Chicago activists prepare for Catholic Church picket


Organizers planning the protest outside Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral on Jan. 8 say Cardinal Francis George is a “serial opponent” of LGBT equality.

George recently compared LGBT civil rights activists to the Ku Klux Klan, a right-wing hate group. He issued an apology on Jan. 6 that prompted some organizers to cancel their involvement in the demonstration, but others plan to carry on.

The demonstration, planned as a peaceful picket according to organizers, will take place at noon on Sunday at Holy Name, 735 N. State St., Chicago.

The initial statement released by the Gay Liberation Network said, “George has embraced the worst of the Vatican’s Medieval mindset.”

The statement went on to state that the cardinal is “plumbing the depths of anti-gay bigotry comes at a time when many lay Catholics and other people of faith are moving in a positive direction. For example, a majority of lay Catholics in the U.S. support marriage equality for same-sex couples – a higher percentage than the population as a whole.

“But in a desperate attempt to hold onto his flock, George is scapegoating LGBTs – pro-equality activists – by comparing us to the worst of America’s opponents of equality.

“It is ironic that George chooses the comparison to the KKK, as they are but the most extreme example of a group which has used religion to try to shield themselves from criticism of their backward views. While certainly not of the same caliber of hatefulness as the KKK, George himself also hides behind religion as a shield against those who criticize his discriminatory attitudes against women and LGBTs.

“For his lack of judgment in making the irresponsible charge, and immaturity in being too proud to undo his error, it is time for Cardinal George to resign.

“It is also time for those who oppose his hatefulness to stand up and be counted. Please join us in a peaceful picket of at George’s premiere cathedral to demand that he end his irresponsible leadership of the archdiocese and resign.”