Chicago Archbishop compares efforts to advance LGBT equality to “something like the Ku Klux Klan”
Washington –The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization - is condemning remarks made by Chicago Archbishop Cardinal Francis George in which he compared advancing LGBT equality to the Ku Klux Klan. In an interview with Fox Chicago, Cardinal George said: “You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.”
“Cardinal George's horrific comparison of the LGBT movement to the Ku Klux Klan drives an unnecessary wedge between Catholics and the hierarchy,” said Dr. Sharon Groves, Director of HRC’s Religion & Faith Program. “This is a sacred time of year for many people of faith, a time when we should be creating and cherishing unity in our communities – not casting about dangerous and divisive rhetoric. As people of faith we should expect better from our leaders.”
“As a lay Catholic, I am profoundly saddened that Cardinal Francis George defiles his office by comparing our LGBT family, friends and fellow Catholics to the Ku Klux Klan,” said Anne Underwood, co-founder of Catholics for Marriage Equality. “His rhetoric rings particularly off-key coming the week before Catholics celebrate the birth of Christ. As a Catholic who responds to our historic Church teachings to stand with all marginalized people, I work for freedom and fairness for my LGBT friends. I feel dismissed and betrayed by our hierarchy, but not by our God, for whom Cardinal George did not speak.”
The Rev. Eric Lee, Executive Director for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, also is joining HRC in speaking out against Cardinal George’s remarks.
“I have spent most of my adult life engaged in the civil rights struggle for African American people who have been terrorized by racist Klan violence,” said Lee. “I am insulted by the comparison of the Klan to the current LGBT movement. When we distort the history of terror for cheap political aims, we only inflict pain on those whose lives have been scarred by the Klan.”
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.