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Catholic Archbishop apologizes for comparing LGBT rights movement to the KKK

Saturday, January 7, 2012

CHICAGO — Chicago Catholic Archbishop Cardinal Francis George on Friday issued an apology to the LGBT community for remarks he made last month when compared the LGBT rights movement to the Ku Klux Klan.

In an interview broadcast on FOX television station WFLD-TV in ChicagoIn on Christmas day, George addressed what he perceived to be religious discrimination in the name of gay rights, and during a discussion of Chicago’s annual LGBT pride parade, cited the anti-Catholicism of the KKK in the early 1940s.

Francis George

But under growing pressure from gay rights advocates, calls for his resignation, and continued threasts of protests by LGBT activits, George caved on Friday, issuing this apology:

“I am truly sorry for the hurt my remarks have caused,” George said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. “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,” George said.

“I didn’t realize the impact of what I was saying. … Sometimes fear is a bad motivation.”

George’s remarks first came during a dispute over the scheduled starting time of Chicago’s annual gay pride parade in June. The event was originally set to begin at 10 a.m., but a priest complained that the starting time would interfere with morning services.

In the interview with WFLD-TV, George said, “You know, you don’t want the Gay Liberation Movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism.”

The remarks set off a firestorm or criticism among LGBT activists and advocacy groups — the Human Rights Campaign called it a “horrific comparison,” and “dangerous and divisive rhetoric.”

On January 1, Truth Wins Out (TWO), a non-profit advocacy group that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism — rebuked the Cardinal with a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune, and called for his resignation.

In a statement Friday, TWO Executive Director Wayne Besen said, “It is gratifying to see the Cardinal take personal responsibility for the hurt he has caused and we hope this incident leads to improving relations with the LGBT community.”

“We called for Cardinal George’s resignation but we think remorse is a positive step in the right direction,” Besen said.

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40 more reader comments:

  1. Fuck his apology. He can EADD.

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:03pm
  2. yea, he’d better. that’s disgustin.

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:03pm
  3. to bad you don’t mean it Archbishop. Apologizing because you’re told to doesn’t mean a damn thing.

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:03pm
  4. He’s not forgiven. He still holds that view, he just apologized because he was facing so much static in the media..

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:04pm
  5. when are these moronic bigots going to think before they speak????

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:05pm
  6. I want his wife!! oh I mean breader!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:07pm
  7. Too little too LATE!! I will be there the day of the parade…hope he is!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:09pm
  8. Sorry doesn’t cut it

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:10pm
  9. Well, he knew we weren’t the Nazi’s, the Vatican knows the Nazi’s with great intimacy.

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:10pm
  10. If he truly is sorry for what he said, then I forgive him. How can we all work together if we hold a grudge?

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:11pm
  11. it’s about time..to bad it was forced out of you it should never have been said.. jerk..people in glass houses should through stones..!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:11pm
  12. How long did this take to happen…

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:15pm
  13. fuck the catholic church

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:19pm
  14. it does not matter we know how the church already feels about the LGBT community

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:20pm
  15. You know what..who give a fuck.. too little too late..

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:20pm
  16. I<3 #gaymarriage<3<3

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:21pm
  17. Sometimes sorry isn’t enough. He needs to learn from this. All the bigots need to learn.

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:25pm
  18. No matter if he says he sorry, he step over the line saying that our community like kkk or evening comparing us to them. He must not have any real true acknowledgement of our community

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:29pm
  19. Christopher Cooke took the words outta my mouth!

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:29pm
  20. that’s so fucking not true about KKK and LGBT, he is liar! -.-

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:38pm
  21. if only an apology could fix everything the catholic church has done

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:39pm
  22. i compare them to the mob

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:39pm
  23. think before letting the mouth open and words come out that can never be taken back would be a start

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:41pm
  24. I think everyone seems to forget this is the Catholic Church. These are the same people who are hiding and covering up child rape and molestation. I will forever take things these people say with a grain of salt.

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 3:51pm
  25. I read this story on theblaze (just so I know how the right-wingers are thinking) And the bigotry that the members were sharing was disgusting. They applauded him and went into depth on how they thought the so called gay agenda is exactly like the KKK. These people connect dots worse than Michael J. Fox (sorry for the bad joke)

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 4:16pm
  26. Too little too late

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 4:17pm
  27. Cardinal Francis George, can you read my mind ?!

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 4:37pm
  28. Exactly my thoughts. Too little, too late.

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 4:45pm
  29. Apology not enough. Half-assed apology (what this really is) is REALLY not enough!

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 4:58pm
  30. Is this his second or third time he has said this and then apologized?

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 4:59pm
  31. apology not accepted

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 5:07pm
  32. good :)

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 5:38pm
  33. The only reason he said he was sorry is because the pope is making him a cardinal. Umm i wonder how many pedophiles the pope promoted to cardinal. Knowing they molested kids. So your half baked apology is not accepted!!!

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 6:19pm
  34. Have a kiss to your hand (left hand)
    2.-Say the name of your love.
    3.-Close your hand
    4.-Say the name of a weekday
    5.-Say your name.
    6.-Open your hand
    8.-Paste this in 15 comments and the day you said (step # 4) will tell you she/he likes you and you will be asked to be engaged. If you do not go wrong going on 3 years in LOVE

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 7:08pm
  35. lol and what is he

    Posted on Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 8:00pm
  36. first step in the right direction

    Posted on Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 4:57am
  37. That’s exactly what it is. He was threatened and asked for his resignation so he apologized to save his own ass… Apology not accepted. First the churches can throw out “If we let gay’s marry we should let people marry their dogs.” Now comparisons to the KKK… Sorry, an apology isn’t going to do beans until I actually SEE some GENUINE compassion, and this apology is not it.

    Posted on Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 7:42am
  38. WOW are all “god’s” religious representatives Douche bags ?
    or just the ones I read about?

    Posted on Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 11:57am
  39. A central problem of catholicism is that in a democracy fearless thinking is encouraged. People are free to question the narratives that underly religion. However much they desire to believe that God sent a son to earth to redeem the fallen, that he rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, they resist the story because it lacks historical proof. The catholic church faces this problem in spades, for it has added the idea of a pope chosen by God as his vicar on earth to speak infallibly. Despite some of God’s deplorable papal choices, to say nothing of the church’s identification with corrupt/viscious governments, it’s obvious that ordinary people find it hard to accept what any pope however learned and “holy” may teach. Cardinal George is only the latest in this disgusting church’s power moves against the people. This church should be brought down to size.

    Posted on Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 8:56pm
  40. Oh please…. how many religion holidays did the pope have compared to one Proud Gay Day in calendar year. We have to put up with parking issues with holidays. Pope fail to see human is human, no one is above other human’s rights. Pope need to be respect all other religions and non-religions. Pope made a biggest asshole over one minor issue then sorry about that. Not very well acceptable. Pope need to keep himself inside the church’s walls.

    Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 9:41am