The Rainbow Sash Movement, an advocacy group for LGBT Catholics, issued an open letter to Ald. Tom Tunney (44th Ward) him to attend a demonstration against Cardinal Francis George on Sunday.
The letter is the latest action from RSM following the compromise made among Chicago Gay Pride Parade organizers, Tunney and church leaders at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to revert the 2012 parade back to its start time at noon. Church leaders objected to the parade route and time, which would bring thousands of attendees outside of the church, 708 W. Belmont Ave., during their Sunday Mass.
Cardinal Francis George, the archbishop of Chicago, ignited a national controversy when he compared the pride parade to a Ku Klux Klan demonstration in a “Fox Chicago Sunday” interview Dec. 21 and continues to receive backlash from the LGBT community, including a demonstration planned outside of Holy Name Cathedral on Sunday.
“Alderman Tunney was responsible for the compromise on the Chicago Gay Pride’s kick off time with Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,” said RSM Executive Director Joe Murray in a statement accompanying the open letter to Tunney.
“My purpose in writing this letter is to make this invitation public thereby giving you the opportunity to make your position known on our efforts to have Cardinal George issue a public apology regarding his unreasonable metaphor of equating GLBT Community to the KKK,” wrote Murray. “It is our hope that you will join with us in condemning such comments as both scandalous and unjust.”
Tunney has made no announcement to attend the demonstration.
“Cardinal Francis George’s recent comments about the LGBT community are regrettable,” said Tunney in statement to Chicago Phoenix. “It is clear that his comments are his own and are not shared by Our Lady of Mount Carmel parishioners and the majority of Chicago Catholics. It also is important to note that before his comments were made public, we came to a friendly compromise on a local issue involving the 2012 Pride Parade that will help protect public safety and allow parishioners to celebrate their morning services.”
RSM and other LGBT advocacy groups continue to call for George’s resignation from the Archdiocese of Chicago, and initially announced their plans to support a the upcoming protest against the cardinal on Monday.