Gay Marriage | Illinois | Peter LaBarbera

Anti-Gay Protesters Rally Against Civil Unions In Illinois

Just ahead the Illinois civil unions law that goes into effect on Wednesday, anti-gay protesters in Chicago yesterday marched in support of their belief that the issue should go before voters in that state. "Porno Pete" LaBarbera, whose hateful group Americans for Truth is headquartered in the state, was in attendance and spoke to the Chicago Tribune:

“There’s a battle between gay rights and religious freedom,” said Peter LaBarbera, president of the group Americans for Truth, as he coached people on how to correctly complete the signature sheets on which opponents hope to collect the required 300,000 signatures. “We want to give Illinois votes the same opportunity other states have had.”

Gay rights activists showed up for a counter rally that emerged through a Facebook campaign.

Governor Pat Quinn will be attendance on Wednesday when 30 same-sex couples take part in a civil unions ceremony at Millennium Park.

Watch a news report on the protests from the local ABC affiliate in Chicago, AFTER THE JUMP.


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  1. Battle between gay rights and religious freedom? More like a battle between gay rights and your religious persecution of us LGBT folk. Don't like same-sex marriage? Don't have one.

    And stay off *my* lawn. Keep to your own damn house and churches and I'll keep to mine. It's not as though that I actually want to interact with people who don't want to interact with me. Really.

    Posted by: Justin L Werner | May 28, 2011 11:22:03 AM

  2. HELLO? ANYBODY THERE? Dan Choi and others risked life and limb in Moscow today for gay equality and the latest news YOU'RE reporting is another meaningless religous nut demo hear YESTERDAY?

    Posted by: | May 28, 2011 11:22:57 AM

  3. Religious freedom? They have all the freedom they want. What they really want is to impose their mindless hate filled "Christian" beliefs onto the entire country.

    These Christians are scum.

    Posted by: Jonathan | May 28, 2011 11:56:55 AM

  4. And yet their religious liberties trample all over our civil rights?

    Posted by: Mathew | May 28, 2011 12:09:09 PM

  5. What gay rights and religious freedom have to do with each other? No religious freedom is taken away because of gay rights.
    Poor misguided people.

    Posted by: Matt26 | May 28, 2011 12:13:01 PM

  6. I see a lot of old white men in the "protect marriage" crowd....they're all out of touch.

    Posted by: Steve | May 28, 2011 12:26:34 PM

  7. So much for the idea--encouraged by some misguided gay people, and weak-willed politicians--that CUs don't face the same opposition that full marriage equality does.

    Neither CUs nor marriage equality infringe on any religious freedoms, LaBarbera and his ilk are pure liars. And putting civil rights up for a popular vote has no relationship to religious liberty, only to majority bullying, so their call for a referendum reveals their true colors. He's not, after all, asking that religious freedoms be subjected to a popularity contest.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 28, 2011 12:38:31 PM

  8. Anti-gay protesters = the New Klan.

    Posted by: Max | May 28, 2011 12:43:43 PM

  9. I don't understand this at all. They have a huge problem with CIVIL UNIONS too? Even the BACK-OF-THE-BUS version of marriage has them up in arms about their so-called religious freedom? What? Are they against gay Driver's Licenses too? This is absolutely ridiculous and shows more blazing hypocrisy than any move these back-assward nutjobs have come up with yet.

    Posted by: AJ | May 28, 2011 1:15:18 PM

  10. Civil unions are the gateway drug to marriage equality. That's why they hate civil unions too.

    Posted by: TSG | May 28, 2011 1:45:08 PM

  11. I watched this video and looked at the pictures on the Chicago Tribune's site. There are NOT a lot of people there on the Anti-Gay side. They're almost all white and maybe two men are under 50 (including Porno Pete). Most of them look to be in their 70s. Is hate what animates these old folks? It's pitiful, really. As for the old woman who insisted they're praying for gays, thanks, Lady, how about just leaving us alone? God, but bigotry is ugly.

    Posted by: Abel | May 28, 2011 1:53:10 PM

  12. the pic highlights what FRC finally acknowledged

    anti-gay is not for the young, its pretty much oldsters with gray hair & they are dieing off

    Posted by: Mstrozfckslv | May 28, 2011 2:09:08 PM

  13. This is actually good news. Peter LaBarbera and his "group" are widely despised even within the small kook fringe we have in IL. There's no way they can organize and meet the onerous signature requirements to get anything on the ballot. This will be a good project for them to be wasting their time and keep out of mischief.

    Posted by: LincolnLounger | May 28, 2011 2:10:00 PM

  14. Michael

    give andy a chance, he might be writing up a thread on it already,%C2%A0Russia?via=siderec

    Dkos diary on Dan Choi being arrested in russia

    Posted by: Mstrozfckslv | May 28, 2011 2:13:18 PM

  15. Michael-

    Andy is one of the top aggregators of gay news, he does a great job. He neglects one story out of dozens this week, and you jump down his throat in comments? Seriously, get some hobbies. Andy, keep up the fantastic work.

    Posted by: Marty | May 28, 2011 3:01:53 PM

  16. What "religious freedom" is there for the religious groups that support and promote Marriage Equality?

    This is how it works in Canada: religions that are against gay marriage are not forced to perform marriages for gay couples. It's that easy. They're free to not perform them. They're legally protected from being forced to perform them.

    This shouldn't be so hard for Americans to understand.

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | May 28, 2011 3:19:28 PM

  17. Apparently he confuses freedom of religion with the freedom to impose his religious beliefs on other people.

    Posted by: PLAINTOM | May 28, 2011 4:15:43 PM

  18. "This shouldn't be so hard for Americans to understand."

    Exactly right, Little Kiwi. It shouldn't be, and Canada has grasped this without endless fuss, yet the American right's attempt to inflict personal religious beliefs onto secular public policy knows no boundaries. Marriage equality does not infringe on religious liberty; religious action to stop marriage equality (or, basically, any gay civil rights--clearly, they believe the church owns the term CIVIL union, too) clearly infringes on our civil rights. But the religious-right is always the persecuted one. And, sadly, even non-religious people buy into this bogus argument.

    Posted by: Ernie | May 28, 2011 5:18:39 PM

  19. At Marty & Mstrozfckslv: I happen to be acquainted with Andy, thank you, and respect him very much. And I know that he leaves the weekend post to someone whom my comment was directed. And, no, in the absence of an explanation [death, illness, 12-foot snow drifts, there is no excuse for the site's first post on the subject coming seven hours after every other gay blog AND mainstream media had covered it....even had ANDY not already alerted his readers and his stand-in that the event was coming in a post a couple of days ago by himself.

    Posted by: | May 28, 2011 6:42:08 PM

  20. FCK YOU BIGOTS you have lost go crawl back to whatever version of hell you dreamed up

    Posted by: curtis | May 28, 2011 9:56:45 PM

  21. Michael, dear, an acquaintance with Andy does not entitle you to make DEMANDS of Towleroad.

    I personally am interested in knowing what lunatic 'Porno' Pete is up to, and I hadn't read *this* news anywhere else.

    Posted by: evan | May 29, 2011 12:01:00 AM

  22. Take note: They're protesting against CIVIL UNIONS this time, not just gay marriage. This proves that their opposition to gay marriage has nothing to do with the 'marriage' part and everything to do with the 'gay' part. Just like I've always known ever since I was old enough to understand: these people and their political clones (commonly known as republicans) really hate gays and don't want gay people legitimized in ANY way.

    It reminds me of the time I came out vocally to my folks. You have to keep in mind it's hard to beat them for homophobia. First they tried denying what I said, and they tried to convince me that there's no such thing as gay. I was just trying to be 'cool.' This went on for a few months and it wasn't working because I was coming out to more and more people. When they realized that they couldn't talk me into denying my sexuality and living a lie they opted for the next best thing:"You can be gay but keep quiet about it." That's when I said "No mother that's not about to happen because if I can't be myself I might as well be dead." It's about the last thing I said to her .... I think.

    Posted by: Mark | May 29, 2011 1:54:08 AM

  23. I take some comfort in knowing that many of those who are against marriage equality are leaving this world soon.

    Just sayin.

    Posted by: sparks | May 29, 2011 3:07:50 PM

  24. i am really appreciating you for your kindness that you have made a really interesting blog and peoples are always seeking to get information and share their ideas. Great work Man and keep it going. God bless you!

    Posted by: Barefoot Running Shoes | May 29, 2011 10:42:56 PM

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