CHICAGO — Truth Wins Out, a non-profit advocacy group that fights anti-LGBT religious extremism — stepped up its campaign against Cardinal Francis George with a full-page ad in Sunday’s Chicago Tribune, rebuking the Chicago Archbishop for his recent comments likening gay activists to the Ku Klux Klan.
Headlined, “Hey, Cardinal Francis George, Gay is not like the KKK,” the TWO advertisement slams the Cardinal for his comments comparing the LGBT community to the KKK, and “debunks the lies and misinformation disseminated by the Archbishop about the LGBT community,” according to a statement by Truth Wins Out (TWO).
The ad comes on the heels of an online petition launched by TWO calling on George to step down — the petition has garnered more than 5,000 signatures.
“We felt compelled to place this ad after Cardinal George compounded his initial smear with further insults disguised as an apology,” said Truth Wins Out’s Executive Director Wayne Besen.
“It seems the sin of pride is keeping George from saying he is sorry for his outrageous and misleading remarks about Gay Pride. At this point, the only road to redemption is his resignation.”
George’s remarks first came during a dispute over the scheduled starting time of the 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 an interview with Fox News in Chicago, Cardinal 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.”
But instead of backtracking on his comments, George later rationalized his comment his this statement, issued by the Archdiocese:
“When the pastor’s request for reconsideration of the plans was ignored, the organizers invited an obvious comparison to other groups who have historically attempted to stifle the religious freedom of the Catholic Church.
One such organization is the Ku Klux Klan which, well into the 1940’s, paraded through American cities not only to interfere with Catholic worship but also to demonstrate that Catholics stand outside of the American consensus. It is not a precedent anyone should want to emulate.”
“This is not a legitimate fight over religious liberty as George wrongly implies, but a vivid example of religious bigotry fueled by a mean-spirited analogy that linked innocent, law abiding families with the KKK,” said Besen. “We will stand up against such lies and speak out when LGBT people are unfairly maligned.”
Last year, TWO launched a 160,000-signature Change.org petition that helped persuade Apple, Inc. to eliminate an “ex-gay” iPhone app by the group Exodus International.