Outrageous Catholic Cardinal Says Gay Rights Parade 'Invited an Obvious Comparison' to KKK

Catholic Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has compared a gay rights march to KKK tactics, and despite backlash from LGBT groups, he is not letting up. Earlier this month, George said he agreed with a local Roman Catholic church's objections to a re-routed Gay Pride Parade that would pass by the church, absurdly suggesting that the parade could "morph into the KKK.

Since George's initial remarks, representatives of the parade and the church have “reached an agreement" allowing the parade to start to at noon and better accommodate church services. But George was not appeased. After appearing to withdraw, or downplay, the statement, George defended his gay-KKK comparison, and even expanded on it.   The most ludicrous part of his defense may be that "the [LGBT] organizers invited an obvious comparison to other groups who have historically attempted to stifle the religious freedom fo the Catholic Church," as if a group peacefully marching past an institution that has launched an attack on its Civil Rights is anything like a group that led threatening parades past an institution whose members marchers had violently attacked. 

In a written statement, George stood by his offensive reference:

“The Chicago Gay Pride Parade has been organized and attended for many years without interfering with the worship of God in a Catholic church,” George wrote. “When the 2012 Parade organizers announced a time and route change this year, it was apparent that the Parade would interfere with divine worship in a Catholic parish on the new route. When the pastor’s request for reconsideration of the plans was ignored, the organizers invited an obvious comparison to other groups who have historically attempted to stifle the religious freedom of the Catholic Church. 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."

“It is terribly wrong and sinful that gays and lesbians have been harassed and subjected to psychological and even physical harm. These tragedies can be addressed, however, without disturbing the organized and orderly public worship of God in a country that claims to be free. I am grateful that all parties concerned resolved this problem by moving the Parade’s start time so as not to conflict with the celebration of Mass that Sunday.”

Equally Blessed, a coalition of pro-LGBT Catholics, said the Cardinal “has demeaned and demonized LGBT people in a manner unworthy of his office” and Truth Wins Out, a non-profit group that fights anti-gay religious extremism, is buying a full page ad in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune to demand George to step down. 

Change.org also hasa petition calling for George’s resignation.

AlterNet / By Kristen Gwynne

Posted at December 30, 2011, 6:26am

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