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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 23, 2011 - Volume 39 Issue 51
Pride march will 'morph into the Klu Klux Klan,' Catholic cardinal says
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Pride march will 'morph into the Klu Klux Klan,' Catholic cardinal says

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Cardinal Francis George, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago, told Fox News that the city's Pride march could 'morph into the Ku Klux Klan' if Pride organizers went ahead with plans to march by Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church at 10 a.m. next year.

The pastor of the church said he would be forced to cancel its morning Mass if the Pride Parade passed by at that time.

Pride organizers moved up their march time to accommodate city officials who expressed concern that the previous noon start time encouraged public drunkenness and other safety hazards.

'I go with the pastor,' the cardinal told Fox News.

'He's telling us that he won't be able to have services on Sunday if that's the case. You don't want the Gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.'

When the Fox host told George his statement was 'a little strong,' the cardinal stood by his language.

'It is, but you take a look at the rhetoric,' he continued.

'The rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan, the rhetoric of some of the Gay liberation people. Who is the enemy? Who is the enemy? The Catholic Church.'

While the modern Klan has been anti-Catholic - as well as anti-Jewish - it has also been militantly anti-Gay, a fact the cardinal overlooks.

According to Chicago's LGBT newspaper, The Windy City Times, Pride organizers offered to revert to their noon start time to accommodate the church's morning Mass.

LGBT Catholic group the Rainbow Sash Movement criticized Cardinal George for promoting a double standard in pushing for the parade to start later.

'One only has the look at the Chicago Marathon, and the negative impact that race has on parishes such as Assumption Parish, St. Joseph's Parish, Immaculate Conception Parish, and St. Michael's Parish, just to name a few,' their statement read.

Other Chicago LGBT leaders said they were disappointed with the Cardinal's controversial statement on Fox.

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) called the Cardinal's choice of words 'very unfortunate ... we should all speak respectfully of each other.'

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) also weighed in on the statement, telling ChicagoPride.com, 'The Cardinal's unfortunate choice of words in comparing the LGBT community to the Klu Klux Klan is offensive. ... I would hope an apology [is] forthcoming.'

LGBT advocacy group The Civil Rights Agenda executive director Anthony Martinez told Chicago Phoenix reporters he suspected the cardinal is 'lashing out at the LGBT community over past matters and legislation that have now been resolved.'

The Roman Catholic hierarchy in Illinois opposed the state's new civil union law, and laws allowing same-sex adoption and foster parents.

The Illinois Catholic Conference has also launched a 'Defense of Marriage' department in hopes of blocking any further steps the state might take toward recognizing same-sex marriage.

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