LGBT protest planned against Cardinal George at Holy Name Cathedral, Feb. 12

Thu. January 26, 2012 12:16 PM by News Staff

LGBT rights groups say Cardinal falsely pits LGBT rights against “Liberty of the Catholic Church”

Chicago, IL - Four prominent gay rights organizations are calling on Chicago's LGBT community and allies to join in the "Freedom to Marry Day" protest against Cardinal Francis George and what they call his "continuing campaign against LGBT rights."

The annual protest, which is timed to coincide with Valentine's Day, was initiated by Chicago's Gay Liberation Network a decade ago. This year the demonstration will take place at 10:30 a.m., Sunday, Feb. 12 in front of Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State Street.

GLN and Dignity Chicago said that they have included Cardinal George in this year's protest because of his opposition to the advancement for LGBT rights in Chicago and across Illinois.

George and the Catholic church opposed the Illinois Civil Unions Act, which was signed into law last year. As head of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, George directed money to be spent backing the anti-gay referendums in California and Maine.

GLN also noted Cardinal George's controversial comparison of the LGBT community to the Ku Klux Klan and what they called his "weak" apology as added reason to protest the Cardinal.

George, the head of the Catholic Conference of Illinois and the Archbishop of Chicago, first made the controversial comparison on Dec. 21 in an interview with Fox Chicago News. The Cardinal then repeated the comparison before he later issued an apology on Jan. 6 amid a firestorm of local and national criticism.

At that time, GLN called Cardinal George's apology "pathetically inadequate."

The LGBT Catholic group Rainbow Sash Movement (RSM) has endorsed the protest and Equality Illinois, the state's oldest and largest LGBT advocacy group, has agreed to publicize the information on their social media channels.

In a released statement GLN said, "It is the hierarchy of the church that is out of step with the membership for which they falsely claim to speak."

For that reason, GLN is calling on Catholics and others to unite in opposition on Sunday, Feb. 12.