The city's Commission on Human Relations Advisory Council on Gay & Lesbian Issues adopted the following resolution at its monthly meeting Sept. 21.
In this resolution, the Council deplores the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 and the fanaticism that can lead to such attacks; mourns those who died in the attacks; and affirms the American values of equality, free expression, and mutual respect.
BE IT RESOLVED, That the following statement is adopted:
As members of the Chicago Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on Gay and Lesbian Issues, we join with countless millions in this country and abroad who deeply deplore the murderous outrages that occurred in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11.
These criminal events were an attack on American freedom. Those responsible must be found and brought to justice, and all proper steps must be taken to prevent similar crimes against humanity.
Effective responses must include preserving the same American freedom that the terrorists attacked. Despite our best efforts, if freedom is destroyed in the name of saving it, terrorism ultimately will have won.
The real enemy that was revealed this week was not an ethnic group, a religion, or a creed. It was fanaticism. Fanaticism has existed always and everywhere. It is not invariably violent, but it is the enemy of tolerance and individual rights. To fight it, we must not sacrifice them.
The constituencies of this Advisory Council...whether identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or otherwise...have a special stake in protecting human rights, civil liberties, and tolerance. Such American principles have played a large part in enabling us to make the progress we enjoy. They are essential to our future welfare. Within our own communities and in the larger society, we must work to prevent discrimination and hate crimes of any sort. They are not an answer.
We have a special stake in thwarting fanaticism. It has repeatedly ruined lives in our communities, both in the United States and around the world.
We have a common stake with other Americans in mourning. Victims and heroes on Sept. 11 included members of our communities, too...be they firefighters, chaplains, police officers, flight attendants, pilots, members of the military, office workers, those who suffered or helped in any way, or those who knew or loved them.
While defending ourselves and seeking justice, we honor them best by preserving the best in American values: equality, free expression, and mutual respect.
Introduced by William B. Kelley; adopted unanimously as amended Sept. 19, 2001.