Campaign calling on Cardinal George to resign steps up with full-page Tribune ad

Fri. December 30, 2011 9:09 AM by News Staff

Chicago, IL - A national gay rights advocacy group stepped up its campaign calling on Chicago Cardinal Francis George, the head of the Catholic Conference of Illinois and the Archbishop of Chicago, to resign by placing a full-page ad in this upcoming Sunday's Chicago Tribune.

The ad paid for by Truth Wins Out (TWO) is headlined, "Hey, Cardinal Francis George, Gay is not like the KKK" and slams the Cardinal for comparing the LGBT community to the Ku Klux Klan.

"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 controversial remarks first came during an interview with Fox Chicago News last week. Questioned about a change to the Chicago gay pride parade, 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."

The Cardinal further stoked the controversy Tuesday by again asserting his KKK analogy in a statement posted on the Archdiocese of Chicago website.

"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," said George.

The ad comes as an online petition created by TWO calling on George to step down has reached more than 4,500 signatures.

TWO is not the first gay rights group to call for the Cardinal's resignation. Rainbow Sash Movement, The Civil Rights Agenda and Windy City Times publisher and executive editor Tracy Baim have also joined The Call for George to resign.

Baim called the Cardinal's comments "vile."

Calls by to the Archdiocese of Chicago have not been returned.