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Meeks: If I'm Mayor of Chicago, I'll be too busy to deprive gays of civil rights

"So, our right to basic equality would depend on his whim," said Rep. Greg Harris

Chicago, IL — State Senator and Rev. James Meeks now says that if he is elected Mayor of Chicago, he'll be too busy with issues like crime and schools to worry about oppressing gay people.

State Sen. James Meeks :: fox chicago news
State Sen. James Meeks 
credit :: fox chicago news
Meeks (D-Ill) is one of dozens of Chicago politicians publicly considering a run for mayor since Mayor Richard M. Daley announced Tuesday that he will not seek a seventh term. In a Chicago Sun-Times poll taken the next day, Meeks got 10 percent, with Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart getting 12 percent.

Meeks has refused to talk on camera since Tuesday, but he did do a phone interview with FOX Chicago News about his anti-gay politics. He said that if he's elected Mayor, he'll be too busy to deprive gay people of their civil rights.

"Now, if I were sitting around bored with nothing to do, that stuff might come up," Meeks told FOX Chicago News. "But I expect to be so busy with schools, crime and budget problems during my first term that I wouldn't have any time."

Meeks also serves as the pastor of Chicago's 22,000 member strong Salem Baptist Church where his anti-gay stance is in sharp contrast to the gay-friend Daley administration.

In 2007, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) named Meeks one of the "10 leading black religious voices in the anti-gay movement." The Illinois Family Institute, an anti-gay group, lauded Meeks in 2006 for leading African Americans in ‘clearly understanding the threat of gay marriage.' Meeks was criticized for calling homosexuality "an evil sickness."

Meeks also actively campaigned to defeat SB3186, an Illinois LGBT non-discrimination bill, while serving in the Illinois state legislature. He was the only African American in the Illinois Senate and House to vote against the bill. 

The 54-year-old Meeks is allied with Americans for Truth, a Naperville organization which the SPLC labeled as a hate group earlier this year.

"Oh, great. So, our right to basic equality would depend on his whim? That is not acceptable," openly-gay State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) told FOX Chicago News on Saturday. 

"Of the many, many names circulated to run for mayor Senator James Meeks is the most troubling," Equality Illinois public policy director Rick Garcia told ChicagoPride.com on Friday. "Meeks has been an ardent foe of equality and fairness for LGBT people."

Dart, Cook County Assessor James Houlihan, U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) are all potential candidates.

Chicago aldermen being discussed include Robert Fioretti (2nd), Sandi Jackson(7th), Thomas Allen (38th), Scott Waguespack (32nd), Pat O' Connor (40th), Brendan Reilly (42nd) and openly-gay Tom Tunney (44th) who serves the Lakeview neighborhood including Boystown and Wrigleyville. 

The election filing deadline is December 13.
 
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Does'nt Meeks live in South Holland, which means he is not even eleible to run for the mayor of Chicago?
Posted by tab6677 on Sat, 9/11/2010 11:20 PM
I guess Target will be donating to his campaign!
Posted by tjwdraws on Sun, 9/12/2010 7:11 AM
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'dont get me wrong depriving gays of their civil rights is still on the to do list. i just have a few more pressing items to take care of.'
Posted by tjwdraws on Sun, 9/12/2010 7:30 AM
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And when he's NOT so busy???
Posted by pridebert57 on Sun, 9/12/2010 9:07 AM
...when is a politician lying? When his lips move!...and when he says that he that won't "have time" to opress gays...
Posted by Guytano995 on Sun, 9/12/2010 10:06 AM
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Even *IF* Meeks doesn't spend time opressing gays, one has to worry about the many opportunities to support the gay community which will be missed...
Posted by Guytano995 on Sun, 9/12/2010 10:16 AM
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"If I'm elected mayor, I'll be too busy to oppress Blacks, Mexicans"..that's how stupid you sound MEEKS. I'll be damned if you become mayor.
Posted by Guytano995 on Sun, 9/12/2010 10:19 AM
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I'm sure he can oppress gays in his spare time, as a relaxing hobby.
Posted by Guytano995 on Sun, 9/12/2010 1:54 PM
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Absolutley not!!!! Do not vote this man into office. He's a box of rocks.
Posted by Guytano995 on Sun, 9/12/2010 2:24 PM
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NOT!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Guytano995 on Sun, 9/12/2010 3:40 PM
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Morgan Stanley
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