[Re]-UPDATED: Cardinal Francis George Apologizes For Comparing Gays To KKK; He Will Be Protested Anyway

Picture 9Cardinal Francis George, of Chicago, has apologized for comparing LGBTs to the KKK.

Cardinal George made the comparison whilst all a'flutter over the proposed new route of the 2012 Chicago Pride Parade, which would bring the Parade by a Chicago church and potentially hinder its ability to conduct Sunday mass. Before even asking Chicago Pride to alter the route — which they subsequently happily did — Cardinal George decided to take the original reroute personally, and said, on FOX News:

You don't want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholics.

Cardinal George later defended his statements, explaining in some detail how "some" modern-day LGBTs really are KKKish. He got some flack for it. A protest was scheduled. And now, in a remarkably self-aware interiew with the Tribune, George says:

I am truly sorry for the hurt my remarks have caused, particularly because we all have friends or family members who are gay and lesbian. This has evidently wounded a good number of people. I have family members myself who are gay and lesbian, so it's part of our lives. So I'm sorry for the hurt. … When I was talking, I was speaking out of fear that I have for the church's liberty and I was reaching for an analogy which was very inappropriate, for which I'm sorry. I didn't realize the impact of what I was saying. … Sometimes fear is a bad motivation.

The apology is apparently too little, too late to prevent a protest from the Gay Liberation Network, whose spokesperson, Andy Thayer, calls George's statement "pathetically inadequate":

A few hours ago Cardinal George issued what has been termed by others as an "apology" on the Archdiocese website, even though the statement does not use that term. He said that while he was "sorry" that he hurt Lesbians and Gays, that his statement comparing gays to the KKK was "motivated by fear for the church's liberty."

This is completely disingenuous. No one was challenging the church's "liberty." Even though George himself has done everything he can to prevent legal equality for LGBTs, we have never in turn insisted that the church be forced to perform same-sex marriages, for example, any more than others have insisted that it be forced to perform marriages for divorcees.

Furthermore, apologies, in order to be real, need to be issued directly to those wronged. A web posting is about as passive a delivery of an apology as you can get. Cardinal George could have picked up the phone and called an LGBT journalist and had a genuine dialog about the issues. Moreover, his original slam against "the Gay Liberation Movement" sounded like it was directed at the Gay Liberation Network, which has led demonstrations against his support of discrimination on several occasions, and he could have delivered an apology to GLN.

After making his original comparison of gays to the KKK, he defended that statement on at least two subsequent occasions. George's statement tonight indicates he erred in making it sound like he felt that "all gays" were like the KKK — the implication is that he apparently still thinks many gays are fascists.

Finally, George's statement misses the genesis of how he got into this mess in the first place — the church leadership's long-standing and aggressive opposition to all equal rights legislation for LGBT people. When the church leadership ceases doing everything it can to oppose our equal participation in society, then we might believe that George truly cares about our feelings.

The protest is ON — 12 Noon, Sunday, Jan. 8th in front of Holy Name Cathedral, 735 N. State Street.

In contrast to Catholic laity, a majority of whom SUPPORT equality for LGBTs, Cardinal George's bigotry must be opposed.

–Gay Liberation Network

UPDATE: Not everyone's as displeased with the Cardinal's apology as the Gay Liberation Network. The Illinois group called The Civil Rights Agenda has issued this statement:

The Civil Rights Agenda (TCRA) … has learned that Cardinal George has apologized for his incendiary rhetoric comparing the LGBT movement for civil rights with the Ku Klux Klan. 

“I am incredibly pleased that Cardinal George has taken responsibility for his actions and has issued an apology for his comments comparing the LGBT Community to the KKK and the hurt those comments have caused.” stated Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda.  “A true leader can admit when they are wrong, and the Cardinal has set a good example of leadership today with his statement. Now, with this apology, the LGBT community and the Catholic community can begin to heal the divides that this has caused.”

RE-UPDATE: The Gay Liberation Network has canceled its protest after all. Click here for deets.


  1. Kevin says

    That’s pretty rich coming from the same church that stood proud with Adoph Hitler, who was a member and is currently headed by a member of the Nazi party. That “Chruch” makes the KKK look like Mary Poppins.

  2. Mary says

    Honestly, I can’t see what made his statement controversial. Didn’t he say that we don’t want the gay liberation movement to MORPH INTO something like the KKK? This means he DOESN’T believe gays are like the KKK now. If he had said something like the following I could see the outrage: “Those damn queers. They’re just like the Klan – any excuse to cause trouble.”

    And do gays really want a public fight with a Roman Catholic Cardinal at a time when they may be on the verge on harming their political interests by having it revealed that a Roman Catholic politician running for President had him name smeared by a gay writer? Think strategically,folks. This fight with the Cardinal is unnecessary for you now. And no, I’m not telling you to give up the fight for full equality. But now is not the time for a flair-up of the culture wars. Obama will need all the culture war tranquility you can give him if is to be re-elected.

  3. The Milkman says

    His statement is controversial because he equated gay people with klan freaks, and equated the pride parade with klan parades. And I have no problem with a public fight with some catholic bishop. It’s not as though the aging hierarchy of the catholic church is wallowing in a surplus of public sympathy in recent years. When it comes to a law-abiding gay man against a representative of an organization that has been shown time and again to be replete with lying, hypocritical, manipulative, abusive pedophiles, then I rather think that the gay guy will come out on top.

    And if Obama can’t get re-elected without the gay community cowering in a corner hoping nobody notices them, then he doesn’t deserve to get re-elected. The days of gay people hoping that people will be nice to us if we only could squeak by unnoticed are OVER.

  4. Mary says

    Milkman, I didn’t mean to get you upset. But a direct conflict between the Catholic hierarchy and the gay community is really an UNNEEDED fight. And as for Obama he has the power to appoint Supreme Court judges. This could shape policy for years to come. On the right, we generally walk on broken glass to insure conservative judges. I’m not asking you to put tape over your mouth until next November, but even if I were it would be a price worth paying if Obama could give you a sympathetic Court. The fight wih Santorum can’t be completely avoided. The fight with the Cardinal can. …..Strategy.

  5. Giselle says

    The reroute stayed in place, it was the starting time that was changed to avoid a clash with church services at this one church.
    Which is pretty damn accommodating seeing as how many other buildings, businesses and places the route borders. Very accommodating.

  6. stevemd2 says

    Someone mentioned the connection between the church and adolph hitler, who was baptised catholic at birth in Linz Austria in 1888.

    And btw Ausrtria was run by the Hapsburgs a catholic king family.

    The church is also now talking about its protecting its relgiiious freedom

    Which in 1933 it did by signing a concordant with the nazi Goverment.

    The thanks you’s from the church are also documented on


    Beware of the second holy Inquisition. Torture and mass murder – the church’s usual past response to an attempt to rein in its power.

  7. vetusmc says

    If we continue to teach tolerance vs intolerance instead of good vs evil we will certainly end up tolerating evil.

    The homosexual sites are nothing more than marketers of evil…….

  8. Shawn says

    Speaking for myself: apology accepted. The folks who have been done harm by the KKK, whose pain was minimized by this comparison may feel differently. I’d still appreciate a different outlook on gays and our rights from the church but in terms of this one statement (and the justifications that followed) I’m satisfied with the apology. I’m sure it was fear motivated and if they wish to cling to their Antigay views as representative of the chirch’s future then they have plenty to fear.

  9. Arthur says

    Christianity does nothing but create hate.
    Therefore it is the religion of Satan.

    Your average atheist or wiccan has more love and compassion than a christian.

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