Cardinal Francis George had harsh words for local LGBT activists in a Wednesday taping of the “Fox Chicago Sunday” show, in which he equated the “gay liberation” movement to the Ku Klux Klan, according to a report by Fox Chicago News.
In the interview, the cardinal shared that he objects to the 2012 Gay Pride Parade reroute, which directs the parade down West Belmont Avenue, where Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church is planning to have Sunday mass at the same time.
Cardinal George went on to comment: ”You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism,” he said on “FOX Chicago Sunday.” The show is set to air at 8:30 a.m. on Christmas Day.
Many in the local LGBT community were outraged by the cardinal’s comments.
“I think the choice of words was very unfortunate, and that we should all speak respectfully of each other,” said State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), following news of the cardinal’s remarks.
Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda, said he understands that the parade takes place on Sunday, a holy day for Catholic churches, but that there are several churches along the parade route and they aren’t objecting to it. Some are even planning to participate in the parade, he added.
“It seems to me that the cardinal is lashing out at the LBGT community over past matters and legislation that have now been resolved,” Martinez said, referring to the civil unions bill and the Church’s loss of state foster home and adoption contracts.
Calls made to Cardinal George’s office were not returned.
The controversial decision to reroute the parade followed this year’s massive turnout of over 800,000 attendees, which presented challenges for the Chicago Police’s traffic management and crowd control. The parade will also start an hour earlier, at 10 a.m., to curb drinking.
The Chicago Gay Pride Parade takes place every year on the last Sunday of June.