Thursday, March 16, 2006

In Illinois, a conservative push to oust gay Latino leader from hate crimes panel

Ah, this is rich: In a press release dated March 3rd, 2006, the extremely homophobic Illinois Family Institute has called for the removal of Rick Garcia from the IL Governor's Commission Against Discrimination and Hate Crimes.

His crime? It's not necessarily - as the IFI claims - calling Chicago Arbishop Cardinal Francis George and other right-wing zealots "bigots." No, the real reason is that, as Political Director of Equality Illinois, Rick has been so effective in marginalizing the IFI as the extremist right-wing demagogues they are, because he challenges their false morality word by word and because they see an opportunity in calling for his dismissal after a series of resignations have left the Commission in turmoil.

In a true example of Orwellian speech, IFI Executive Director Peter LaBarbera said "Equating time-honored Judeo-Christian teachings with hate and bigotry is itself an act of bigotry. Defending morality is not prejudice..."

Unfortunately, true bigotry knows no bounds and the issue has now been picked up by two Republican gubernatorial candidates seeking the conservative vote, Senator Bill Bradley and Jim Oberweis, according to an AP article published today.

As for Rick? he tells the AP "I'm not budging and the governor's not removing me."

The office of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich released a statement that accused the Republican candidates of "practicing the type of divisive politics that are designed to push people apart."

The IFI plans to hold a press conference on Saturday in what they describe as a "largely African-American church." There they go again playing ugly divisive games along the ethnicity line.

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