FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Wayne Besen, Executive Director
More than 4,000 People Have Already Signed TWO’s Petition Urging George to Step Down For Comparing LGBT Community to Ku Klux Klan
CHICAGO – Truth Wins Out stepped up its campaign calling on Chicago Archbishop Cardinal Francis George to resign today by placing a full-page ad in this upcoming Sunday’s Chicago Tribune. The ad is headlined, “Hey, Cardinal Francis George, Gay is not like the KKK,” and slams the Cardinal for foolishly comparing the LGBT community to the Ku Klux Klan. It satirically includes a picture of a rainbow-robed Klansman and debunks the lies and misinformation disseminated by the Archbishop about the LGBT community. The ad comes as an online TWO petition calling on George to step down has reached more than 4,000 signatures.
“We felt compelled to place this ad after Cardinal George compounded his initial smear with further insults disguised as an apology,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen. “It seems the sin of pride is keeping George from saying he is sorry for his outrageous and misleading remarks about Gay Pride. At this point, the only road to redemption is his resignation.”
George’s offensive remarks first came during a dispute over the scheduled starting time of the annual gay pride parade in June. The event was originally set to begin at 10am, but a priest bitterly complained that the starting time would interfere with morning services. In an interview with Fox News in Chicago, Cardinal George said: “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.”
Instead of backtracking this week, George tried to rationalize his below the belt smear with an offensive statement from the Archdiocese: “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.”
“This is not a legitimate fight over religious liberty as George wrongly implies, but a vivid example of religious bigotry fueled by a mean-spirited analogy that linked innocent, law abiding families with the KKK,” said Besen. “We will stand up against such lies and speak out when LGBT people are unfairly maligned.”
Earlier in the year, TWO launched a 160,000-signature Change.org petition that helped persuade Apple, Inc. to eliminate an “ex-gay” iPhone app by the group Exodus International.
Truth Wins Out (TWO) is a nonprofit that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism. TWO specializes in turning information into action by organizing, advocating and fighting for LGBT equality.