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Rahm Emanuel's Inclusion of Anti-Gay Minister in Transition Team Troubles LGBT Advocates


Chicago Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel has selected his transition team and it includes no gay people, which LGBT rights groups noted but said did not trouble them. What did trouble them, however, was the inclusion of Rev. Byron Brazier, pastor of the Apostolic Church of God.

The Windy City Times reports:

Bernard Cherkasov, chief executive director of Equality Illinois, indicated the lack of LGBT representation in Emanuel's transition team should not be a cause for alarm for the community. His organization's PAC joined a large coalition of LGBT community leaders in endorsing Emanuel's mayoral campaign last month.

"We look forward to working with the team of co-chairs to help identify the priorities for the city of Chicago, including the priorities of the LGBT community, and figure out a path to addressing them as soon as the mayor is in office," Cherkasov said.

Brazier's presence on the transition team is an eyebrow-raising choice, however. Brazier's father and the previous pastor of the Apostolic Church of God, the late Bishop Arthur, supported the Federal Marriage Amendment. Additionally, the church is affiliated with the Pentecostal movement, which generally condemns homosexuality as sinful. At press time, Brazier had not return Windy City Times' request for an interview.

Rev. Irene Monroe, coordinator of the African American Roundtable of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at the Pacific School of Religion, said Emanuel's selection of Brazier while not including any LGBT co-chairs was an intentional, and troubling, choice.

"It is a great concern," Monroe said. "Why that particular church when there are so many progressive churches he can choose from?

Monroe added that the inclusion of Brazier reminded her of Obama's inclusion of anti-gay leaders in his team: "I think what bothers me most about that is that progressives like Rahm and Obama don't mind taking LGBT money for their campaigns and don't mind our vote, but when it comes to full-throated advocacy, they invariably either let us down or leave us waiting like this time is never the right time for them to hit these particular issues."

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  1. How could this possibly surprise anyone?

    Posted by: justme | Mar 3, 2011 10:34:31 AM

  2. Emanuel is an ahole and everybody knows it. How did he get elected mayor Chicago? The DOJ and the UN should have overseen the Chicago elections to keep corruption at a minimum.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 3, 2011 10:36:15 AM

  3. Chicagoans voted for Mr. Emanuel, and a number of gay groups were staunch advocates, DESPITE his record with the Obama White House. You reap what you sow, boys and girl. You voted for him; now enjoy him.

    Posted by: Keppler | Mar 3, 2011 10:41:32 AM

  4. Justme is absolutely correct. This is the idiot who got Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre to call themselves Democrats and run in North Carolina. We might as well have elected Goering and Himmler for the job. He is a sociopath.

    Posted by: candideinnc | Mar 3, 2011 10:42:05 AM

  5. justme

    sad LOL, exactly

    rahm is a huge traingulating neo liberal triangulating conservedem whore

    he will do anything to get elected

    Posted by: | Mar 3, 2011 10:44:12 AM

  6. Intentional choice? Maybe, maybe not. A choice that proves he doesn't give a damn about our community? Yes. No different than in the WH where he was one of the main puppet-master in trying to avoid LGBT advocacy at all costs. He at the very least has no regard towards us, so this is no surprise whatsoever.

    Posted by: Francis | Mar 3, 2011 10:44:54 AM

  7. Agree with everyone. Chicago gays only have themselves to blame.

    Not sure what Monroe is on about though-there is a different between having to working with anti-gay pastors as the PRESIDENT of the USA and what Emmanuel is doing as Mayor of a city. Dumb and lazy comparison.

    Lastly, everyone knows that it was Rahm that made sure Obama did NOTHING on gay rights in tghe first two years and as soon as he leaves? We get DADT and a push to repeal DOMA.

    This would NEVER have happened on Rahm's watch. The guy is a thug.

    Posted by: Rowan | Mar 3, 2011 10:48:31 AM

  8. Before the anti-black posters start to rolling in with their racial slurs: PLEASE NOTE that Reverend Irene Monroe is a black Lesbian, and she is the one critcizing the choice of the black anti-gay Pentacostal minister to join Emanuel's transition team. (I still say that Rahm told President Barack to move slowly on Gay American Civil Rights Issues...and, of course, the President agreed.) It's called re-election politics, y'all.

    I dunno...Emanuel and my beloved President SlimJim remind me of the Democrats of "Old" (Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy). They would promise Black Americans that they would fight for civil rights, but they would still cowtow to Southern White Democrats who were vehemently anti-civil rights (when the South was still solidly Democratic). It's a current strategy that I know angers the hell out of many Gay Americans.

    I remember my beloved President Jimmy Peanut Carter nominated a former segregationist Klansman as his Attorney General a lot of black folks were furious, but we dealt with it (what was his name?) Well, anyway......

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 3, 2011 10:55:41 AM

  9. Chicagoans are some of the stupidest people next to... give me a moment, I'm thinking.

    Posted by: Nanny McBone | Mar 3, 2011 10:57:12 AM

  10. Okay, okay. They're not dumber than most of Arizona I'll concede that.

    Posted by: Nanny McBone | Mar 3, 2011 11:00:06 AM

  11. And the Chicago gays who voted for him, and lambasted everyone for being critical of Rahm, will now say....

    Posted by: The Iron Orchard | Mar 3, 2011 11:02:15 AM

  12. Oooops, I'm VERY VERY VERY sorry, Griffin Bell (Carters Attorney General) was NOT a former Klansman nor a segregationist. He just argued some cases seemingly NOT in favor of Black Americans-- while he was in public office down in Georgia (Busing, and the seating of Andrew Young in Congress).

    (I guess I didn't learn my lesson about Googling your subject matter before you open your big mouth.)

    My point is that the Democratic Party is DIVERSE. It is not totally liberal or progressive. There are social conservatives STILL in the party. And if you will remember they played a pivatol part in some of the 2008 primaries AND they were not for Obama.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 3, 2011 11:08:47 AM

  13. True Derrick and they are 80percent black. That's one of the biggest issues with he left-same here in the UK-is that because they are pro the support of minorities, minorities support them as they are the only group who try and advance their rights and because of this, it means we have a lot of inherently rightwing people in the party/sector who are simple right wing but know which side their bread is buttered.

    This is why we are so fragmented and have so much infighting.

    Don't get me wrong, the 20 percent is women, gays etc who are inherently right wing but realize the left are the only group who will advance their rights.

    Posted by: Rowan | Mar 3, 2011 11:26:07 AM

  14. I can't post anything on this thread for some reason, it seems...

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 3, 2011 11:33:51 AM

  15. Oh, now I can

    Well...don't look at me, I live north of Howard St...

    OH, ad Derrick, it IS the same ol' song, isn't it?

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 3, 2011 11:36:10 AM

  16. "True Derrick and they are 80percent black."

    Uh, no Rowan dear, Derrick is talking about the working hard-working white people.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 3, 2011 11:47:41 AM

  17. "progressives like Rahm and Obama" Progressives? LOL. This is Emanuel's Rick Warren moment.

    Posted by: TANK | Mar 3, 2011 11:48:11 AM

  18. Kev,

    It's irrelevant whether he was or not. I simply agreed with the fact about the broad and complex church that is a left wing party.

    Blue collar workers, who I would parallel with the working class in the UK, don't tend to be social conservative at all, they tend to be socialist but maybe it's different from what I've read and been told.

    No one in the Labour party backbenchers-UK-voted against pushing down the legal age for gay sex at 16 and for civil unions for gay people. These backbenchers are lily white unionists on our shores.

    Posted by: Rowan | Mar 3, 2011 12:03:05 PM

  19. "True Derrick and they are 80percent black."

    You're saying, that's the perception, right? --that the Democratic Party is dominated by Black Americans. Well, we are the most loyal constituency within the Party. We vote as block over 90% for Democrats in every local, statewide elections; and, ofcouse, in presiential elections. ( We used have many Republicans until they told us to "get lost" under Richard Nixon.) That is why people like Rahm Emanuel and my beloved President feel they have to pander to the black preachers.

    I wish that President Barack Obama knew that he DOES NOT need the anti-gay black preachers (nor the white ones). But his strategy is not to anger them, and not to anger the white evangelicals either. His strategy (and I guess the Emanuel strategy) is to keep them from getting riled up, and keep them from organizing/working against him.

    Both the President and Mayor Emanuel frustrate the left-wing of their party. They frustrate me-- but not to the point of making meaningless threats of "witholding campaign contributions and leaving the Democratic Party".

    If White Southern Democrats couldn't scare the national Democratic Party with threats of desertion in the 1960s, then who thinks they can scare them with that threat now...(although we didn't win many national elections after they left, did we?)

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Mar 3, 2011 12:05:01 PM

  20. TANK

    I think Obama is progressive. Again the Rick Warren stuff had more to do with the fact that you're one of the most fundementally religous countries that can't seperate church from state. What was he to do to keep your evangeli$tS happy?

    Rahm is not a progressive at all. He's anti-progression in fact.

    He's only a Dem because he was always going to try and run for Mayor of Chicago to keep Daddy 'Mr x Mossad' happy.

    Furthermore Rahm knew/knows that the only way he could get as high as he wanted to in government, was to align yourself with the blues as a very out and proud Jew.

    Posted by: Rowan | Mar 3, 2011 12:08:09 PM

  21. Note that it's only since Rahm left the White House staff that we've seen progress on gay issues, including the repeal of DADT and now the decision not to defend DOMA.

    Chicago is welcome to this guy. Gay organizations that backed him will have only themselves to blame as they get thrown under the bus.

    Posted by: NickC | Mar 3, 2011 12:10:09 PM

  22. Chicago Gays must be the dumbest people on Earth. how can this possibly be shocking? Rahm is the man who kept gay issues on the back burner for nearly 2 years. If he were still in Washington, I don't think Obama would have taken the DOMA stance that he did.

    I was shocked to see that he got the support of Chicago gays, I would have voted for anybody but Rahm

    Posted by: Jack | Mar 3, 2011 12:11:21 PM

  23. No, Rahm has never been a progressive.

    But no New Yorker should criticize him too smugly about GLBT issues. Our mayor, Mike Bloomberg, has also sweet-talked the community during campaigns but done diddly squat for us when it counted.

    Posted by: allan | Mar 3, 2011 12:18:09 PM

  24. @Derrick From Philly

    The problem is that on a national level, yes that's true but Mayor Emmanuel should not need to do that in Chicago...

    of course, Emmanuel is not Richard Daley either.

    And Rowan Galliano, that's some mighty nasty anti-Semitism there.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 3, 2011 12:18:41 PM

  25. Rowan,

    Blue collar people in the U.S. actually tend to be at least moderately right. A big reason for this, at least among whites, is the American left have for generations demonized 'Working-Class' whites whenever they attempt to suck up to black folks and other minorities.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Mar 3, 2011 12:47:58 PM

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