Refusing to back down from comments he made in a recent interview where he compared the LGBT movement to the Ku Klux Klan, Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago, opted instead to double down and defend his inflammatory rhetoric.
The controversy erupted as a result of an interview George gave to Fox News Chicago in which he was asked about a resolved dispute regarding the scheduled starting time of the city's annual LGBT pride parade. The June 2012 event was originally set to begin at 10am, but a priest at a local parish complained that it would interfere with morning Masses. George remarked, "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."
After widespread public outcry by citizens, Catholics, and LGBT activists, George issued a statement on Tuesday. Here's his defense:
When the 2012 Parade organizers announced a time and route change this year, it was apparent that the Parade would interfere with divine worship in a Catholic parish on the new route. 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.
As Cardinal George continues defending the indefensible, the backlash against him is only increasing.