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Archbishop Apologizes for Gay-KKK Analogy

Archbishop Apologizes for Gay-KKK Analogy

Cardinal Francis George, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Chicago, has finally apologized for comparing the LGBT rights movement to the Ku Klux Klan.

“I am truly sorry for the hurt my remarks have caused,” George said in an interview published Friday afternoon on the Chicago Tribune’s website. “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.” He added that the analogy was “very inappropriate.”

George had made the remarks last month in reference to a controversy over the schedule for next year’s gay pride parade, which would have taken it past one of the city’s oldest Catholic churches during Sunday mass. “You don’t want the gay liberation movement to morph into something like the Ku Klux Klan, demonstrating in the streets against Catholicism,” George told a local TV station.

The parade had been set to start at 10 a.m. the last Sunday in June, but the day after George’s interview aired, organizers agreed to move the step-off to noon to avoid inconveniencing churchgoers. Many LGBT activists and allies denounced George’s comments and called for his resignation; he backed away from the analogy but then repeated it, and the Tribune interview marks his first official apology.

The Civil Rights Agenda, a Chicago-based LGBT group, issued a statement expressing gratitude for George’s apology. “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,” said executive director Anthony Martinez. “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.”

Some gay groups had scheduled a protest for Sunday at Holy Name Cathedral, the seat of the Chicago archdiocese; there has so far been no word about whether George’s comments to the Tribune would affect plans for the demonstration.

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