statement goes on to say that even though the LGBT community has been "harassed and subjected to psychological and even physical harm," the pride parade can be held without interfering with the "orderly public worship of God in a country that claims to be free."

Despite this, George officially apologized in a Chicago Tribune interview and said he is "truly sorry for the hurt my remarks have caused", the Associated Press reported on Jan. 9.

The cardinal added that he has LGBT members in his own family and said that his comments "evidently wounded a good number of people. I am sorry for the hurt."

Some gay rights groups, however, accepted George's apology and backed out of the planned protest.

"We asked for an apology, and we got an apology," said Joe Murray, executive director of the Rainbow Sash Movement, a Catholic LGBT organization who believe they should receive Holy Communion. "From our perspective, it was a heartfelt apology."


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